3.25.2008

Best Oiler Rookie?








With the season winding down it is an appropriate time to start gauging the performances of the future of this hockey team. The guys that I am going to look at are Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Tom Gilbert and Curtis Glencross.

Bios

Name

Age

Contract status

Sam Gagner

18

3 year entry level 875,000 per ~750,000 in bonuses

Andrew Cogliano

20

3 year entry level 850,000 per ~ 350,000 in bonuses

Tom Gilbert

25

Pending RFA 835,000 ~ 75,000 in bonuses

Curtis Glencross

26

Pending UFA Group VI 522,500

*all figures from www.nhlscap.com

Let’s look first at some overall statistics

Player

Goals

Assists

Points

PP/60

TOI/G

Gagner

12

36

48

2.50

15:33

Cogliano

18

25

43

2.49

13:30

Gilbert

12

19

31

1.09

22:10

Glencross

12

10

22

2.04

11:19

First off, Gagner does lead all these rookies in scoring, but when you break it down into points per 60 minutes Cogliano is right there with him with Glencross only trailing by 0.46. As well, Gilbert is logging an incredible amount of ice time for a rookie rear guard.

Ranking:

  1. Gagner
  2. Cogliano
  3. Gilbert and Glencross

Now let’s look at some even strength statistics

Player

Goals

Assists

Points

EV PP/60

EV TOI/G

+/-

Gagner

8

24

32

2.05

12:39

-19

Cogliano

15

19

34

2.46

10:43

0

Gilbert

10

11

21

0.94

17:24

-8

Glencross

11

9

20

2.04

10:18

+8

Looking at the even strength stats a couple of things jump out, first Cogliano is out producing Gagner even with playing less time. As well Gilbert being a D-man will take a hit in his point production. However the other glaring statistic comes from the +/- category. Gagner’s number is pretty atrocious (lupulesque) whereas, Glencross, Cogliano and Gilbert are significantly better.

Ranking:

  1. Cogliano
  2. Gilbert and Glencross
  3. Gagner

Now let’s look at power play statistics

Player

Goals

Assists

Points

PPP/60

PP TOI/G

Gagner

4

12

16

4.64

2:47

Cogliano

1

5

6

2.33

2:00

Gilbert

2

6

8

3.48

2:12

Glencross

1

1

2

2.15

0:58

Obviously, playing on the top power play unit has helped Gagner pad some of his stats, however, for a rookie scoring 4.64 power play points per 60 minutes is fantastic. In comparison the top power play scorer in the league Alex Kovalev scores at around 8.3 PPP/60 and Jaromir Jagr is scoring at 4.62 PPP/60. Then looking at Gilbert’s numbers he is scoring at 3.48 PPP/60 on the second unit and the leading PP scoring D-Man is Sergei Gonchar scoring at 6.28 PPP/60 while playing 3 minutes of PP time more per game. Not to be overlooked is Glencross scoring at a 2.15 PPP/60 which make me wonder why is Pisani in front of the net on the second line and not Glenner?

Ranking

  1. Gagner
  2. Gilbert
  3. Cogliano and Glencross

Now let’s look at some short handed statistics

Player

Goals

Assists

Points

SH TOI/G

Gagner

0

0

0

0:06

Cogliano

2

1

3

0:47

Gilbert

0

2

2

2:33

Glencross

0

0

0

0:02

Now I know that this seems like an unfair stat to look at since 2 of the 4 players do not kill penalties. However, I think that it would be unfair to Gilbert as he does eat up some serious PK time and that in his limited time Cogliano is a threat when out killing penalties.

Ranking

  1. Gilbert
  2. Cogliano
  3. Gagner and Glencross

Now we will look at some of the more trivial statistics

Player

Hits/60

Blocks/60

TA/60

GA/60

TA GA differential

Gagner

0.89

1.56

1.35

2.24

-0.89

Cogliano

1.33

1.62

1.68

2.66

-0.98

Gilbert

0.81

5.30

0.98

2.49

-1.51

Glencross

8.15

1.02

1.02

1.94

-0.92

TA = Take Away

GA = Give Away

Looking at these statistics a couple of things are noticeable first, Glencross has added an aspect that the Oilers sorely missed for the first 50 games in that he goes out and attempts to hit anything that moves. Second, obviously being a defenseman Gilbert will lead this quartet in blocks as he is the last line between the shooter and Rolie the rebound factory. As well, it is good to see that 3 of the 4 of these rookies are less than 1 in the take away give away differential.

Ranking:

N/A

So now that we have looked at how the rookies stack up against each other in each of the categories I will try to rank their seasons. The one factor that I think is greatly overlooked is the age of the rookies. Does being 25 and 26 detract anything from Gilbert and Glencross as they have had 5 years of extra development over Cogliano and 7 over Gagner? Does being the youngest player in the NHL and making the jump from junior straight to the NHL add anything to what Gagner has accomplished? Is it a good sign that Cogliano showed no second half slow down that has plagued other players making the jump from the NCAA to the NHL? Looking at the arbitrary rankings that I have given after each statistic the break down is as follows:

Gagner:

2 – 1st place finishes

0 – 2nd place finishes

2 – 3rd place finishes

Total = 8 points

Cogliano:

1 – 1st place finish

2 – 2nd place finishes

1 – 3rd place finish

Total = 8 points

Gilbert:

1 – 1st place finish

2 – 2nd place finishes

1 – 3rd place finish

Total = 8 Points

Glencross:

0 – 1st place finishes

1 – 2nd place finish

3 – 3rd place finishes

Total = 5 Points

Looking at this there is a 3 way tie between Gagner, Cogliano, and Gilbert. My vote however, goes to Gagner as when he is 20, 25 or 26 he will be the franchise player of the Oilers.

7 comments:

Josh said...

Gagner wins for two reasons:

1. Most first place finishes

2. The kid is 18 years old!!

He is a pretty incredible rookie. This team has a strong cohort in the 18-24 range. Some props to KP for drafting some young talent and KLowe for trading for it.

Tyler said...

I agree; gotta go with Gagner. Being so young, doing what he's been doing the last 30 games, (not to mention he has worked up the food chain this year to log the minutes and role he logs as opposed to Kane and others who were given those luxuries from day one). And what I like the most about his game thus far is the fact that he is succeeding despite the obvious physical short coming that come with being an 18 year old boy, playing a mans game. That really speaks volumes for me in regards to his level of skill, and understanding of the game. That said however you really cannot truly measure the impact that Glencross has had on the team. He brings that fight, fire and passion that keeps others honest and brings their game to new levels as well. Not to mention he hasn't had the same kind of time, games/minutes this year as some of the others on the list Who know what his stats may have read had been bleeding copper and blue, playing with line all season. Gilbert, for simply being a solid puck moving D-man who is not going to make you cringe defensively, with the lack of a mentor with such little big league time under his belt is unreal. Plus 12 goals already, are you kidding. There are a few bloated vets that wouldn't mind his goal/point production this year. We won't name names, but those nameless go without saying as disappointments this season. This just leaves Cogs and all that he's brought this year. Defense, PK, PP, timely goals, and all round sound play with point production rivaling Gagner while playing lower on the depth chart for large portions of the season. He has risen through the ranks as well and is already one hell of a player. Love the post, consideration has to go Brodziak as well. Great player. GO OIL GO.

I'm out;

Fish

Jon G said...

yeah the only problem with Brodziak is that he is not considered a rookie. But a sophomore that has had an excellent year.

Rory said...

Gagner has been the best rookie so far, 18 years old, probably the most highly touted rookie for the Oilers in a very long time (Rita anyone? haha). He comes into a hockey crazy city that probably makes grown players cry when they do not play well, he is still growing and while he was great on his own in London playing with Kane may have contributed to his stats (likewise with Kane having Gagner as a linemate). Second for me is Gilbert, -8 as a rookie defenseman on the Oilers is pretty good, and breaking a record previously held by Coffey is not too shabby either (although he will not likely come close to any other numbers he posted). Tie for third with Cogs and Glencross, Cogliano has been a clutch player lately and overcame a slump earlier in the year, but Glencross brings a lot of energy and playing his first year in the NHL and being this aggressive is great.

Jon G said...

What Rory, you do not think that Gilbert will light the lamp 48 times in a season? or get 138 points?

Josh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce said...

Hey, nice blog, just found it.

Great year for Oiler rookies, what with the four guys you named. Furthermore, both Brodziak and Stortini barely missed qualifying. Kyle just exceeded one of the GP restrictions, namely two seasons of 6+ GP (he played 10 and 6 GP respectivley the last two seasons); while Zack just exceeded the other, one season of 25 GP (he played in 29 games last year). But when you consider the limited ice time both had accumulated, it's not unreasonable to think of them as rookies too. And I think it's fair to conclude that all six had extremely promising seasons.

For future reference, Jon G., the NHL uses TK and GV for takeaways and giveaways. You particularly want to avoid using "GA" because that means something else entirely.