Where Will Cooper Marody Play Next Season

As everybody is likely aware of by now the Oilers have signed the NCAA C Cooper Marody to an entry level contract.  Although the contract details are not confirmed capfriendly.com has the numbers at 3 years with a $925k cap hit and there is no word of bonuses as of yet.

To help get an idea of how Marody will fit into the Oilers forward depth charts I’ve put together a table comparing his NCAA seasons to Drake Cagguila, Patrick Russell and Joseph Gambardella all of whom were signed as UFA’s from the NCAA.  Note that these players all finished their NCAA careers and were UFA’s as they didn’t sign with the NHL team that had drafted them while Marody is turning pro with 1 year of NCAA eligibility remaining.

Player Age League Team GP G A Pts NHLE
Drake Cagguila 20 NCHC Univ. of North Dakota 42 18 18 36 28.8
Drake Cagguila 21 NCHC Univ. of North Dakota 39 25 26 51 43.9
Joseph Gambardella 21 H-east UMass-Lowell 40 10 27 37 28.5
Joseph Gambardella 22 H-east UMass-Lowell 41 18 34 52 39.1
Patrick Russell 21 NCHC St. Cloud State Univ. 40 10 15 25 21.0
Patrick Russell 22 NCHC St. Cloud State Univ. 41 20 21 41 33.6
Cooper Marody 19 BIG 10  Univ. of Michigan 18 5 10 15 21.6
Cooper Marody 20 BIG 10  Univ. of Michigan 40 16 35 51 33.0

Players age is the age they were at the start of the season. I’ve used the calculator found here to calculate the NHL equivalencies.

Marody vs Russell

Well at first glance of the NHL equivalencies it appears that Russell and Marody produced at very similar levels in the NCAA but the big deal here is the ages.  In Marody’s final season he is a full 2 years younger than Russell in his final season and the best comparison may be Russell’s 21 year old season vs Marody’s 20 year old season which shows that even at a year younger Marody’s NHL equivalency is 12 points higher than Russells.  I think this clearly shows that while at the time of each player turning pro they are fairly even offensively we can project Marody quite a bit higher due to the age difference.

Since turning pro Russell has 44 pts in 133 games in the AHL.  I think it’s safe to assume that Marody will be put into a more offensive role than Russell and is ahead of him on the Oilers depth charts.

Marody vs Gambardella

Gambardella was clearly more of an offensive threat than Russell in NCAA hockey at the same age but when we compare him to Marody we see that Marody’s 20 year old season is actually ahead of Gambardella’s 21 year old season.  Again I would project Marody to have a higher offensive ceiling than Gambardella but I wouldn’t say that he’s more NHL ready turning pro than Gambardella was last season.

Gambardella has 20 pts in 53 games in the AHL since turning pro and I think this will be a good measuring stick for Marody.

Marody vs Cagguila

Cagguila had the best offensive numbers from NCAA hockey when turning pro and Marody’s NHL equivalency is a full 10 points behind Cagguila’s in their final seasons but when we compare their 20 year old seasons Marody actually has a 5 point lead.  These two players look fairly close in regards to offensive production in the NCAA but Cagguila played with Nick Schmaltz in both his 20 and 21 year old seasons and Brock Boeser in his 21 year old season which raises the question of who was actually pushing the offense. Marody on the other hand is clearly the leading offensive player on his team as Tony Calderon is second on team scoring with 45pts in 40 games as a 23 year old. Based their NCAA careers I think it’s safe to say that Marody’s offensive ceiling is higher than Cagguila’s but because he is turning pro a year earlier I don’t think he is as NHL ready as Cagguila was when turning pro.

Since turning pro Cagguila has 38 pts in 127 games all in the NHL.  There are some who believe that Cagguila only signed with Edmonton because he was promised NHL time rather than playing in the AHL but honestly I’m not sure the Oilers have had a better option over Cagguila the past couple of seasons so I’m assuming he’s in the league based on merit.

So… Where Does Marody Fit?

At this point I think it’s safe to assume that Marody will get a look in training camp and have an outside chance to make the NHL roster competing with guys like Cagguila, Aberg, Ty Rattie (if he re-signs) and Kailer Yamamoto.  I don’t think Marody will beat out any of the more veteran players in training camp and I also don’t think he’s as much of an offensive threat as Kailer Yamamoto so I would pencil him in on an offensive line in Bakersfield.

If Marody plays the entire season in Bakersfield and can put up better numbers than Gambardella I think that should be considered a success.

Watch Cooper Marody if for nothing else to hear how his name is pronounced:

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