MAGNUS AND NAZEM

Lowetide
December 09 2012 02:41PM

Back on draft day 2009, the Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs were just outside the "top drawer" zone and well inside a group of 7 or 8 quality players ranked 7-15. The Leafs chose Nazem Kadri, Edmonton went with Magnus Paajarvi--and since then, both fanbases have been waiting for their arrival. Did the lockout finally give them a chance to settle in and find the range?

Way back in 2009, the Leafs were sitting at #7 overall and on the lookout for an impact player. The names available were Kadri, MPS, Jared Cowen, Scott Glennie, Ryan Ellis, Dmitri Kulikov. There was a famous exchange between Brian Burke and Bryan Murray (Ottawa) at the draft; The Sens wanted to move up and take Kadri, but that was the fellow Brian Burke had his eye on. Poor Kadri. Had the Senators drafted him, the player wouldn’t have as much pressure on him. An article in the Toronto Sun  in September 2010 gives us a nice glimpse into management’s feeling toward the player:

  • “He needs to realize the battle he’s in,” Wilson said after the Leafs’ 3-2 shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers. “We’re not giving him the job. He has to outperform at least two or three of those four to earn a spot.”

Kadri would turn 20 two weeks later. Since that day, Kadri has been close to a point-per-game player (102 points in 113 games) and has been up to the NHL a few times (51, 8-11-19). This season, with no NHL to focus on, Kadri has emerged as a quality offensve option:

  • Overall: 21, 6-15-21 1.00ppg
  • Evens: 21, 5-8-13 .619
  • PP: 21, 1-7-8 .381
  • PK: 21, 0-0-0 .000

That's a nice line from Kadri. He's a skill player with good speed and hands, maybe a little shy in the size department but also possessing some ability to agitate. Credit to Leafs' management, with maybe a small hat tip to the lockout, for being patient enough to allow the young man to find his way.

And for crying out loud don't trade him!

MAGNUS

In the fall of 2010, Magnus Paajarvi made the NHL Oilers and scored 15 goals as a rookie. Paajarvi saw significant time on the PP (3-6-9, 11th best total for rookies that year) and at evens (12-13-25, 12th best total for NHL rookies 10-11). However, Paajarvi got lost in the mix the following season and ended up in OKC trying to regain his confidence and scoring touch.

This season, it was thought that Paajarvi might get a chance to play with Ryan Nugent-Hopins and Jordan Eberle on the top line, and he did for a game. However, early on he was replaced by Teemu Hartikainen and has been playing on the 2line since then.

  • Overall: 21, 3-12-15 .715
  • Evens: 21, 2-6-8 .381
  • PP: 21, 1-6-7 .333
  • PK: 21, 0-0-0

Paajarvi is posting good numbers on the powerplay, but the even strength numbers don't imply a future on an NHL skill line--the same result as a year ago. It is likely (and I think many have felt this way for a time) Paajarvi's NHL role will be outside the scoring lines. Certainly Teemu Hartikainen has shown to be the more talented offensive player over the long term. Paajarvi's best position as an NHL player is probably as a 2-way type on a 3line, using his speed on the forecheck and to haul ass on the back check, while chipping in even strength points when opportunities arise.

And he is, at this point, a possible trade asset.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Not everything works as planned. In Toronto, Nazem Kadri looked like a failure in 2010 fall and I believe you can make a case that he's deserving of a legit shot on a skill line with the Leafs as of this writing.

For Magnus Paajarvi, I believe that opportunity on the skill line has been lost to Teemu Hartikainen, but that the young man might fit well in a secondary, support role. The Oilers may send him away in the next few months, but there's an opening for a smart speedster on the 3line and Magnus Paajarvi could be a perfect fit.

Lets talk in two more years.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#51 dougtheslug
December 10 2012, 01:11AM
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DSF wrote:

Actually, it is being settled on the ice.

It's not really going very well for Pajaarvi.

If the question is "Who can better manipulate obscure statistics to argue about how outcomes of current performance in present scenarios could possibly lead to predictable outcomes with respect to measurable performances in hypothetical future scenarios?" then sure, you guys are doing a helluva job answering it. If the question is, "Who is having the better NHL career?" then, my friend, that has to answered on NHL ice, which, sadly, is empty.(Removes glasses again, massages bridge of nose, shuts off computer.)

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#52 Wax Man Riley
December 10 2012, 01:12AM
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How about that Horcoff contract...

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#53 Brad
December 10 2012, 03:50AM
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Why do people argue with dsf? He's just here to piss people off.

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#54 dessert1111
December 10 2012, 07:53AM
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Why anyone would want to trade Ryan Jones right now unless for a serious overpayment is beyond me. He is one of the only guys in the bottom 6 actually producing offensively and he kills penalties reasonably well (and I don't care about this, but he will fight). If we assume the 7 vet players who rotate into the currentbottom six are, Smyth, Horcoff, Jones, Belanger, Eager, Petrell, Hordichuk, I don't know how anyone could have him at anything worse than 3rd on this list, and I'd personally have him right behind Smyth. Because of age and contract, he'd be the last guy I would trade from the bottom six.

If someone offers something really good for Jones, of course, listen to it, just like you would any other player. But the obsession with trading players who are producing at or above the level they are expected is mind-boggling to me. The Oilers need more players who can play in the NHL, not more draft picks and B-level prospects.

MPS: Last night I saw something that I liked, though it was kind of funny. Instead of trying to go around a defenseman like he always does to the outside, he tried to go thru him and got knocked right on his ass. If he can keep doing that, he'll learn how to not get knocked over -- he's not a small player -- but I just hope he keeps (slowly) adding grit. I wouldn't trade him at this point unless, again, it's an overpay, since his value is low right now and he isn't a uni-dimensional player and could absolutely be a 3rd line player. As far as scoring goes, his shot has always looked terrible by eye (to me at least), so I wouldn't expect him to add many goals. No reason why he can't stack up the assists with a goal-scorer on his line, though.

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#55 DSF
December 10 2012, 08:36AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

If the question is "Who can better manipulate obscure statistics to argue about how outcomes of current performance in present scenarios could possibly lead to predictable outcomes with respect to measurable performances in hypothetical future scenarios?" then sure, you guys are doing a helluva job answering it. If the question is, "Who is having the better NHL career?" then, my friend, that has to answered on NHL ice, which, sadly, is empty.(Removes glasses again, massages bridge of nose, shuts off computer.)

No need to delve into obscure stats...just take a look at goals, assists and points.

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#56 Time Travelling Sean
December 10 2012, 09:51AM
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DSF wrote:

No need to delve into obscure stats...just take a look at goals, assists and points.

In the AHL, what has he done in the NHL? Oh right, he hasn't, along with MPS, had a large enough sample size to determine what they can be.

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#57 Mike Modano's Dog
December 10 2012, 10:42AM
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Love the article, LT! I have thought about those two players, together for a while now. I still would take MPS. As for the others I know that most weren't rated as highly as those two so I still look at it generally as a choice between the two players. You can always look back and hand-pick the best players taken way later after a few years.

I have always loved MPS, so I should admit that right off the hop.

I would NOT trade him under any circumstances. I do believe he can become a VERY effective 2nd liner. No doubt his statistics don't reflect that at this point. Many effective NHL players don't show those kind of stats initially.

He has been buried in the depth chart along with the Belangers of the world, ever since his rookie year. I am glad he is getting a chance on the 2nd line, at least, on the farm this year.

I understand he may never become a 35 goal scorer in the NHL - but his defensive work is amazing, already. His speed, attitude and effort are all top-notch as far as I'm concerned. I'd like to see him with really good, offensive linemates and see what he could do. I thought he was the best fit Hemsky has had as a linemate in some time, so in a complimentary role, at this time with Hemsky, could work.

Look, I know I'm looking at this through rose-colored glasses because I love the kid, but I do believe that if we trade him he is going to put it all together on a team that believes in him. I think the Oilers should try doing that first, before considering trading one of the most physically talented and hard-working players we have had here in years (before the coming of Taylor Hall, etc...)

My take is he will become a very successful 2nd liner once he matures. But, if I am wrong I believe he will be one of the best 3rd-liners in the league at a minimum.

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#58 Mike Modano's Dog
December 10 2012, 10:53AM
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@dessert1111

You mentioned you saw him play last night. Is there a way for us to watch The OKC Barons play every game. I would be interested in doing that if there was a way, for sure.

So, if you know or anyone else can you please post that here? Thanks!

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#59 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 10 2012, 12:11PM
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Pajaarvi's biggest mistake was shortening his name. I'm convinced if he hadn't done that, he'd be a 30-40 goal guy already. Him and the Nuge could've been terrorizing goalies and announcers already... oh what could've been..

Change your name back Magnus! Then we can try and trade for that Smith-Pelly guy. That would be an awesome line.

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#60 DieHard
December 10 2012, 12:17PM
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Mike Modano's Dog wrote:

You mentioned you saw him play last night. Is there a way for us to watch The OKC Barons play every game. I would be interested in doing that if there was a way, for sure.

So, if you know or anyone else can you please post that here? Thanks!

http://www4.hockeystreams.com/

Cost is good. Quality is pretty good.

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#61 OILERSORDEATH
December 10 2012, 12:52PM
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DSF wrote:

I would think the jury is still out on Kadri but he is certainly showing some good signs.

He's currently 17th in AHL scoring at almost 1PPG and is +4.

According to Eakins, he lacks consistency and that certainly has kept many an AHL player out of the NHL.

As for Pajaarvi, many, many young players had speed to burn but couldn't carve out a niche in the NHL.

If he is going to succeed as a third line player, he's going to need to add some grit to his game and I'm not sure he has what it takes.

I've always thought he was very much like Jannik Hansen of the Canucks but Hansen hits everything that moves.

We'll see.

Yeah he especially hit the ice with his ass playing againts the Kings! God that was beautiful.

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#62 Oilertown
December 10 2012, 12:53PM
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Wow Oilersnation some of you really should take a step over to Lowetides other site it really is quite good and he even does pre Baron game blogs. There is is whole wide world outside of Oilersnation only problem is DSF posts over there as well perhaps even more then he does here. Just know where to get away from trolls.

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#63 Oiler Al
December 10 2012, 04:14PM
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Jones is a keeper.Needs to get nastier and become a Steve Ott type of player. Have Jones, Paajarvi and maybe Ladner on a speedy checking third line.

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#64 Chet134
December 11 2012, 07:00PM
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Everyone has to look at the numbers when it comes to the forwards; hall, Ebs, Nug, yakupov, hemsky, Gagner, smyth, horcoff, Belanger, jones, petrell, eager. Tell me where is the room paarjarvi, lander or hartikanien. We aren't making any trades cuz no one wants r trash. They want r young guns. Management has put us in a bind and we won't get out of it unless we buy players out or players that have big contracts start producing. Especially if the salary cap goes down. We're screwed

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#65 Chet134
December 11 2012, 07:03PM
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Everyone has to look at the numbers when it comes to the forwards; hall, Ebs, Nug, yakupov, hemsky, Gagner, smyth, horcoff, Belanger, jones, petrell, eager. Tell me where is the room paarjarvi, lander or hartikanien. We aren't making any trades cuz no one wants r trash. They want r young guns. Management has put us in a bind and we won't get out of it unless we buy players out or players that have big contracts start producing. Especially if the salary cap goes down. We're screwed

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#66 Chet134
December 11 2012, 07:10PM
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Everyone has to look at the numbers when it comes to the forwards; hall, Ebs, Nug, yakupov, hemsky, Gagner, smyth, horcoff, Belanger, jones, petrell, eager. Tell me where is the room for paarjarvi, lander or hartikanien. They dont make a lot of money and two way contracts. We aren't making any trades cuz no one wants r trash. They want our young guns. Management has put us in a bind and we won't get out of it unless we buy players out or players that have big contracts start producing then maybe we can make a trade. We also have to think about what happens if the salary cap goes down.We're screwed.

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