May 24 2016 11:00AM
Coming into the 2015/16 season, there was a sense of optimism around the Columbus Blue Jackets. Their 2014/15 campaign was rife with injuries, even in the face of career seasons from Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno. The team added Brandon Saad in the off-season, and with hopes of a healthy campaign from the majority of the team, many, many, many, many outlets pegged the Jackets to return to the playoff picture.
That positivity ended about eight games into the season, after a pathetic 0-8-0 start, resulting in the firing of head coach Todd Richards. In one of the more mocked moves of the season, the team decided to willingly give up a second round pick in order to hitch their wagon to John Tortorella as their long-term coaching solution. It didn’t help. Lack of depth and blueline scoring, an entirely inadequate defense, Sergei Bobrovsky forgetting how to goalie for large stretches, and the continuation of the injury woes from 2014/15 wreaked havoc on the Blue Jackets, submarining the team before October was even through.
May 23 2016 09:10AM
With the draft one month away it's time to start ramping up our focus towards it even more.
Most of the talk so far has been surrounding the real top tier players of the draft like Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine. But there are six more rounds past the first one, and there are plenty of future NHLers that'll come out of this draft that up until now you've never heard of in your life.
Luckily, we have little tricks to help us try and identify who those players might be.
May 23 2016 09:00AM
Over the next month, we at NHLnumbers are going to be taking a look at where each team in the league currently stands based on what we learned from them last season, and where they realistically can and should go this summer with the resources and cap space they have.
It’s pretty easy to look at the Edmonton Oilers’ 2015-16 season and say it was a complete disaster. I mean, you wouldn’t be wrong to view it that way, considering the fact they finished second last in the league standings and allowed their playoff drought to reach a decade in length. Their 31 wins are barely an improvement from all the way back in the 2009-10 season when they had 27, which is when they officially started tanking and their oil change began.
If you told Oilers fans after they drafted Taylor Hall first overall that summer that the team would be fooling around in the league’s basement with a 31-43-8 record six seasons later, they most certainly wouldn’t have believed you. If they did believe you, they probably wouldn’t have assumed the rebuild was a total dud, but instead, the season’s failure was the result of unfortunate circumstances. And that wouldn’t be entirely wrong.
May 23 2016 08:00AM
Technically the first member of our first round projections, Carl Grundström is a personal favourite of mine, and not just because of what names came out of the similarity model (although that helped - more on that later). Grundström is a Swedish two-way winger who plays what might be considered a Canadian style of game. He bangs and crashes, but he can back it up with some soft hands and an impressive shot.