Welcome, dear Internet friends, to a brand new edition of the Mailbag to help you start your week and break down everything that’s happening with our beloved Edmonton Oilers. This week we’re looking at expectations for Warren Foegele, Jesse Puljujarvi’s value, McDavid’s point pace, and a whole lot more. If you’ve got got a question you’d like to ask, email it to me at [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk and I’ll get to you as soon as we can.
Jun 6, 2022; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Dylan Holloway (36) skates during his first NHL game in game four of the Western Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
1) Kevin asks – The pre-season is officially underway and even though it’s not the most exciting time of year, I’d like to know what or who everyone will be watching for over this run of tune-up games?
Robin Brownlee:
– I want to see how Jack Campbell settles in
– Can Dylan Holloway earn a roster spot to start the season?
– How the top three RW spots shake out.
– Where is Broberg’s game after his 23-game look-see last season?
Jason Gregor:
1. Who will end up being McDavid’s RW on opening night?
2. Who plays better in preseason between Janmark or Ryan? Could determine who is placed on waivers.
3. The battle for #7 D. Is Murray a lock or will someone take that spot. Would Edmonton consider Niemelainen or Samorukov for that spot?
4. Which forwards are on the PK. We know Foegele will get a look. How much PK time will Puljujarvi get? Or Holloway?
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Tyler Yaremchuk:
Dylan Holloway is at the top of my list because he probably has the most on the line. He can legitimately win a job on this team based on his performance. Also, Jason Demers and Ryan Murray. It’ll be interesting to see how their play affects how the team handles Broberg and Samorukov.
Baggedmilk:
Dylan Holloway for me. I’m betting on him to make the team out of camp so I’m extra excited to see if he can cover.
Mar 7, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers left wing Warren Foegele (37) during the face off against the Calgary Flames during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
2) Fitz asks – What do you expect from Warren Foegele in his second year with the Oilers? His first season was anything but spectacular and at $2.75 million for two more years, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want more.
Robin Brownlee:
I agree. I thought Foegele was capable of producing better numbers based on his 13-17-30 season in 2019-20. Not big numbers or a break-out year, but something in the range of 15-20-35. He was underwhelming. That’s what I’d like to see this season, assuming he isn’t traded.
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Jason Gregor:
I expect he will be better because he’ll have a more defined role. He should be on the PK and that could help him stay involved. He isn’t a great finisher at this level, so I see him as a 12-15 goal scorer. He needs to be aggressive on the forecheck and along with Ryan McLeod, and whoever is their winger, maybe Puljujarvi, be a hard line to play against.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
There are two things I’d like to see from Foegele next season. The first is four to six more goals. He should be in the 16-20 goal range. Also, more consistent physical play. He should be a presence on the forecheck every night and we just didn’t get that last season.
Baggedmilk:
I’m an optimist so a big part of me is hoping that Foegele will be more comfortable in year two and that he won’t feel as much pressure to perform on a new team. Dare to dream?
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May 4, 2022; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; The Edmonton Oilers celebrate a goal by forward Jesse Puljujarvi (13) during the third period against Los Angeles Kings in game two of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
3) Ed asks – Either on this site or others, there is an article a day trumpeting the outstanding advanced stats that JP puts up. So why is he only worth, if we believe the hockey “insiders” a 3rd or maybe 2nd round pick?  Does this tell us something about how GMs use fancy stats?
Robin Brownlee:
Teams — general managers and hockey ops people — use different numbers than many of the social media folks who consider themselves analytics experts. If you’ve got numbers that tell you Jesse Puljujarvi is the best defensive forward on the Oilers and you cannot believe how dense Ken Holland and those who agree with him must be not to understand that, then the metrics you are using are flawed/goofy. It’s not the GM.
We see this all the time. The other factor that plays into value is that Jesse already left the Oilers once when things weren’t going the way he wanted and there’s been speculation since then he is willing to move on. I don’t know that to be true, but discontent of any kind between a player and his team doesn’t make for great offers from other GM’s. Jesse’s finish to last season doesn’t help either.
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Jason Gregor:
It is more about who the publicly available analytics use fewer data points than the ones the NHL use courtesy of private companies. I believe both extremes on the Puljujarvi debate are incorrect. Those who claim he isn’t very good are inaccurate as are those who claim he is incredibly valuable and the best defensive forward on the team. He is in the middle. He is a legit, solid NHL forward. He is a top-nine player. He is a solid forechecker and works hard. He is only 24 and can still improve, but right now his puck skills need work. His mishandles the puck too frequently.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
The majority of teams in the league have very strong analytics departments but the bottom line is that no GM is ever going to overpay. There are teams that like Puljujarvi but they clearly see the Oilers as dealing from a position of weakness since Puljujarvi is coming off a poor playoff run. Also, his looming arbitration case probably caused a lot of teams to pause early in the summer, when it’s easier to make trades.
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Baggedmilk:
Other GMs are going to throw anchors at the Oilers, not life vests. This is another one of those situations, and that’s why I would rather keep Jesse at all costs because selling low just doesn’t make sense to me.
Apr 28, 2022; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer (47) makes a save on Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) during overtime at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
4) Andrew asks – To become the fourth fastest player to hit 1,000pts, McDavid needs 303 points in 194 games (1.56pts/GP). Do you think he does it?
Robin Brownlee:
Yes.
Jason Gregor:
Does a one-legged duck swim in a circle? You bet.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
Yes. I think he could be closer to 1.70 pts per game this season. I think 140+ points is definitely possible this year and that would go a long way in getting him to 1k.
Baggedmilk:
I will never bet against Connor McDavid. He is the Game Genie. Let’s roll.
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Jun 2, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) controls the puck ahead of Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) in the third period in game two of the Western Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
5) David O. asks – With all the summer moves complete, the Oilers find themselves in an unusual situation; their team is built, and (generally speaking) I think they’re happy with all the contracts on the books – no Lucic or Kassian type dead weights to somehow get rid of and create options. The flip side of that is there’s no significant money disappearing from the books next year (if anything, new contracts for McLeod, Puljujarvi, and Barrie mean more cap crunches), and even the year after the only contract of significant expiring is Barrie. This is our group for the next 3 years and I think we’re all ok with that. What do you see as the ceiling for this group? Is it:
a) “If they win one Cup in this window, it’s a pleasant surprise”
b) “I expect them to win a Cup in this window”
c) “They should be a legitimate threat to win every year similar Colorado/Tampa”
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Robin Brownlee:
C.
Jason Gregor:
I’d do with C. I still them making some moves to bolster the roster in the coming seasons, but at least for the next three seasons they will be a legitimate contender.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
I’m somewhere between B and C. They need to win a Stanley Cup in the next three seasons or else things could get ugly. They aren’t quite on the Tampa Bay/Colorado level, but they can get there. I truly believe that a Stanley Cup is coming before 2025.
Baggedmilk:
If we’re not voting for option C then I don’t know what we’re even doing here.

#NATIONVACATION TO LAS VEGAS

  • When: On Thursday, January 12th, we’re jumping on a flight at the Edmonton International Airport and making our way to Vegas. On Sunday evening, we’ll fly back from Vegas to Edmonton. So the dates that you need to block off for this trip are January 12th to 15th.
  • Where we’re staying: After landing in LV, we’ll jump on the free shuttle and make our way to the Park MGM before settling in for a good night’s sleep. 😉
  • What you get: Your roundtrip flight, hotel, shuttle, viewing party (Friday night), game entry — we got seats this time (Saturday night), and exclusive entry into our pre-trip ‘get to know everyone’ event.
  • How Much: The total cost for the trip, flight, hotel, and entry to the game is $1499 per person (based on double occupancy) 
  • Tickets: Ready to dive in? Click this link.