The main man over at All In Hockey is Scott Maran (@realallinhockey) and he’s ever-so-graciously offered to give us a sneak peek at All In Hockey’s Edmonton Oilers Fantasy Hockey Preview! It’s not a complete preview but a snapshot of what Scott thinks the Oilers top forwards, dmen, and starting goalie are capable of next season. Basically, the only players you really want to be concerning yourself with for your fantasy hockey team.
Now you might not know about All In Hockey right now but you should get to know it because it’s a real up-and-comer in the hockey blogosphere!
Last Year’s Stats
Record: 31-43-8 (29th)
Goals For: 203 (25th)
Goals Against: 245 (tied 25th)
Powerplay Percentage: 18.14% (18th)
Penalty Killing Percentage: 80.71% (19th)
Shooting Percentage: 8.3% (tied 25th)
Save Percentage: .910% (21st)
Milan Lucic – Connor McDavid – Jordan Eberle
Benoit Pouliot –Ryan Nugent-Hopkins– Zack Kassian
Patrick Maroon –Leon Draisaitl – Nail Yakupov
Matt Hendricks – Mark Letestu – Iiro Pakarinen
Oscar Klefbom – Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera – Mark Fayne
Brandon Davidson – Darnell Nurse
Cam Talbot – Jonas Gustavsson
* I’m sure Connor McDavid’s linemates will change frequently throughout the season but Milan Lucic should get a lot of time next to him
* The Oilers defense is still a little weak but Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson will give them at least one defensively reliable pairing
* While I’m a big supporter of Nail Yakupov playing with Connor McDavid, the Oilers staff doesn’t seem to love that idea
* If Jesse Puljujarvi makes the team, he’d probably start on the third line with Patrick Maroon and Leon Draisaitl, bumping Nail Yakupov to the second line and Zack Kassian to the fourth line. Or, Puljujarvi could start on the second line and Yakupov would stay on the third line.
Projections (82 GP)
Connor McDavid- 34 goals, 55 assists, 89 points
Last year McDavid had one of the most impressive seasons by a rookie, scoring 48 points in only 45 games with the Oilers. Only two other players in the entire NHL had a higher point-per-game rate than McDavid and he actually scored at a better rate than superstars like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Tyler Seguin and Joe Thornton. Expect much of the same dominance from McDavid as he continues his ascent to the top of the league.
Jordan Eberle- 28 goals, 34 assists, 62 points
At the start of the season last year, Eberle had scored at least 60 points for the past four years in a row, even breaking the 70-point mark in 2012. However, last season Eberle only managed to tally 47 points in 69 games, a 56-point pace over 82-games. Most of the reason for this can be explained by an abnormal lack of powerplay success, with Eberle only recording four powerplay assists. If Eberle had recorded his average amount of powerplay assists last year, he’d have scored a total of 55 points in 69 games, a much better 65-point pace. Considering Eberle should be a bit more luckier on the powerplay next year and has been shooting the puck a lot more too, there’s good upside in drafting Eberle this year.
Milan Lucic- 23 goals, 36 assists, 59 points
If you thought playing with Anze Kopitar would increase Lucic’s value, just imagine what McDavid will do. Last year McDavid showed that he had a profound effect on his linemate’s point totals and Lucic won’t be any different. Scoring 20 goals and 35 assists last year, Lucic should do even better this season now that he’s lining up next to “The Next One” himself. Don’t expect anything too crazy but Lucic will probably end somewhere close to 60 points.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins- 23 goals, 32 assists, 55 points
Injuries have plagued Nugent-Hopkins’ career so far but if he can stay on the ice, he should be a lock for 50 points. Scoring only 34 points in 55 games, Nugent-Hopkins had one of his worst statistical years last season as he averaged 50 points over 82 games. However, in the two seasons prior to that, he scored 56 points in 80 games and then 56 points in 76 games. With Nugent-Hopkins rated 244th by Yahoo, he could easily outperform his draft position.
Benoit Pouliot- 20 goals, 35 assists, 45 points
Ever since coming to the Oilers, Pouliot has actually been very productive. In his first season, he managed to score 19 goals and 15 assists in only 58 games, averaging out to a 48-point pace over a full 82-game schedule. Then, in his second year as an Oiler, Pouliot improved on those numbers by notching
36 points in 56 games, 53 points over 82 games. However, Pouliot might see a bit of a decline in production this year since it’ll be harder for him to get playing time next to McDavid. 16 out of his 26 even-strength points were scored when McDavid was on the ice with him last year but with Lucic on the team now, Pouliot will probably be stuck on the second line.
Oscar Klefbom- 6 goals, 27 assists, 33 points
If Klefbom had played in full 82-game seasons, he would probably have close to two 30-point seasons under his belt already. In his second year in the NHL, Klefbom only played in 69 games but was able to tally 20 points. Averaged out to 82 games and Klefbom would have had a 27-point season. But then last year, in only 30 games, Klefbom scored 12 points, a 33-point pace. If Klefbom can manage to play the entire year this season, I don’t see why he can’t post 30+ points with an outside shot at 40. He’ll probably finish with somewhere around 35 points but if he keeps progressing and takes some more powerplay time, 40 points isn’t completely out of the question.
Adam Larsson- 5 goals, 25 assists, 30 points
Larsson may have changed teams but I don’t think it will affect his fantasy potential too much. On the Devils, Larsson never showed much offensive potential and was put in an extremely defensive role. Considering the state of the Oilers defense and the reason why they traded for him, Larsson’s usage shouldn’t change too much. Last year Larsson only scored 18 points and he’s only had one season where he’s tallied more than 20 points. The increased responsibility will help his totals but Larsson has never given any hint that he can come close to the 40-point mark.
Andrej Sekera- 6 goals, 23 assists, 29 points
Entering the first year of his six-year contract, Sekera had a fine season for the Oilers, tallying six goals and 24 assists. Averaging about 22 minutes a night, Sekera was also an important piece on the powerplay, registering two goals and 12 assists with the man advantage. While he won’t be having 40+ point seasons like when he was in Carolina, Sekera should be good for around 30 points.
Cam Talbot- 26 wins, .919 SV%, 2.47 GAA, 3 Shutouts
Even though Talbot had some long stretches of bad play last year, he still managed to end the season with a respectable .917 save percentage. It’s not amazing but it’s better than average and now with a full season under his belt, Talbot should improve a little. Talbot has shown he has the potential to be a quality starting netminder as in New York, he posted save percentages of .941 and .926 in his first two seasons of his NHL career. While he might not reach those numbers again, he should have another good year in Edmonton.
*Big thanks to Scott Maran from All In Hockey for his Fantasy Hockey Preview of the Oilers going into 2016/17! If you liked what you read, please head over to his site www.allinhockey.com!*