Season 8 profile: Oslo Outlaws

pro Oslo

Farm Club: Bergen (Norway) Bandits Bergen Bandits

GM: Chris Lee (3rd GM in team’s history)

Coach: Dave Cameron (replaced Dave Hakstol after 1 game of Sesaon 8. Hakstol replaced Claude Julien after Season 6, who replaced Peter Laviolette after Season 3)

Last season: 20th overall, out of the playoffs

Ins and Outs

(Season 7 to Season 8)

Out: Semyon Varlamov (trade), Devan Dubnyk (free agent), Matt Irwin (free agent), Nikita Nikitin (free agent), Tyler Kennedy (free agent), David Jones (free agent), Mikhail Grabovski (free agent), Guillaume Latendresse (free agent), Jarkko Immonen (free agent), Matt Niskanen (free agent)

In: Kari Lehtonen (trade), Anthony Mantha (trade), Olivier Roland (waivers), Marc Staal (waivers), Matt Murray (draft), Josh Anderson (draft), Connor Timmins (draft)

In Place

(Key players signed past Season 8)

Tyler Seguin, C; Zack Parise, LW; Connor McDavid, C; Matt Murray, G; Viktor Antipin, D; Zach Werenski, D

3qs

 

 

 
Three Questions

1. Should we expect another big jump from Oslo? Yes, expect Oslo to move into the middle of the pack this year and into the top half a season or two after. But before we get to the bright future, let’s dwell a bit on the dark past: three straight seasons in the basement before Season 7 started. At that point, any improvement at all would have made the laid-back Norwegian fans pretty content. To say their expectations were low would be an understatement. Season 7 and its 20th place finish was actually the best showing Oslo had since finishing 13th in the league in Season 2. The defensive statistics all improved in Season 7 and with Connor McDavid in the lineup and improving all the time, it shouldn’t take too many moves by GM Chris Lee to get the offensive numbers going in the right direction too. Lee gambled on an injured McDavid and took him second overall in the Season 6 draft. The gamble paid off with a 92PO player, but the guy Lee took in the second round of that draft turns out to be an even bigger payoff. Zach Werenski was a promising but unproven prospect defenseman at the time, a product of the U.S. National Development program. With Columbus in the NHL, he had a great rookie year and as a result, Lee gets a 94PO player, which puts him – someday – at Alex Pietrangelo level.

2. They are going to be great someday, aren’t they? No question about it, the Norwegians will spend a lot of time being a fearsome force and all Europe will cower in their shadow. It reminds us of Norway in the early 1040s, when Harald Hardrada was gaining strength to eventually lead the vikings on a rampage through Europe that lasted two decades. The Oslo Outlaws currently have five players between the ages of 20 and 26 with PO ratings of 90 or higher. That doesn’t mean much now, but brace yourselves, rest of the league. Today, the Oslo roster lists two goalies and four forwards with OV ratings of 80 or higher. They should have the talent to make the playoffs this season and end their 5-year playoff drought. While Oslo was able to use the draft to fill almost all of the key spots in the lineup, the Outlaws are still a little light at right wing. The acquisition of future star Anthony Mantha in a trade with St. Petersburg helps the right wing situation in the future. Mantha, a natural goal scorer, might find himself skating with McDavid for much of his career in Oslo. Fans will watch Murray, Werenski, McDavid, Gostibehere and others play through some growing pains this year, but this crew will be a fierce force soon enough.

3. What are Oslo’s top strengths and weaknesses? Suddenly, Oslo has great depth throughout the lineup, assuming everyone stays healthy. That means opponents looking for weak points to exploit will more than likely have time expire in the game before they find gaping holes. Two decent new goalies – first overall draft pick Matt Murray and his 35-year-old tutor Kari Lehtonen – give the Outlaws some peace of mind in the back end. The young defense corps isn’t very physical and they need some seasoning on how to play their position, but most of them can all skate well and they are good at puck handling, traits that make them dangerous offensive threats. Right now, you can call them a steady blueline group; in the future they will be called dynamic and dangerous. The forwards all have OV ratings of at least 72, which means no shifts off for the opposing goalie and defensemen. The team’s goals-per-game average has been on the rise for the last three seasons and it should go up again this season. One problem the team might have is reflected in the forwards’ defensive ratings – they are not great. That could mean more possession for opponents and less time with the puck for shifty Outlaws Tyler Seguin, Zach Parise, Shayne Gostisbehere and Connor McDavid. As we said earlier, the team isn’t that strong at right wing yet, and much of Oslo’s offense will have to come from center-left wing combinations like Seguin-Parise, McDavid-Tomas Hertl and Andrei Loktionov-Olivier Roland. If the right wings can dig out some pucks for the pairs, and then stay out of the way, Oslo could do some damage.

History

Season                 Place        PTS        PP %      PK %      SPG        SAPG     GPG     GAPG    PIM

Season 7              20         67    17.6      80.9    25.00      35.32      2.65     3.54   7.65

Season 6             24        54     17.5      78.3      25.51      35.61     2.50     3.90   8.54

Season 5              24       41    10.9       78.5     23.34      34.59    2.22   3.83   8.71

Season 4              24         47    17.9     72.3   25.56    35.09   2.50     4.05   11.59

Season 3              21          75    16.2    83.4    27.82    33.43   3.07    3.66    12.21

Season 2              13         91  19.0    84.1    29.43    29.89    3.43    3.13    14.78

Season 1              10          93   17.6    80.8    31.83    29.71    3.66    3.35    10.80

Top Draft picks

Season 1: Shea Weber, D, current age 33. Games played: 567; points: 379; +140

Season 2: Fredrik Norrena, G, age 38. GP 71, Save Pct. 88.8 (retired)

Season 3: Elias Lindholm, C, age 24. GP 65, Pts 24, -12

Season 4: Tomas Hertl, LW, age 24. GP 281, Pts 177, -84

Season 5: Viktor Antipin, D, age 21. GP 246, Pts 48, -74

Season 6: Connor McDavid, C, 20. GP 108, Points 93, -31

Season 7: Shayne Gostisbehere, D, age 23. GP 80, Points 38,  -47

Season 8: Matt Murray, G, age 22.

Trade History

Season 1 (picks without years listed are from initial draft)

Traded Round 5 pick (used to draft Andrew Ladd) and Round 7 pick (Alex Goligoski) toCopenhagen for Round 3 pick (Jimmy Howard)

Traded Round 4 pick (Radim Vrbata) and Round 6 pick (Johan Franzen) to Bern for Daniel Sedin and Round 12 pick (Max Talbot)

Traded Round 17 pick (Zac Rinaldo) and 2013 Round 1 pick (Alex Galchenyuk) to Minsk for Round 8 pick

Traded Round 8 pick (Andrej Meszaros) and Round 12 pick (Boyd Gordon) to Copenhagen for Alexandre Burrows

Traded Justin Williams to Geneva for Matt D’Agostini, 2014 Round 2 pick (Andrei Loktionov) and $250,000

Traded 2014 Round 3 pick (Samuel Morin) to Milan for Dustin Penner

Season 2

Traded Thomas Vanek to Prague for P-A Parenteau

Traded Mark Giordano to Stockholm for Mark Fayne and 2014 Round 3 pick (Guillaume Latendresse)

Season 3

Traded Jimmy Howard to Berlin for Semyon Varlamov and Jarkko Immonen

Traded Pavel Datsyuk and Shea Weber to London for Tyler Seguin and Luca Sbisa

Traded Ryan Suter to Gothenburg for Morgan Rielly, Eric Gelinas and 2017 Round 2 pick (Brayden McNabb)

Season 4

Traded 2016 Round 3 pick (traded later to Stockholm – Ryan Gunderson) to Helsinki for Wojtek Wolski

Season 5

Season 6

After Season 6 started: Signed Devan Dubnyk (free agent)

Season 7 

Traded 2018 Round 1 pick (Patrik Laine) to St. Petersburg for Devante Smith-Pelly and 2018 Round 1 pick (Shayne Gostisbehere)

Season 8

Traded Semyon Varlamov to St. Petersburg for Kari Lehtonen and Anthony Mantha

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