Now that Leon Draisaitl is equipped to be an Oiler for a very long time, it’s time to start thinking about his on-ice performance next season.
Joining us to talk along with yours truly are Corey, Pat, Matt, Shona, and old friend Derek.
Q:) What kind of numbers do you expect Leon to put up in 2017-18?
Corey: I'm thinking 65-70 points as a second line center who plays on PP1. His 82 game pace, including playoffs, since the start of 2015-16 is 71 points. That includes a good chunk of time with Mcdavid, but I believe Leon's still growing as a player. If he puts up that point total with the linemates he's likely to get, we should all be very impressed. The Oilers really don't have much to brag about in top-6 wingers, after losing Hall and Eberle in consecutive offseasons.
Pat: Depends where he plays. If he's a winger on the top line again as I expect him to be, 75-85 points sounds about right. If he's centering the 2nd line and facing second pairing defensemen, I'm not exactly sure his point totals but I don't expect a huge drop.
Matt: It will depend on where they put him. I'm sure he'll see top PP time, and he feasted in that role last season. His production at evens will, in my opinion, heavily depend on his usage. If he's Connor's wingman for another season, he'll probably be in the 70-85 point range. If he's anchoring his own line, it's a lot harder to project, but I don't think seeing a drop of 10-15 points is unreasonable - putting him around 55-60. And there's the rub. The Oilers just traded a guy who produces like that for cap space plus, and he was making $2.5MM less.You
Shona: I honestly haven't thought much beyond good ones. Since he had 77 points last season, I would say something maybe 10% more, but more of those points coming away from McDavid than we saw this year. Or a shit tonne of points if he plays all year with McDavid.
Derek: If he carries the second line on his own, he'll be in a weird spot where he could get some decent matchups, but with who riding on the wings? He'll get his 25 points on the power play, and let's say 30 points at evens. If he's able to break-even against second lines at 22, it should be okay, but only for this 22 YO season. After this, for the money he's being paid, he needs to disembowel his matchups like he's Evgeni Malkin.
Jeff: I think they’re going to try to put him on the second line during training camp, and it might carry over to the season. If he swims at 2C, I think a 60 point season is in order. If they get cold feet and put him on the first line with 97, I think 70-75 points is a more likely scenario. The trick here is not to attack the man’s practice habits if he doesn’t eclipse his 77 point mark again, which is entirely possible. I’m looking at you, Remenda.