Hey! It’s the offseason and we’re all bored, so let’s take a look ahead at if any Edmonton Oilers can win some hardware next year.
One thing we know about this when it comes to Tyson Barrie it’s that he can surely put up points. Over his career, he’s scored 346 points in 554 NHL games including two near 60-point campaigns.
And to be a Norris winner, you have to put up points. Last year’s winner, Roman Josi, scored 65 points in 69 games. Mark Giordano scored 74 points in 2018-19, Victor Hedman scored 63 points in 2017-18, Brent Burns scored 76 points in 2016-17 and Drew Doughty scored 51 points in 2015-16.
This season, there’s no reason that Barrie shouldn’t be able to put up great numbers like the previous winners. Despite coming off a “down year” with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Barrie is stepping into a great situation in Edmonton. He should be a top-four weapon in the Oilers defensive corps and will undoubtedly run the Oilers powerplay unit that already ranked atop the league last year.
Barrie brings a slightly different game as a powerplay quarterback than Oscar Klefbom was able to offer up. He’s a bit more mobile, has better offensive ability and above all else, is a right-shot. That will open up the Oilers powerplay much more than last year. The NHL should be on high alert for this Oilers powerplay unit as I can see them posting numbers as good as they did last year.
There’s also one negligible difference between Barrie and the aforementioned Norris winning defenceman: their defensive play.
Josi brought offence at an 11 percent above league average rate and defence at a three percent rate above league average. Giordano contributed offence at a rate of 12 percent above league average and defence at a six per cent rate above league average in 2018-19. Hedman brought offence at a one percent rate above league average and defence at a two percent rate above league average in 2017-18. Bruns brought offence at a 20 percent rate above league average and defence at a six percent rate below league average. Lastly, Doughty brought offence at a two percent rate below league average and defence at a six percent rate above league average. For comparison, Barrie’s isolated impacts in the offensive zone last year was one percent above league average and nine percent above league average. In 2018-19, he posted offensive isolated impacts seven percent above league average and defence at a four percent above league average rate. All numbers at 5v5 via hockeyviz.com.
If Barrie wants to compete for the Norris this year, I think he has a solid chance to do so. As we can see, his numbers aren’t that far off from the other Norris calibre defencemen. His offence will come, but some improved play in his own zone is what’s really needed for him to get in the conversation.
Do I think he’ll win the Norris? No. But it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see his name heat up in the race over the course of the season.
On Twitter: @zjlaing