Teddy Purcell was a useful utility player for the Edmonton Oilers for the majority of the season. By eye, and by the various bloggers out there, he was an under appreciated player that was ultimately traded to the Florida Panthers in the final year of his 3 year 4.5 million AAV contract. Purcell generally plays on the right wing, although this was not the case after the trade, and has shown throughout his career that he can be a useful utility player.
Unfortunately, as Left Wing Lock only shows the most common linemates from the players current team, I don't have any hard numbers about who he played with while he was with the Oilers. I can say with some authority, however, that he started the season with Taylor Hall and Connor McDavid and steadily slid down the line up as the season progressed. Once he was traded to the Panthers, more because of his contract rather than his ability, he ended up slotting in on the left wing alongside a variety of centers and the clearly better right wing Jiri Hudler.
So, Purcell is a right shooting right winger by trade but became a left winger by necessity. Splitting the season with the historically bad Oilers (61 games) and the Atlantic Division winning Panthers (15 games), the question is are the following numbers an accurate representation of his ability over the course of a single season or was there a bump in the numbers after the trade. In this case, a midseason trade, I feel it's of particular importance to give a little more weight to his career stats, across 4 teams, rather than looking at the last season in particular.
On the other hand?
Holy crap! He played the majority of his season with the Oilers. The Oilers are bad, there's no nice way to put it. In 82 games (regular season and playoffs) Teddy Purcell showed why the the Oilers traded for him and why the Panthers wanted him. Thirty even strength points is nothing to sneeze at and he produced surprisingly well given his ice time per game. Granted, he was given some quality zone starts by the two coaching staffs but he didn't waste them at all. He had a marginal positive in his possession while also driving scoring chances relative to his teams. His high danger scoring chances were worse than his two teams but not by much. This tells me he's not a game breaker in either direction but still managed to keep pace with his team mates.
Historically speaking, what can we expect from him in the future?
Well, we can expect what we saw this season. He's a solid middle six winger. He's generally been a good scorer, has usually helped to drive possession but has always relied on softer zone starts to facilitate this. He can play both wings, he shoots right, and he has shown that he can be responsible under most circumstances. With the Flames management waiting for bad contracts to expire, and Purcell likely to take a massive pay cut during free agency, I think the Flames could possibly benefit from taking a chance on him. One year at 2 million sounds about right to me given the Flames' circumstances but this is probably the first, and only, player in this series that I would take a pass on.
Still, he should be cheap and he actually is quite good if you don't give him too much work so the Flames may pursue him given their lack of right wing players. He's worth a look at least.
Next up, yet another Maple Leaf, Michael Grabner.