Thoughts on the Oilers: Draft, Maroon, Identity

 

1297814459481_ORIGINALIt’s that time of year when really anything is possible, so speculation is rampant about how the Oilers could acquire and who should be dealt. With the draft coming up, there’s a ton of information on prospects with (at times) excessive discussion on which player might get drafted where. For the Oilers, my hope is that they trade the fourth overall pick as part of a package to acquire help on defence. I suspect that it won’t be a direct transaction and that the Oilers acquire a top six forward, and then move out one the current players to land that much needed defenceman. Having said that, if the Oilers keep the pick, they have to take the best player available (regardless of position) and let them stew at the right level until they’re ready to make the jump.

Couple other thoughts:

  • Definitely a fan of Patrick Maroon and the contract, but I’m reluctant to slot him in as a top six player next season. I see him as more of a complementary forward who would rotate around the lineup depending on match-ups and competition. McLellan builds his lines with an established pair, and I see McDavid having either Eberle or Pouliot as his most common linemate next season.
  • Should add that in his 16 games as an Oilers, Maroon played often with McDavid and Eberle, and notched 14 points (8 goals, 6 assists). Possession-wise, the trio had a Corsi For% of 48% (adjsuted), and a PDO of 107 (Source: Corsica Hockey). I think it’s safe to say that this type of productivity is unsustainable, and that the Oilers should hold off on any sort of contract extension with Maroon until they have a little more data/information to work with. And if it’s Maroon a team wants for a defenceman to save some cap space, the Oilers have to consider it.
  • With Hamonic off the market, it’s a good time to review the work done by Darcy McLeod where he reviewed a large group of right shot defencemen [Woodblog]. I like the fact that the Oilers don’t get an easy way out of this mess, so we’ll see what an experienced GM like Chiarelli can do in this situation.
  • This tweet is just bang-on during this playoff season, eh?

  • We know the Oilers are a long ways away from being a playoff team, but they’re even further away from having that 5-7 year window that the best teams are able to create. The playoffs are such a crap shoot sometimes that the best thing you can do is build a roster that can make the playoffs and have a chance at winning a series. That to me is sometimes a bigger feat than winning the cup.
  • When there are discussions about which team the Oilers should copy in terms of roster construction and on-ice play, I cringe at the thought of the Bruins being the perfect template. In my opinion, the only thing the Bruins did was make their identity explicit by signing/acquiring specific players and have observers build their narratives around that. It’s the off-season, so I understand why we have to hear about the Bruins. They did have an okay window and did win the cup. But I much rather prefer hearing about the Sharks style of play and roster construction (which we hear more about in-season as McLellan is behind a mic more often). Obviously the Oilers don’t have some of the specific players (Thornton, Marleau, etc), but I think the Sharks style of play is something more teams should try to emulate.
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