Nail Yakupov to the Blues for Zach Pochiro and a conditional pick.
There has been all kinds of speculation that Yakupov had asked for a trade and that the Oilers were close to trading him last season but honestly we’ll never know for certain how much truth there is to this stuff. What we do know is that Peter Chiarelli has now traded two of the wonder kids from the previous administration and in both cases cap space was a large part of the decision. Continue reading →
The Edmonton Oilers continued their recent history of drafting highly touted offensive prospects in the first round. With the fourth overall pick in the 2016 draft, the Oilers drafted 18-year old Swedish right winger Jesse Puljujarvi. This marks the fourth time in five years the Oilers drafted an offensive player with a top five pick: 2012 #1 Nail Yakupov, 2014 #3 Leon Draisaitl, 2015 #1 Connor McDavid and now Puljujarvi.
Puljujarvi comes to the NHL with high expectations. The 6’3” right-winger recorded four goals and four assists in 16 games as a 17-year old in Finland’s top professional league. NHL’s Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb had high praise for Puljujarvi saying, “He’s a powerful skater with good speed and balance. He has outstanding hockey sense and reads the play well. He’s a good playmaker with strong puck-handling skills. He can take advantage of 1- on-1 situations with his long reach.”
Puljujarvi made a name for himself when he was named MVP of 2016 World Juniors Championship. In seven games, he recorded 17 points on five goals and 12 assists, placing him second all-time for points scored for a player under 18 in the tournament’s history. Puljujarvi is in elite company, as his 17 points is tied with Wayne Gretzky and Eric Lindros and is only behind Jaromir Jagr. Puljujarvi has drawn comparisons to future Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne.
With all of this high praise and expectations, you would assume that Puljujarvi would be impressive so far in training camp. Unfortunately, this is not the case. College free agent Drake Caggiula continues to impress coaches and turn heads in training camp, turning the pressure up on Puljujarvi. Caggiula is grading somewhat higher than the fourth overall pick, causing concern with the fan base. Puljujarvi is still a teenager with no experience playing outside of Europe, while Caggiula played four years at one of the best pro-producing hockey programs in North Dakota University.
It seems like the rookie is going through some growing pains, which should be expected with such a drastic culture and life change. Despite Puljujarvi playing on the top line with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the Oilers’ 5-1 preseason loss to the Winnipeg Jets, there is still talk that he can start this season in AHL. Teammate Mark Letestu is trying to limit expectations saying, “My expectations for Jesse haven’t been sky high…maybe outside they have. It’s the best league in the world. What Connor did last year is very difficult. Not a lot of rookies can replicate that. There’s going to be growing pains…you can hear the coaches communicating with him and he’s adjusting.”
It is smart for the Oilers to not put added pressure on the teenager in his first season in the NHL. He may have dominated as a teenager, but that doesn’t mean his skillset will translate automatically at this level. There should be no cause for concern with these recent reports of Puljujarvi being out played by a free agent rookie. The Oilers believe Puljujarvi will be a major factor in their franchise’s plans, but fully understand the growing pains that come with such a young player.
The Edmonton Oilers have given full control of the Oilers to Peter Chiarelli, naming him President of Hockey Operations and General Manager. Chiarelli is going to take a few weeks to assess the team and players to see exactly where his positions of strength and weakness are before making any moves, but he will make moves. Given his track record of making big trades in Boston I think we can expect a big trade or two this summer.
The weaknesses on the Oilers are pretty obvious, they need a starting goalie and they need a couple of top pairing defensemen if they want a shot at making the playoffs next season. They may have an opportunity to get a piece or two via free agency but typically that requires an overpayment and I’m not sure thats a good idea in Edmonton so I expect Chiarelli to make a couple of trades to fill these areas. Continue reading →
UPDATE: The NHL has ruled that the entry level contract that the Oilers have signed with Tkachev is ineligible due to the fact that he did not play a full season in the North America last season. Tkachev will re-enter the draft next season because Oilers.
The Oilers have signed Vladdy Hockey to a 3 year entry level contract this morning. The move will most likely turn alot of heads because of Tkachev’s size (he’s reportedly only 141 lbs) but I’m thrilled they could add such a skilled player to the system for nothing but money. Tkachev has had a great pre-season run with the Oilers and has certainly earned the 3 year deal which will likely keep the player in the system for the next 5 seasons as he is eligible to return to Jr for 2 more years.
Of course many will point out that Tkachev is a long shot to ever make the NHL because of his size alone and to be honest I completely agree. He’ll definitely need to beef up if he ever stands a chance to play in the NHL but I love that the Oilers are giving him the opportunity. He certainly adds a lot of skill to the system and even if he never plays an NHL game there is value having him play along side other prospects to help their game. The fact that Bogdam Yakimov is in the conversation to make the team out of camp this season has a lot to due with having Tkachev on his wing for a large portion of the camp.
Tkachev will receive $550k in year 1, $575k in year 2, and $600k in year 3 along with a $55k signing bonus each season.
This is a great day for the Oilers and a great day for Vladdy Hockey!
The Mark Fayne deal is 4yrs $14M with a cap hit of 3.5M and the Benoit Pouliot deal is 5 yrs $20M with a cap hit of $4M.
I’m quite happy with these signings, we know that the Oilers have to offer either more money or more term to convince a UFA to come to Edmonton. Its nice to see the team get a couple of guys who have good possession numbers.
The Oilers signed defenceman Nikita Nikitin this morning to a 2yr contract at 4.5M per year. The dollars are a tad high for a guy who played 3rd pairing minutes last year in Columbus but the Oilers had to pay for that short term. I’m sure Nikitin was probably looking for a 4-6 year term in the 3.5M to 4M range but the Oilers were looking to add a bridge player to give Nurse 2 more seasons to develop before making the jump to the NHL.
Nikitin looks like a good candidate to play along side Justin Shultz which should make a solid 2nd pairing playing some sheltered minutes. He’s a real NHL defenceman with experience who has shown success in the past playing against tough competition and he’s only 28yrs old. He really does fill a hole on the team and will push Nurse back to Jr this year.
A pretty big overpayment at 4.5M per season and even though the Oilers do have the cap room to sign the deal I worry about how this contract will affect the negotiations with Petry and Shultz or another UFA defenceman (Stralman).
On the bright side Nikitin should slot in on the 2nd pairing and only makes $900k more than the Oilers were paying Nick Shultz last season.
This is truly good news. Scrivens has improved each year he’s played in the NHL and in his time with the Oilers he’s proved that his numbers in LA are no fluke. Since the Oilers acquired Scrivens from LA for a third-round draft pick he has posted a .940 save percentage and a 2.15 goals against average in seven games.
The deal will pay Scrivens 2.3 million per season and give him the opportunity to prove that he has the stuff to be an NHL starter.
The problem though that the Oilers face is that they really do need to bring in another goal tender who can push Scrivens and challenge for that number one job. I’ve been impressed with Bryzgalov’s play lately and wouldn’t be surprised or upset for that matter if the Oilers also signed the veteran to an extension.
In other new Mark Arcobello has been named player of the week in the AHL and I think we can expect to see him in an Oilers uniform very shortly. There could be 2 or 3 forwards moved out of town in the next couple of days which will give Arcobello a huge opportunity to stick in the NHL.
Craig Mactavish and the Edmonton Oilers made a couple of moves on friday in an attempt to improve the team. First the Oilers traded stay at home Defensmen Ladi Smid and AHL goalie Olivier Roy to the Calgary Flames for goalie prospect Laurent Brossoit and C Roman Horak. Mactavish followed up the trade with the UFA signing of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to a 1yr 1.75M contract. Continue reading →
Coming into the off-season I identified the following as the key areas that Mact would need to improve the team:
Top 6 LW: 20pts – Mactavish will need to sign a legit top 6 forward with NHL experience who has size, grit and skill to get full points.
3rd Line Center:15pts – To get full points here MacT will need to land a big 2-way center who can win faceoffs, kill penalties and provide secondary scoring
Size in the bottom 6: 15pts – The Oilers need 2 or 3 bottom 6 wingers who can contribute secondary 5×5 scoring. Grit and size recommended.
Top 4 D-man: 20pts – With NHL experience so Belov doesn’t count. Full points for a big D-man under the age of 30 with NHL experience who is a good skater and can move the puck.
Top 6 D-man: 15pts – Top 6 D-man with size.
Backup Goalie: 15pts – Full points for a goalie with NHL experience who can push Dubnyk
I hear a lot of fans being critical of some of the moves Mact has made but I’m actually very impressed so far. He’s obviously paying attention to advanced stats and has made some low risk/high reward type signings which I’m a huge fan of. Lets take a look at what he’s done. Continue reading →
The Edmonton Oilers anounced today that they have signed 6’4, 219 pound defenceman Anton Belov to a one year entry level contract.
We can expect Belov to start in the top 6 next season and possibly see top 4 minutes throughout the season. He’s described as an excellent skater who can control the offensive game with his passing and hard shot but needs work on his defensive game. Continue reading →