Edmonton Oilers Player Profile 2012 – Magnus Paajarvi

Magnus Paajarvi has practically become the forgotten Beatle on the Edmonton Oilers, as they continue to go through a pleathora of high draft picks. Paajarvi’s transition to the NHL hasn’t been quite as smooth as it has for some of the other younger guns on the Oilers.

The 10th overall draft pick from 2009 enjoyed his first NHL season by tallying 15 times, but went through a sophomore slump by only scoring twice in 41 games and them spent the rest of the year on the farm club in Oklahoma City. I truly believe a lot Paajarvi’s woes can be blamed on misuse by coaching and management. The rest can put on Paajarvi shoulders as longer he went without goals, the more it became a burden on his mind and then his overall game started to take a hit. Paajarvi will need to learn that his value won’t always be measured in goals and assists.

As the Oilers continue to take on young scoring machines, Paajarvi is a player that will have to find a way to view the game through a different scope. Taking more of a checking line role, learning how to penalty kill, learning how to use a counterpunch attack. The Oilers can use Paajarvi in these roles and it would only help with a deeper scoring attack. The Oilers are going to need reliable players, ones that can take a shift without being a detriment defensively, and I feel Paajarvi’s game will thrive once he learns the ins and outs of this style of game.

If I Could Grant One Wish – Courage: Magnus Paajarvi has a lot of the skills that Taylor Hall possesses, flying down the wing at high speeds and excellent puck control, but the thing that separates them is being able to finish off a play knowing there may be a chance that they might get their blocks knocked off. Courage is the thing that has dinged up Taylor Hall’s shoulders and its the thing that keep Magnus Paajarvi from finishing plays at the net. Scoring goals comes from putting the other team’s defense under constant pressure, but it comes at a high price of perhaps not finishing the game, perhaps even the season. If Paajarvi can find this trait within him, there will be no looking back and he should become a fixture on the Oilers for years to come.

Prediction  for 2013 – Will Achieve A Career High In Goals: Another ambitious prediction, especially with a lockout looming. I feel Paajarvi learned a lot from last season and the Oilers are willing to give him a depth role more suitable to his game. I feel Paajarvi and fellow countryman Anton Lander should be joined at the hip from here on out. Break them in on the 4th line, move them up the depth chart when injuries arise, and let them learn and feed of off each other. This shouldn’t be played like a normal 4th line though, more of a ten minute per game 4th line. The Oilers need to continue to monitor his contributions to the club but he is to the point where his contributions need to be seen on paper and on the ice. While some believe that Paajarvi should be given a straight ticket to OKC, I feel he should be given every opportunity to make the big club straight out of training camp.


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  • P. Miranda

    Agree 100%. Renney ruined this kid, and Lander, and Omark. These kids should have been given the reigns of the third and fourth line last year, and they would be a solid third line going into the season this year. A good coach knows the difference between needs now and needs tomorrow. Horcoff, Smyth, and Jones are solid alternatives / transition pieces for the future, why they became the defacto third line last year at the expense of the future is bizarre given the end result last year. We not only lost a year, but seriously jeopardized the growth / value of the assets (all three of them) at the same time. I am so glad Renney was let go. I am not saying he is a bad coach just not an effective head coach. And I am not quite convinced Krueger is the answer, though his previous track record suggests he knows how to manage assets effectively.

    • Dan Lizee

      Great points and agree with most of it. Renney kept putting Paajarvi with Belanger and that was beating a dead horse. Lander was slightly over his head, but I think if he was tied to Paajarvi in a 4th line role a bit more, it may have boosted both of their numbers. What ails Paajarvi and Lander isn’t going to be cured by the AHL, they need reps and a feeling like they belong. If they prove they belong, give them more minutes, if they prove they don’t then cut back their minutes and occasionally stints in the pressbox. Omark is a different situation and caught in the numbers games, only made worse by the addition of Yakupov. The Oilers don’t need more scorers, they need more players that will finish checks, battle for pucks and just be nasty to play against. Only so many mouths to feed and Omark will be the one left hungry. I’m not sure Krueger will have the answers because he was a part of the staff that didn’t have the answers last year. Its all about finding all these players the right roles, there can only be so many “go-to” players, the rest have to find other ways to survive and help the team win games.