TSN’s Oilers Expansion Draft Protection List… What?!

If you’ve been keeping tabs on the Oilers through Twitter, you probably seen the momentary madness that was brought on by this tweet…

That is the Oilers protection list for the upcoming expansion draft. I found it over on TSN’s site here. Basically, it’s an article from TSN insider Frank Saravalli about how all the Canadian NHL teams protection lists might look come expansion draft time. We’ll find out who has gone where on June 21st, 2016.

So Saravalli, along with Pierre LeBrun and Craig Button, picked each team’s protection lists and this is what they had to say about the Edmonton Oilers’ list:

Twenty-five-year-old left-shot defenceman Brandon Davidson jumps off the page as the Oilers’ most vulnerable asset. His game took a huge leap last season with his ability to play the off-side on defence. But Davidson has been out since the season opener and rookie Matt Benning, who plays the right side naturally, has capably filled in, leaving Davidson potentially expendable.

Tyler Pitlick has played himself onto the protection list this season. Benoit Pouliot will likely be exposed because of his contract (two more years at $4 million per season).

The main argument here is coming from the analytics community and folks such as Oilersnation and Hockeybuzz writer, Matt Henderson.

This tweet re: Tyler Pitlick’s inclusion

I like Pitlick and also see him in the same Fernando Pisani-type manner that Lowetide does. But is there a threat from Las Vegas that he’d be taken if exposed? Could Jujhar Khaira replace Pitlick in the Oilers’ bottom six next season? Could Tyler Benson? Could Cal Clutterbuck (UFA this summer)?

Pouliot shot 18.1% with the Oilers in 2014/15…

Re: Benoit Pouliot

I question Pouliot’s ELITE 5v5 scoring a bit due to the fact his highest scoring season was 36 points and he’s done that twice, once with the Rangers in 2013/14 and last season w/Edmonton.

I know how one could look at his time in Edmonton and say that Pouliot is indeed an excellent producer given in his two previous years with the Oilers he put up some very nice totals whilst being limited to injury.

in 2014/15 he had 34 points in 54 games and in 2015/16 he had 36 points in 55 games. That being said, in 2014, his shooting percentage was 18.1% and in 2015, it was 12.8% but he’s always had some gaudy shooting percentages over the course of his career.

Anyways, we get back to the ELITE 5v5 numbers for Pou. According to stats.hockeyanalysis.com, from 2012-2015, Benoit Pouliot’s points/60 (5v5, 2000 minutes TOI minimum) was ranked 55th in the NHL w/1.96. He was sandwiched in there with the likes of Jason Spezza, Patric Hornqvist, Nick Foligno, and Jason Pominville. He was better than Daniel Sedin, Joe Pavelski, Alex Ovechkin, and Henrik Zetterberg, to name a few of the more prominent names.

So Mr.Henderson does indeed have a point here. I’m just not sure I put tons of value into it because he had only one healthy season in there (80 games played 2013/14 w/New York).

Another major argument is the disclusion of Brandon Davidson and my counter to that is the team has a young kid named Matt Benning playing right now and Chia’s summer signing is staying healthy and proving to be one of the team’s best defenders, much like Davidson did last year.

I also like to point out that there are going to be some very nice dmen available for Las Vegas to pick this summer and I wouldn’t be surprised at all of Davidson was skipped over because of his inability to stay healthy.

I mean that injury concern could very well be a blessing in disguise for the Oilers if he indeed is passed over. Depth on the backend is of the utmost importance these days. Another thing is, Davy can skate, move the puck, plays the body and he has a cannon!! He’s just shy to let ‘er fly. We’re finding out the value of blueliners who can skate and move the puck to be growing every year, regardless of what the fancies say (right Kris Russell?).

My surprise is that Letestu is on this list.

The Oilers have a young team with a lack of right-handed veteran pivots. Now that’s not to say that Letestu should be lining up in the top 6 but he serves a very important role in the bottom 6. I put value in what a hard working veteran can bring to the team. I was disappointed when Boyd Gordon was dealth because he was VERY good at his role.

I reckon that Kassian could be the one left off in lieu of say Brandon Davidson or Mark Letestu.

There’s one thing that could throw that list for a bloody loop and that’s IF the Oilers obtain a top 4 defenseman to run their PP. Like a Dougie Hamilton for instance… Then their list goes from a 1-3-7 to a 1-8 and players like Maroon, Pitlick, and Kassian would be exposed anyhow.

What do you think about TSN’s list? Let us know in the comments below!

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I'm the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I've been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I'll never leave my Oilers, no matter what! They're with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • Dave O’Brien

    I would tend to lean more towards the arguement that Davidson has been more unlucky that injury prone (impossible to say for sure). The problem for him is that he is behind at least Klef and Larsson in the depth chart (Any handedness) and Sekera has the NMC. If it were me I think I would prefer to expose both Pitlick and Kassian so as to protect Davidson. Kassian has been good, big guy who has some touch but he has never been a driver of possession. Pitlick is a loveable guy no doubt, but he makes markedly less of an impact than Davidson in my humble opinion. We’re only gonna loose one guy so exposing Kassian, Pitlick AND Pouliot ensures that at least two of them will stay, AND we get to keep Davidson. Just a thought