Andrew Cogliano is no longer with the Edmonton Oilers. He was traded to the Anaheim Ducks for a second-round pick in 2013 that the Oilers will either flip to pick up an NHL player sometime in the next two years, or to draft a player who's a very good bet to provide less value in his career than Andrew Cogliano will in the rest of his (new contract notwithstanding). I like Andrew Cogliano. He made his share of mistakes, but I thought he had improved substantially in the defensive zone, and was actually quite good positionally in the offensive zone. He was probably one of the Oilers' best penalty-killers last season, and for all the hand-wringing about his offense, he scored at least 25 even strength points for the fourth consecutive season, which also makes him one of the the top 200 forwards in EV scoring each and every season. Not everyone on the panel agreed with me though. Some obviously thought Cogliano wasn't improving, and others that what he provided now was of little or no value:
Cogliano in the 20's? It just seems ridiculous to have a young guy who's been a consistent NHL scorer that low. But the fact of the matter is that Cogliano is gone, which means he needs to be replaced on the Top 25, and I think we all know which guy just barely missed the cut. After the jump, we'll take a look at #26, Tyler Bunz.
Just kidding! Somehow or another, Bunz lost out to the neither venerable nor terrifying Chris VandeVelde. That Derek and Ben have an irrational hatred of Cogliano is really driven home by the fact that both of them like the slightly older and much worse VandeVelde better. To recap my perspective, here's what I said about VandeVelde when the series opened:
In our last set of rankings, only Jonathan had him outside the Top 25, but VandeVelde had a real Jekyll and Hyde season in 2010-11. In the AHL, he was Mr. Hyde: just 16 points in 67 games to go with a team-worst -17 rating, and not much evidence that he was playing the toughs. Yet somehow that was good enough to earn a call to the big club (I'd have been pissed if I was Brad Moran or Milan Kytnar), and that's where we saw Dr. Jekyll make his appearance, which isn't to say that he looked good, but he didn't look nearly as bad as I was expecting: a 53.6% EV faceoff percentage on 125 draws, a Relative Corsi of -13.5, and two points in twelve games with a -6 rating, which projects out to 14 points and -41 rating over a full 82-game season. Okay, so maybe it was more like Hyde and Hyde. But he can win faceoffs!
Nothing has changed. Chris VandeVelde's debut as a professional was awful. He was a bad AHL player who was then called up to the NHL where he was, unsurprisingly, a bad NHL player. It's possible that last year was just a tough adjustment to pro hockey and that he'll end up improving substantially in 2011-12. But I wouldn't bet on it.