Tracking the Edmonton Oilers Rebuild: Projecting and Comparing Centres

Update: I’ve adjusted the chart below to feature the Capitals in the 2007-2008 season when they won their division. It’s the season I had initially intended to include, and doing so doesn’t change the story a whole lot.

I’ve been absent from the Oilogosphere (as a writer, never a reader) for about a month now, taking some time to work on a couple other projects in fiction and music. I plan to kick it back into high gear come fall, but for now, I have an idea I’d like to explore using the work done by two of the most talented Oilers bloggers out there.

I have a bit of a series going in which I’ve been examining the Oilers rebuild at its various points. You can see the latest post right here (taking a look at additions made by rebuilding teams in the off-seasons before they found success).

Now, I’m going to take a look at those same recently successful rebuilds, but specifically at how their depth charts looked during the year they reached the next level and made the post-season. Using Jonathan Willis’ projected goals from Oilers Nation and Lowetide’s projected points from his RE: 14-15 series, let’s see how our projected Oilers stack up.

I’m going to start with the biggest question mark currently punctuating the Oilers lineup.

Comparing Centres on Successfully Rebuilt Teams

2014 NHL Draft - Portraits

Image courtesy of Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Below you’ll find a chart listing each rebuilding team’s top four centres as determined by their TOI (with a little help from faceoff wins). At the bottom, you’ll find the Oilers projected depth chart at centre, along with their numbers as prophesied by LT and Willis.

Though, like many out there, I’m doubtful the Avalanche will be able to repeat their most recent season in 2014-2015, I’ve still included them in the below chart because of their significant jump in the standings.

Player

GP

G

A

Pts

TOI

Penguins 2006-2007

Sidney Crosby

79

36

84

120

20:45

Evgeni Malkin

78

33

52

85

19:09

Jordan Staal

81

29

13

42

14:56

Max Talbot

75

13

12

24

13:53

Totals

111

161

271

Blackhawks 2008-2009

Jonathan Toews

82

34

35

69

18:37

Patrick Sharp

61

26

18

44

17:57

Dave Bolland

81

19

28

47

16:27

Colin Fraser

81

6

11

17

10:53

Totals

85

92

177

Capitals 2007-2008

Michael Nylander

40

11

26

37

19:09

Nicklas Backstrom

82

14

55

69

18:59

Boyd Gordon

67

7

9

16

15:44

Brooks Laich

82

21

16

37

14:02

Totals

53

106

159

Avalanche 2013-2014

Matt Duchene

71

23

47

70

18:29

Paul Stastny

71

25

35

60

18:23

Nathan MacKinnon

82

24

39

63

17:20

John Mitchell

75

11

21

63

16:16

Totals

83

142

256

Averages

83

125.25

215.75

 

Player

G (Willis)

G (LT)

A (LT)

Pts (LT)

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

21

24

44

68

Mark Arcobello

12

7

20

27

Leon Draisaitl

8

12

22

34

Boyd Gordon

6

5

15

20

Totals:

47

48

101

149

I’ve bolded and italicized rookies in the charts.

In Conclusion

I feared the worst going into this exercise. Rightfully so, it seems. The Edmonton Oilers centres in 2014-2015, as projected by Willis and LT, do not stack up well at all offensively against other rebuilds in their breakout seasons, especially in the Goals Department. The only team they come close to touching is the 2007-2008 Capitals, and they dealt with injuries at the position, most notably Michael Nylander.

Should we be surprised? Probably not, no. I think we all knew something had to be done at 2C, and unfortunately, MacTavish didn’t get to it this summer. That position could very well make it or break it for the Oilers in the upcoming season.

All that said, the Oil have considerable depth on the wing after the off-season acquisitions of Pouliot and Purcell. In my next post, we’ll take a look at how Edmonton’s wingers stack up against the above teams.

On Another Note

Long before I ever blogged about the Oilers, I was writing songs and playing music for people in YEG and now YVR. This week, my label and I released the first track from my upcoming full-length album, set to come out in September. I’m going to shamelessly promote here.

Give it a listen. Let me know what you think. And keep your eyes and ears peeled for announcements and new releases in the coming weeks. You can also like my (music) Facebook page if you so desire.

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