Oilers Top 25 Under 25 - #8 Magnus Paajarvi

Gregory Shamus

EDMONTON, Alberta (The Canadian Press) - The Edmonton Oilers have thrown away their new 65" Plasma TV, a Panasonic, 1080p 600Hz 3D HDTV, placing it in a dumpster behind Rexall Place today, they announced.

The $3,000 television has done nothing but display terrible shows like Heartland and Coaches' Corner recently and the team felt the television held little value.

Purchased to be the centerpiece of a high-powered office media system, the Oilers feel the television was just not delivering results. "We expected more out of the television, but every time we power it on, there is nothing but terrible shows on. It's a big disappointment," said Oilers' General Manager Steve Tambellini.

The club announced the move today and passers-by saw the television in the dumpster this afternoon.

It's completely asinine for anyone to throw a television away because it displays bad shows. Logical people would pick up the remote control and change the channel. The Edmonton Oilers (and a not insignificant portion of their fans), on the other hand...they throw the television away.

It's kind of obvious, given that the article is about Magnus Paajarvi that the shiny, new, high-powered television in the story above is an allegory for Paajarvi. The Oilers looked at the end result, didn't like what they saw, and rather than make changes to make Paajarvi more effective, they flushed his sophomore season.

Rank Player DOB Drafted Year Alan
Ben
Bruce
DB
Derek
Jon Ryan Scott
8 Magnus Pääjärvi 4-12-1991
10 2009
8 11 9 8
7 8
7 8

Previous Rank: #8

Paajarvi finished an uneven 2010-11 season on a high note. He was on a goal-scoring tear and began to learn the game and drive possession more than ever. Paajarvi finished his 2011-12 season in Oklahoma City. It wasn't just the Oilers that flushed Paajarvi, our panel was nearly universal in flushing him down the top 10. His four appearances in the Top 25 Under 25 are headed the wrong way: 3 --> 4 --> 5 --> 8 and he's accelerating down the hill. What in the blue hell happened?

Well, the Oilers only saw bad television, that's what. Check Paajarvi's underlying numbers:

  • 2nd in relative Corsi
  • 3rd in relative Corsi
  • 2nd in zonestart-adjusted Corsi
  • But his zonestart-adjusted Corsi of 3.01 outpaces everyone who faced similar qualcomp:
    8th - Jordan Eberle: -6.97
    9th - Eric Belanger: -5.64
    10th - Magnus Paajarvi: 3.01
    11th - Lennart Petrell: -21.9
    12th - Ben Eager: -13.09

    And it's not as if Paajarvi got the benefit of teammates, either. Here are the qualteam rankings of those above players:
    Jordan Eberle: 3rd
    Eric Belanger: 9th
    Magnus Paajarvi: 10th
    Lennart Petrell: 12th
    Ben Eager: 13th

    So Paajarvi is winning the possession battle, and to the eye, Paajarvi looks like he knows what he's doing in his own zone. He's defensively responsible and has made tremendous strides in the possession game. So again, what in the blue hell happened?

    In a word, PDO. PDO is a fickle temptress. Where does Paajarvi's 975 PDO rank last season? 12/14, driven mainly by his 3.56 on-ice shooting percentage, ranked 14/14. That awful on-ice shooting meant Paajarvi totaled just 6 even strength points in 481 5v5 minutes and 540 even strength minutes. His .75 points per 60 wasn't even the worst on the team, both Eric Belanger and Anton Lander trailed him.

    Paajarvi's most common linemate last season was Eric Belanger - Paajarvi played just short of 50% of his even strength time on ice with Belanger. Belanger spent all of 2011-12 locked in the worst slump of his career. Had Paajarvi been able to replicate his 2010-11 7.91% on-ice shooting percentage, he would've scored 16 even strength points in his 41 games, and his points per 60 would've ranked 3rd on the team, like his possession metrics.

    The talent is there. The player is a good one. He might never be a 30-goal scorer or a 60-point player, but he's already a 40 point player and has the possibility (with some power play time) of being a 50 point player. Right now? He's good, certainly better than most of the bottom of the roster.

    The Oilers flushed away a season of Paajarvi's ELC and some key development time because they didn't like the show on the television.

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