Should the Rangers target Leon Draisaitl as a big splash?


The Edmonton Oilers have been swept proper out of the playoffs by the Winnipeg Jets, and nearly instantly the Connor McDavid spitballing began. The Oilers aren’t going to maneuver McDavid, however the Jack Eichel scenario could scare them into making selections to get McDavid some assist. They’re a large number, they usually need assistance all around the lineup. Their greatest commerce chip, except for McDavid in fact, is Leon Draisaitl, and it might definitely qualify as an enormous splash for the Rangers.

The Oilers are set to misplaced Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to free company, taking away their third greatest offensive weapon. Their goaltending simply price them not less than a sport in that sweep. Their protection is headlined by…..somebody? It is a crew that wants assist in every single place. And the Rangers are the crew that has the property. If they’ve the property to land Eichel, they’ve the property to land Draisaitl.

Only a reminder that there’s not a single rumor pointing to Draisaitl being obtainable. That is simply pure spitballing. It isn’t even hypothesis.

Draisaitl is all offense

Leon Draisaitl is the non-McDavid commerce chip that may carry them probably the most. The 25 12 months outdated performs all three ahead positions and has been an offensive drive since paired with McDavid. The man has put up three 100 level seasons (2021 was a 100 level tempo) in a row. He’s a drive on the powerplay and a really expert gamers. However, as with all gamers, there are issues.

Everyone knows what Draisaitl is offensively. One of many largest issues is his play away from the puck. It’s a justified concern, as his defensive numbers are fairly dangerous. It’s nearly as if he performs in two zones. The proper coach and the proper system can get some purchase in on the defensive facet of issues. Usually talking although, placing up 100 factors is definitely worth the defensive lapses.

It’s not only a blip both for Draisaitl. He’s one of many worst defensive gamers within the league. Now don’t learn that the unsuitable approach. At 100 factors, he seemingly outperforms all of his defensive woes. However don’t assume you’re getting McDavid or Eichel. He’s a step under each as a whole participant.

What about his play with out McDavid?

The opposite massive concern is what he can do with out one of the best participant on the planet. Can he put up the factors with out him? Or will he stumble to “simply” underneath some extent per sport tempo? Once more, we aren’t going to see Draisaitl utterly crumble with out him. However we’d see a downtick in factors and offensive influence.

The above is Draisaitl’s WOWY from this season. Now these must be taken with a grain of salt, as they’re a bit noisy and depending on good knowledge with some flaws. Once more, use it to color an image. The center cluster is the common Draisaitl. The purple field round McDavid is how far he carries Draisaitl when paired collectively. It’s a major enhance.

Now look to the blue field to the left across the quantity 97. That’s how far Draisaitl falls when with out McDavid. Two issues leap out at me right here:

  1. McDavid drives an enormous chunk of Draisaitl’s offensive influence. Do not forget that offensive influence is extra than simply factors.
  2. The protection stays the identical – dangerous.

The play with out McDavid, mixed with the numerous gap in his sport, make Leon Draisaitl a really dangerous proposition for the Rangers or any buying crew. Assuming Edmonton seems to maneuver him.

Purchaser beware

Draisaitl comes with an $8.5 million cap hit for the subsequent 4 years, which is akin to Eichel. Eichel is a threat due to his harm. However Draisaitl is wholesome and maybe an even bigger threat as a result of he could also be a product of taking part in with one of the best participant on the planet. If the Rangers are going to surrender the identical items to amass one or the opposite, than I’d go together with the harm threat. At the very least he could be placed on LTIR.

This isn’t to say the Rangers gained’t profit from having Leon Draisaitl, or that any commerce could be a catastrophe. It’s portray a full image of who Draisaitl has been as a participant in his younger NHL profession. There’s important threat.

Charts from Evolving-Hockey and Hockeyviz.


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