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Daryl Shilling 06-16-2011 01:32 PM

Oilers 2012 review
 
With the season now officially over, I'm going to begin my review of the Oilers players of the 2012 season. I'll present it as I pretty much have always done things like this around here, and even since I was little: questions and answers.

I'll present it one player at a time, and will update when I have the chance. I hope to cover one player per day, and maybe even two three if I get the chance.

Daryl

Daryl Shilling 06-16-2011 01:35 PM

Jordan Eberle

Prospect, prime or veteran?
Prospect, obviously.

His numbers
69-18-25-43 (1st on Oilers, 6th among rookies)
ESP/60 1.79 (3rd among F)
CORSI REL 8.5 (2nd among F)

Is that good or bad?
For a 20 year old? Those were terrific numbers. He produced and had the puck moving in the right direction on a bad team. Frankly, he did better than I thought he would, as I saw him scoring 45ish points over 82 games, not 69. Had a hell of a year, injury aside.

Are those numbers likely to get better or worse?
Again, he's only 20, so those number are more likely than not to improve. How much, nobody knows, because he's just a rookie, we don't have a lot of baselines to go by. Still, most young players improve by some amount, and given that he's such a complimentary player for Taylor Hall, it's reasonable to predict him bettering his totals.

Aside from numbers, what does he bring to the club?
He delivered offense on a crappy club and all while he and Hall were playing the tough competition. That's gold for a kid his age. Eberle seems experienced beyond his years, and was killing penalties from early on in the season. Is very smart with his stick, and even though he's not a physical player, he still finished with almost a takeaway per game.

What's his spot in the depth chart?
Top-6 forward for sure. What will affect his minutes is the Hemsky situation. If Hemsky stays and if he's healthy, it has to impact Eberle's minutes.

Will he be a key Oiler in 2012?
Absolutely.

Are there any wildcards with this player which can affect him and the club?
He missed 11 games, but they were the results of

a) An ankle injury which is extremely unlikely to occur again, and
b) An emergency appendectomy procedure. If you think it could be a recurring problem, you might want to go back to your junior high health class for a refresher.

Keep or scrap?
KEEP, all in capitals. I think that people have probably made more of a fuss about him, and set the bar a bit high for his career. I don't see him as an elite player (even though I'd LOVE to be wrong) and always saw him more as a Ray Whitney-type, which would be great. If all players could produce like that.

Daryl

Daryl Shilling 06-16-2011 06:00 PM

Ales Hemsky

Prospect, prime or on the way down?
Hemsky is in the middle of his prime years.

His numbers
47-14-28-42 (2nd among F)
ESP/60 2.88 (1st among F, 3rd in NHL)
CORSI REL 3.7

Is that good or bad?
Hemsky's main job on the worst team in the league was to try and turn chicken sh!t into chicken salad (thank you, Brock Lesnar). His Even Strength production per 60 minutes was off the charts last year, 3rd in the league behind only Sidney Crosby and Daniel Sedin. What more could he have done...... Other than stay healthy?

Are those numbers likely to get better or worse?
It all depends. Can Hemsky play a full season for the first time since 2006, when he scored 77 points? If he stays healthy, he could put up 75-80 points. If he gets hurt (and that's the established pattern) then he remains a guy with great per-game numbers.

Aside from numbers, what does he bring to the club?
Hemsky brings excitement, balls and frustration. He's not a big guy, but is perfectly willing to go dangerous areas and take hits. That's why he gets hurt so much. Still, when healthy and on his game, he's damn near as exciting as anybody.

What's his spot in the depth chart?
1st line RWer.

Will he be a key Oiler in 2012?
He'll be key whether he is with the Oilers, or if they decide to trade him for fear that can't sign him or keep him healthy. If he stays, he's a key player on the ice. If he's traded, then he's a key part of the rebuild.

Are there any wildcards with this player which can affect him and the club?
Injuries. It's always the injuries. He's only played 22 and 47 games the last two years, and that's simply not enough.

Keep or scrap?
I don't necessarily want to see Hemsky be traded, and the rumor of Scott Howson in Columbus wanting to trade his 8th pick for him isn't enough. Still, if the Oilers feel they can't sign him, he could be gone.

Daryl

Daryl Shilling 06-20-2011 11:08 AM

Taylor Hall

Prospect, prime or on the way down?
PROSPECT

His numbers
54-22-20-42
ESP/60 1.78 (4th among F)
CORSI REL 10.3 (1st)

Is that good or bad?
The obvious answer is that his numbers were terrific. He played against men for the first time, playing on the worst team in the league, he created the most chances, and was the player the opposition keyed on every night. Special player.

Are those numbers likely to get better or worse?
For a guy outside the range of the Crosbys and Ovechkins, the sky's the limit. The numbers should only get better and better.

Aside from numbers, what does he bring to the club?
Speed, audacity, desire, excitement and confidence. Hall does everything at top speed, and as a boy, drew the 3rd most penalties in the league.

What's his spot in the depth chart?
Before Dustin Penner was traded I'd have said there was a chance that Tom Renney would try him again at centre, especially since he wasn't bad at all. With Penner gone, however, and the likelihood that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be an Oiler in less than a week, he'll almost assuredly be the club's top LWer next year.

Will he be a key Oiler in 2012?
Taylor Hall will be THE key Oiler in 2012.

Are there any wildcards with this player which can affect him and the club?
You never know; his his ankle sprain could be that wildcard. He says he's completely healed, however, so I'll go with that for now.

Keep or scrap?
Hall's going nowhere.

Daryl

Daryl Shilling 06-23-2011 02:33 PM

Sam Gagner

Prospect, prime or on the way down?
I like a 5-year post-draft period for prospect status, after which players graduate. This is Gagner's 5th year in the league, and the last I would consider him a prospect.

His numbers
68-15-27-42
ESP/60 1.91 (2nd)
CORSI REL 7.0 (4th)

Is that good or bad?
Gagner's numbers, traditional and advanced, have stayed mostly the same throughout his career. How much of it was due to his progress being hampered by bring rushed? How much of it is due to the Oilers playing musical coaches (he had MacTavish for two years, then one each with Quinn and Renney)? He's been consistent, but you really do want to see some improvement.

Are those numbers likely to get better or worse?
If Renney gives him 1C minutes, the boxcars should improve. If he stays at 2C, then the numbers probably follow.

Aside from numbers, what does he bring to the club?
Gagner's shifty and smart, but has a propensity to get knocked off the puck easily, so much so that a drinking game in his name would do just nicely. Gagner's knocked down? Have a drink! Still, Gagner can make a smart pass, has soft hands, and carries the puck well. Overrated on the shootout.

What's his spot in the depth chart?
Ask Tom Renney, because I think it's 50/50 between 1C and 2C. If he wants Shawn Horcoff to centre a heavy lifting line, Gagner gets 1st line minutes. If Renney focuses on development again, and not so much line matching, Gagner get 2nd line time. On a decent club, he's not a first-liner.

Will he be a key Oiler in 2012?
Definitely. His development should be a particular area of interest to the club... Unless he's traded tomorrow. See last question.

Are there any wildcards with this player which can affect him and the club?
Not really. he's not a gamebreaker.

Keep or scrap?
The Oilers are at a bit of a nexus with Gagner where they'll either grow tired and send him away or decide to stay with him. As of now, Gagner is a legit NHL player, even if he isn't the star player some (incorrectly) thought he would be. You know those teams (ummm... Oilers?) that spend 20 or so years playing mediocre hockey? One thing they pretty much all have in common is trading off good prospects because they're not great prospects. If he's dealt, the package needs to be strong, because they've already invested 4 years into developing him. It would be a shame if they did just to produce a player for another team.

He is what he is. I'd keep him. The world's not full of 21-year olds with almost 200 NHL points to their name.

Daryl

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