Edmonton Oilers 2015-16 Report Card Thus Far

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Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Iiro Pakarinen, A-

Iiro Pakarinen has been one of the better surprises this season. “Iiro the Hero” as I like to call him, has been a pleasure to see this season. After being called up and not making the opening night roster, it is clear that Edmonton made the right choice of putting him in an NHL-crested jersey. He has three goals and two assists through 26 games with the Oil this season.

What is pleasant about Pakarinen is his ability to play on top lines or bottom lines and to remain absolutely consistent. He skates a tough game and is always creating chances in the offensive zone. He is a minus-5, but he seems decent on the backend. Pakarinen arises as a good player who can come in clutch in certain situations, and we are never afraid to put him in strong positions due to the fact that he capable of playing anywhere.

Another thing I like about Pakarinen is his size. He’s a big guy who can surely throw his weight around, and he’s a tough guy. Iiro is someone that I like having on this roster, and he is much better than some of the other guys out there. Though his stats aren’t team-leading or all-star worthy, they’re numbers, and though he might not put too much up on the scoreboard, he is producing chances on the ice.

That is what often goes unnoticed. Though he is not producing statistics, he is creating opportunities and chances every time his skates hit the ice. That’s why he gets the grade he has now.

Mandatory Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

Anton Lander, D

Oh, Anton Lander. Why have you let us down like this? Ever since scoring a hat trick in a preseason game, Lander’s performance has gone way down hill. He makes horrifying plays out there on the ice, and at times, it seems as if he is not quite sure of what he is doing. If that’s not concerning, I don’t know what is. But let’s take a minute to look at Anton’s numbers, and then you can see why I am giving him a D grade.

He has two assists this season and no goals. His second assist came Dec. 6, and that has been the only point he has scored in a while. He is unable to find the twine, and he lacks the ability to create chances or grind out there like a fourth line should. The center is also a minus-9 and has been horrific to watch on the backend.

Poor Lander’s performance has suffered so much that it is hard not to ignore the need for more depth at center, aka, the need for Connor McDavid to return so we can move each center down a notch and put Lander in the press box.

Don’t get me wrong. There are good things about the Swede. Usually, he is not the worst player on the ice, but after making the Opening Night Roster after a very impressive preseason, he has not been able to keep up with himself.

Also, he has 38 SOG and is good at winning faceoffs, but otherwise, there is not much to Lander this year. He either needs to step up on the ice or step off, and he has to start showing something quick. Otherwise, the organization will have something to say about his performance.