In this 31 part series, I will be working my way back from 31st to 1st in my projected 2019-2020 standings. I will first note some ongoing trends that are happening in the league. Goals scored per game went up for the fourth consecutive season (at 3.01 goals per game last year), shots against finally dipped last season to 31.3 per game after increasing for four consecutive seasons previously. It’s clear the league’s push towards offense is yielding its intended effect.
Seventh up are the Edmonton Oilers who are in their 40th season as an NHL team. They have made the playoffs once in the last 13 seasons.
2018 – 2019 NHL Stats
- NHL Standings: 25th
- Goals for Rank: 20th
- Goals against Rank: 25th
- PP Rank: 9th
- PK Rank: 30th
Projected 2019-2020 NHL Stats
- NHL Standings: 25th
- Western Conference Standings: 11th
- Pacific Division Standings: 5th
- Coach: Dave Tippett (1st season with Edmonton; career 553-413-28-120 regular season 33-41 playoffs)
On offense, the Oilers have this guy named Connor McDavid who is pretty good, the team actually did ok with 20th most goals for considering they had the 26th most shots for in the league. Connor and Leon Draisaitl accounted for 36% of the teams total points last year. If you add in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who spent some time with them you have 47% of the total team points. This trio additionally accounted for 64% of the power play points. The team added James Neal in exchange for Milan Lucic who is now two years removed from his 25 goal, 44 point season. Zack Kassian had a respectable 15 goals and Alex Chiasson had 22 goals (with some help from McDavid). The most amazing stat is Leon Draisaitl’s 21.6% shooting percentage last season. Maybe Kailer Yamamoto plays the whole season and really takes step forward this year?
Defensively Darnell Nurse’s 200 shots and 10 goals impressed me last year. Adam Larsson and Oscar Klefbom don’t seem as bad as their collective -39 showed last year, I expect them to improve a bit this year. The potential 2nd unit of Darnell Nurse and Evan Bouchard could be fun to watch and I will be curious if they mix and match the top four to find the best combination. Sitting among the worst PK in the league, I imagine this team will need to mess with some defensive aspects to try to improve in the offseason.
In net Cam Talbot was traded mid-season to the Flyers in exchange for Anthony Stolarz. The main goalie would be Mikko Koskinen who put up a so/so 2.93 GAA (34th in the NHL) and .906 sv% (36th in the NHL) both were improvements from Cam’s 3.36 GAA and .893 Sv%. This team allowed the 18th most shots against this season and MIkko will need to improve if this team will get lower in the standings.
Behind the bench, Dave is back at the helm after being let go from Arizona in 2017. His time with Dallas was amazing, his time with Phoenix/Arizona starting out strong but his last five seasons they failed to make the playoffs. To be completely honest, I have no idea what to expect from him this season in Edmonton.
- James Neal
- Markus Granlund
- Milan Lucic
Prospects and Picks
Cooper Marody — Evan Bouchard, Philip Broberg and Kailer Yamamoto all spent some time in the NHL, but it’s Cooper Marody who I’m intrigued with. The 158th overall pick in the 2015 draft (by the Philadelphia Flyers) not only put up 51 points with the University of Michigan in 40 games two years ago but he topped that with an impressive 64 points campaign with the AHL Bakersfield Condors last year (13th most points in the AHL). I think this is the best up and coming point producer for the team. He spent six games with them last year and it seems to me he needs a bit longer to mature in his game but his pedigree is solid.
Sleeper Fantasy Asset
The third person on the Connor McDavid Leon Draisaitl line. Whoever that person is, it could be Zack Kassian, James Neal, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, whoever, that person’s production is AT LEAST multiplied by 1.5x to 2x once they join that line. Additionally if Darnell Nurse and Evan Bouchard are together on defense, I think that could be a fun unit to produce points.
Cap Situation: (per CapFriendly)
$79MM Spent; $2.4M in Cap room; 23 players signed.