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Nurse, 1.1, McDavid, +40, Campbell, .910: Stats line we'd like to see for Edmonton Oilers in 2023-24

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Numbers measures gamers within the NHL, a few of the numbers being non-public, recognized solely to the analytics departments of NHL groups, others public and well-known.

All of those numbers communicate to the success or failure of every participant, which acquired me interested by what explicit quantity I’d like to see from every Oilers participant within the 2023-24 season, a single quantity that may considerably outline success for that participant this yr.

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For the previous 13 years, the Cult of Hockey has measured particular person Oilers by their particular person contributions to Grade A photographs for and in opposition to. By video evaluate, Bruce McCurdy and I’m going over each single Grade A shot, then decide which gamers made a serious particular person contribution on every Grade A shot for, and which gamers made main particular person errors on every Grade A shot in opposition to.

It’s a course of that takes us into the center of the sport, a very powerful on-ice occasion, with about 25 per cent of the Grade A photographs resulting in a purpose. On this piece, I’ll be referencing stats you’ve heard of, akin to objectives, assists, factors and NHL official objectives plus-minus, but in addition the Cult of Hockey’s document of contributions to Grade A photographs for and errors on Grade A photographs in opposition to.

Connor McDavid, +40 objectives plus-minus at even power. Previously three seasons, McDavid has been +22, +28 and +21 in NHL objectives plus-minus sturdy numbers. If this stat was a real measure of efficiency — and it’s not — McDavid would have the very best plus-minus within the NHL, however his quantity has been dragged down as a consequence of defensive miscues, primarily by his teammate, and by goalie errors. All that mentioned, If McDavid can get a career-high +40 this yr,  it will likely be a strong indication that the staff has discovered learn how to play higher slot defence, which is essential to the success of the 2023-24 Edmonton Oilers. Final season the highest plus-minus for a ahead was Joe Pavelski of Dallas at +42, so +40 is nicely inside McDavid’s attain. I might not be stunned if he reached +50.

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Leon Draisaitl, +2 Grade A photographs plus-minus at even power per recreation. If a centre is doing his job at even power, he’ll be +1 Grade A photographs plus-minus per recreation (see chart beneath). If a centre is dominant individually at even power, he’ll be at +2 per recreation. Within the final two seasons, for instance, McDavid has been at +2.25 and +2.36 per recreation. Draisaitl was at +1.54 final yr, +1.76 the yr earlier than. These are sturdy numbers, however Drai is able to extra, particularly if he can play stronger slot defence, an space of constant weak point in his recreation. If Draisaitl attains +2 Grade A photographs per recreation at even power, it would point out he’s getting it proper and dominating each on the assault and on defence, which is inside his capabilities.


Zach Hyman, 82 video games. In his first season with the Oilers, Hyman performed 76 video games, final yr 79 video games. He’s an aggressive forechecking winger, however the Oilers want him wholesome in the event that they’re going to make a robust run within the playoffs. He was down a quart as a consequence of numerous bumps and bruises final season, and whereas he’s by no means going to get by way of a season unscathed, if he performs 82 video games that ought to point out he’s typically been wholesome and sure able to carry his “A” recreation within the playoffs.

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Evander Kane, 50 even power factors. Kane fought by way of two main accidents final yr, scoring 24 even power factors in 41 common season video games. If he can put up 50 even power factors this yr — which approaches the 57 even power factors Hyman acquired final yr — that can point out a wholesome and productive season for Kane. Final yr solely 40 NHL forwards acquired 50 even power factors but when he’s wholesome and enjoying wing with both McDavid or Draisaitl, 50 even power factors ought to be inside Fa Afo’s attain.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 30 objectives. Final yr RNH potted 37 objectives, a career-high, with 28 objectives in his subsequent finest season. I might not anticipate him to attain ever better numbers of objectives, but when he can get greater than 30 this yr, he’ll be getting it executed for the staff.

Warren Foegele, 82 Grade A photographs. Foegele is a dependable two-way winger who may be counted on defensively and brings some offence from time to time. However it could be good to see a bit extra offence from him. A technique he can do that’s to deal with charging the web for photographs and likewise getting open extra within the slot. Final yr he managed to fireside off 57 Grade A photographs in 67 video games. This yr it could be high-quality to see him play all 82 video games and get off one grade A shot per recreation, 82 in complete.  That will be a rise from 0.9 per recreation to 1.0 per recreation, which ought to be do-able.

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Grade A shots

Ryan McLeod, +1.5 Grade A photographs per recreation. McLeod was a strong two-way centre/winger final yr, ending +1.11 Grade A photographs per recreation, making main contributions to 2.04 Grade A photographs per recreation, with errors on 0.93 per recreation. He’s already a strong defensive participant, but when he could make that his focus, together with driving arduous up the ice and to the web on the assault, there’s room for enchancment in his particular person recreation, which can be mirrored in his Grade A photographs plus-minus. Attaining +1.5 per recreation would put him within the class of a distinction maker within the common season and an important piece on a staff with Stanley Cup ambitions.

Mattias Janmark, lower than 0.4. main errors on Grade A photographs ES per recreation. I don’t assume the Oilers have had a defensive winger nearly as good as Mattias Janmark because the Fernando Pisani was on the squad. Janmark is an excellent backchecker and positional participant in his personal zone, who additionally has the power to win puck battles and skate and cross the puck out of his personal finish. When he acquired injured within the playoffs, it was a serious blow to the Oilers. Final yr he made simply 0.34 main errors on Grade A photographs at even power per recreation, a small fee of such errors for a winger. This yr if he can come near replicating that efficiency, he’ll be greater than incomes his minutes.

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Grade A major plus-minus

Dylan Holloway, 12:00 even power minutes per recreation. In his rookie season, Holloway performed 8:53 even power per recreation. If he can get that as much as 12 minutes a recreation, it’ll be a sign that he’s earned the belief of his coaches and is extra persistently discovering a strategy to contribute to Edmonton along with his strong mix of measurement, talent and velocity.

Derek Ryan, +11 objectives plus-minus. Ryan acquired the job executed final season as a wise, efficient two-way winger and heart. His objectives plus-minus was +11 final yr. If he can replicate that stage of play, and his linemates don’t let him down, he can attain that very same +11 this yr.

Connor Brown, 20 even power objectives. Probably the most that Connor Brown has ever scored earlier than is 17 even power objectives, however Brown has by no means performed with attackers like McDavid and Draisaitl earlier than. He’s going to get some shifts within the Prime 6, which is able to give him the chance to realize a career-best 20 objectives at even power this season. For a comparability, Zach Hyman scored 21 even power objectives in every his first two seasons in Edmonton.

Darnell Nurse, lower than 1.2 main errors on Grade A photographs ES per recreation. Adam Larsson was the very best defender the Oilers have had within the McDavid period, however I’d prefer to see Nurse step up and take that crown. Larsson was fierce when it got here to defending the slot. So was Kris Russell. Each gamers did a fantastic job blocking attackers coming into the slot and masking open attackers there as nicely, blocking them from getting off photographs. Nurse tends to wander an excessive amount of in his personal zone and too usually fails to cowl off the slot. This failing was made worse due to the Oil’s man-to-man defensive system, which asks gamers to stay with their test wherever they go within the defensive zone. It’s as much as the Oil’s teaching employees to give you a greater, easier system, such because the zone Vegas employed to throttle again the Oilers within the playoffs. And it’s as much as Nurse to make fewer errors on even power Grade A photographs per recreation, to submit a quantity not seen since Larsson and Russell have been right here. Even an excellent d-man goes to make one main error per recreation, on common. Larsson was at  simply 0.93 and 1.11 main errors on Grade A photographs per recreation in his finest years right here, 2019-20 and 2020-21. It could be nice to see Nurse in that very same territory.

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Mattias Ekholm, lower than 1.2 main errors on Grade A photographs ES per recreation. What applies to Nurse additionally applies to Ekholm, a big, skilled and extremely succesful d-man. If these two rise as much as the defensive stage of Larsson and Russell of their primes — and, once more, that is additionally depending on the Oilers coaches arising with a sharper, stingier defensive system that protects the slot space first, second and third — then the Oilers can be a brutal staff to play in opposition to, glorious each on the assault and on defence.

Evan Bouchard, 15 even power objectives. Bouchard scored six even power objectives final yr, 10 the season earlier than. I’d prefer to see him explode for 15. I strongly suspect different groups are going to faithfully copy the Vegas zone in opposition to Edmonton, conserving two d-men and one ahead within the slot space to thwart McDavid and Draisaitl from speeding the puck on the goalie. One of the simplest ways to beat a zone is with lethal outdoors capturing. Bouchard is the very best guess to perform that. He’s acquired an hellacious outdoors shot, and if different groups play the zone, he ought to get loads of probabilities to let it rip, making 15 even power objectives nicely inside his capabilities.

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Cody Ceci, 14:00 minutes at even power per recreation. For Broberg to get extra time, one thing has acquired to offer. Ceci’s play can return to 2021-22 ranges, when he was a robust d-man, however that doesn’t imply his ice time needs to be as excessive because it was final yr, when he was at 17:08 per recreation even power. Within the regular growth of a staff, older vets should make method for youthful expertise, and I anticipate Broberg to step up, with Ceci making strategy to some extent, at the same time as Ceci performs sturdy defensive hockey.

Brett Kulak, 25 factors, +15. Kulak was weak to start out the yr, then acquired stronger within the second half earlier than excelling within the playoffs. He’s able to construct on that momentum and hit new profession highs in each factors and plus-minus.

Vincent Desharnais, 2:30 short-handed time on ice per recreation. Together with his measurement, attain and battle skill, Desharnais generally is a sturdy penalty killer within the NHL. He confirmed indicators final yr, enjoying 2:14 per recreation. If he can up {that a} bit, it will likely be a sign he’s attaining that purpose.

Philip Broberg, not less than 14:00 even power minutes per recreation. Broberg has the scale, attain and high-level skating skill to be a shut down defender in a Prime 4 function, so I’d like his stats to mirror that type of development. He performed simply 11:30 per recreation at even power final yr. If he can get to not less than 14:00 per recreation this yr, that may characterize progress.

Jack Campbell, a .910 save proportion. Campbell had an .888 save proportion final yr. Not good. Not even near good. His profession common is .910. If he can get it again to that — and it ought to be attainable if the Oilers tighten up their slot defence in entrance of him — the outcry in opposition to Campbell can be changed with a smattering of applause.

Stuart Skinner, a. 912 save proportion. I’m not asking Skinner to be higher than he was final yr. But when he can replicate final seaon’s strong outcomes, that can be large for him and the Oilers.

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