Oilers Targeting Former U of A Golden Bear?

I see the Oilers making a couple of subtle moves at this time. Certainly if they can get a cheaper faceoff option to help Drake Caggiula. Doesn’t mean that Caggiula doesn’t play, maybe it just pushes Caggiula to the wing. It might just be a scenario where in a perfect world they find a centre/right winger who can take the right side draws, a guy that is an unrestricted free agent. There’s not a lot of guys out there like that and right now because everybody is compressed, everybody thinks they’re in the mix but maybe that changes moving forward. – Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now! (2/7/17)

That is THE quote from Bob Stauffer on yesterday’s Oilers Now! If you want to listen to the clip, click here and skip to around 15:50 of the first segment.

If you’re a faithful listener of Oilers Now! you’d know that starting this season Bob Stauffer has started to really pump the tires of former University of Alberta Golden Bear and Swedish Hockey League MVP Derek Ryan. This has lead me to believe that he’s been a target of the Oilers for a while now.

Now as it stands, the 30 year old Ryan is playing for the Carolina Hurricanes and they are a team that might be considered “in the mix” for a wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference and there’s a pretty decent chance that they fall out of that race as they only have a significant winning record vs. Boston, Buffalo, and the surging New York Islanders this season.

The Canes are 4-6-0 in their last ten games according to TSN.ca and this month they’ll play (this season’s records included):

  • Washington (A) – 1W 2L 1OT
  • Dallas (A) – haven’t played
  • Colorado (H) – haven’t played
  • Toronto (H) – 1W 0L
  • Pittsburgh (H) – 0W 2L
  • Ottawa (H) – 0W 1L 1OT
  • Calgary (H) – 1W 0L
  • Florida (A) – 1W 0L

But that being said, the Hurricanes have yet to play Colorado, Arizona, and Dallas. All teams that are looking ripe for the picking and they have a home record of 17-6-1. So if they can keep up the pace, maybe they won’t fall out of the wildcard race but at the moment, they’re a point out of dead last in the Eastern Conference and that fits the narrative of this post 🙂

Back to Derek Ryan!!

Derek Ryan is also a forward who is right-handed and can line up on either the right wing or take draws as the centreman… #weird.

At the moment, Bill Peters has Ryan slotting in on the first line between Jeff Skinner and Lee Stempniak but he’s seen time on the right-side with Victor Rask as the centre. The former CIS (west) and SHL MVP has 18 points in 38 games this season but he’s pointless in his last ten games.

Now, I’ve momentarily considered Ryan a potential grab for the Oilers in the past, mostly because Stauffer has brought him up fleetingly (as he tends to do when he’s tossing out hints), but thought nothing of it because I was under the impression that Edmonton would be going after a bigger fish like Brian Boyle or Martin Hanzal. A typical fan’s train of thought, no? I mean, they could very well be looking to add one of those players as well but I do know that a right-handed centre is something they crave. What solidifies it for me are a handful of things:

  • Ryan is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
    • Ticks another box off of Bob’s checklist above.
  • He’s a former Golden Bear.
    • We love our home town boys but nobody loves them more than Bob and I’m sure he’d be first to admit it.
  • The Oilers are dead last in the NHL in FOW% (47.2%)
    • That shouldn’t mean too much because Columbus is 2nd last in the league but still, it’s a problem if the Oilers are going to do any damage in the playoffs.
  • Derek Ryan has a FOW% of 58.6% (394 taken, 231 won)
    • He’s 5th in the league behind Bergeron, J.Staal, Duchene, and Vermette (250 FO minimum).

Stats courtesy of NHL.com

If you fancy the fancies… I offer you the following numbas 5×5 amongst forwards from stats.hockeyanalysis.com:

  • CF60relTM: +1.28 (4th on CAR)
  • CA60relTM: +3.18 (8th on CAR)
  • FF60relTM: -.58 (6th on CAR)
  • FA60relTM: +1.1 (8th on CAR)

Not great advanced shot metrics in my opinion. He doesn’t promote shots or do much to prevent them.

On the powerplay (91 min), Ryan has a pts/60 of 3.78 which lumps him into the same pile as Mark Letestu (3.77) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (3.83). Other notable players in that same area are Martin Hanzal, Alexander Barkov, Ondrej Palat, Sean Monahan, and Anze Kopitar. Not too shabby.

The reason I mention the power play is because IF the Oilers were to acquire Ryan, he’d definitely be getting PP time to take some of the pressure off of Letestu and to give each PP unit a different look. And let’s be honest, McDavid’s unit could use a different option apart from Draisaitl’s bumper in the slot or Lucic down low. Teams are onto those plays now.

I can’t even imagine where to start when it comes to what the Oilers would have to give up to get Ryan. Vernon Fiddler was dealt for a 4th rounder, so I’m going to say that a mid-round draft pick is a good start. I mean the Hurricanes are looking pretty decent in the prospect department and according to capfriendly.com, they are projected to have about $13M in cap space at the deadline to play around with. So… If I were Peter Chiarelli, I’d see what it would take to get Carolina to take Mark Fayne off of my hands as well as send me Derek Ryan.

Mark Fayne + Brandon Davidson
Derek Ryan and a conditional pick

Thoughts? I don’t reckon Carolina necessarily needs Davidson but might be tempted… Who knows?

What do you think about the Oilers possibly looking into Derek Ryan? Let us know in the comments below the t-shirts!

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Beer League Hero Written by:

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  • Kepler62c

    I think he’d be a really good option – sort of an under the radar guy that won’t cost as much as the big names like Boyle and Hanzal. The Oilers want him to come in and play a bottom 6 “scoring” role and I think he’s got the resume to do that.

    That said, no way would I trade Davidson – there was a really good article yesterday (Edmonton Journal – Bruce McCurdy) about how the Oilers shouldn’t trade Davidson because he “might get taken in the expansion draft”. If you trade him it just means you lose Davidson and another promising young player (Pitlick, Khaira, Oesterle, Reinhart) – or even the forward who gets left on the protected list (Letestu or Kassian probably).

    And trading him for a rental UFA is not my idea of getting value for a player the Oilers have control over. But I will concede that it’s something to contemplate further if it meant dumping Mark Fayne.