Pro-rating the Best vs The (Almost) Worst


So, it’s the end of the season, and we’re consoling ourselves with the fact the Oilers were injured all season.  But, what if they weren’t injured.. What would the numbers have looked like?  In that spirit, I’ve pro-rated all the Oilers for a full-season as compared to the same thing with the Washington Capitals.  Now of course, this is not a statistically accurate representation of a dozen other possible variables, so take it for what it is, an “idea” of how they could have performed.

Step 1, we need to pick our “healthy roster”.  In that vein:





On defense:




We will go with the idea both Nurse and Pakarinen would have stayed in the minors if there were no injuries.  That also might apply to Oesterle, but we’ll pretend he gets called up earlier if Schultz was gone as a puck mover.  Points-wise, this is a more-or-less realistic roster, but that can always be debated.

Now, here’s the pro-rating:

Line 1: Maroon (72 points)-McDavid (87 points)-Eberle (56 points)

Line 2: Hall (65 points)-Draisaitl (58 points)-Yakupov (31 points)

Line 3: Pouliot (54 points)-RNH (51 points)-Kassian (18 points)

Line 4: Korpikoski (25 points)-Letestu (25 points)-Hendricks (14 points)

P1: Klefbom (33 points) – Sekera (30 points)

P2: Davidson (18 points) – Gryba (9 points)

P3: Oesterle (24 points) – Clendening (25 points)

What jumps out?  Well, our right side at forward isn’t great at all, whereas our left side and center are both pretty strong.  On defense, we definitely lack that power-play quarterback, and overall there’s not much scoring available there.  If we swapped Pardy for Davidson he pro-rates to 27 points, and if we bring Nurse in he’d have 12 points, and Fayne would have 8 points.  So, again, our left-side defense (since Sekera’s also technically a lefty) looks pretty good, and our natural right-siders (outside of Clendening) have very minimal scoring capability.  That’s the Oilers in a nutshell, weak down the right.

Now, let’s see how Washington compares..  This is easier because, well, they’ve had far far less injuries and their lines were more stable

Their lines are:








And, if we pro-rate:

L1: Ovechkin (74 points)-Backstrom (77 points)-Oshie (52 points)

L2: Burakovsky (39 points)-Kuznetsov (77 points)-Williams (52 points)

L3: Chimera (40 points)-Johansson (51 points)-Wilson (23 points)

L4: Winnik (21 points)-Richards (11 points)-Beagle (24 points)

P1: Orpik (20 points)-Carlson (57 points)

P2: Alzner (21 points)-Niskanen (32 points)

P3: Schmidt (18 points)-Orlov (29 points)

Ok, so let’s see..  Down the left the Oilers have arguable better talent than Washington, although that buys Maroon looking like Ovechkin thanks to McDavid.  Still, the Oilers look pretty solid on the left side of forward.  Down the middle, there’s more firepower at 2C than the Oilers have, but overall the middle doesn’t look all that bad either.  Looking down the right side, we see Eberle holds his own, but behind Eberle there’s a major drop-off in scoring by the Oilers down the right for the forwards, clearly a weakness there.

Looking on the back end, the Oilers actually have more talent on the left side when it comes to scoring potential, since Washington has most of their firepower on the right side.  Having said that, the Oilers lack anyone close to a power-play quarterback like Carlson, and if we set 18 points as the cut-off line, the Oilers iced 3 guys this year who pro-rate under that, one who pro-rates to that, and of the guys who pro-rate over 18 points, none of them should be on a 2nd pairing right now (Oesterle, Clendening and Pardy).

So, we’d have a very competitive defense with a Klefbom-(a guy who’s good for 45 points), Sekera-(a righty who can put up 20-some points), Oesterle-Clendening.

Going forward, it looks like the Oilers really need a new 2nd line RW and maybe a 3rd line RW (we can slide Kassian to the 4th line and it looks pretty good), and we need a 1st pairing RHD and a 2nd pairing RHD.

Who gets deleted in this formula?

Line 1: Maroon-McDavid-Eberle

Line 2: Hall-Draisaitl-(deletion, probably Laine or Puljujarvi here)

Line 3: Pouliot-RNH-(deletion)

Line 4: Korpikoski-Letestu-Kassian

So, the Oilers are one forward off once they draft a RW, and they can trade Hendricks and Yakupov off and maybe plug in a guy like Pakarinen there (pro-rated to 17 points).

On the back end,




Here, the Oilers are a little more hurting.  They only have Fayne and Oesterle to trade here, and could use two upgrades for the spot.

What does that mean for the pro-rated model? Well, Jason Demers pro-rates to 30 points (about his career number), so maybe you plug him in to that top-pairing with Sekera.  The numbers are a little low for the right side, but the left side is higher, so it works out not too bad.  We have a top pairing with 60 points versus 77 points.

On the second pair, one can pray that Yakupov and Davidson could get a guy like Vatanen, although it might be adding in a pretty solid pick on the Oilers part to seal the deal.  Vatanen pro-rates to 44 points, and Klefbom 30, so our second pair checks in at 77 points to Washington’s 54 points.  That closes up the gap with their top pairing.

Now, on our 3rd pairing, we have 49 points to their 47 points.  Pretty even now.

We end up with this as our (theoretical) 2016-2017 Oilers Roster:

Line 1: Maroon-McDavid-Eberle

Line 2: Hall-Draisaitl-Laine

Line 3: Pouliot-RNH-Pakarinen

Line 4: Korpikoski-Letestu-Kassian

Pair 1: Sekera-Demers

Pair 2: Klefbom-Vatanen

Pair 3: Oesterle-Clendening

Now, this completely ignores the fancy stats, points/60, time on ice, and a billion other things needed to conclude this roster would actually be better, but it gives you an idea how the Oilers, overall, compare to the best club in the league, and shows two basic things:

  1. We do not have very good right-wingers. I know, I put Hendricks on that line, but he was used in that capacity. Overall, the Oilers need a Top-6 RW (2 if they deal Eberle) and a Bottom-6 RW
  2. The Oilers desperately need a skill infusion on the right side of their defense as we all know, and it’s even more apparent when you look at our production numbers. We have some defensemen who really lack puck movement ability, and we need two guys like that to plug into our Top-4

Thanks for reading and flame on below!

Micah Kowalchuk Written by: