It doesn’t take too many brain cells to figure out the Oilers want to add big, strong “enforcer” types to their arsenal. The club dealt for Kale Kessy (left) just the other day, and this afternoon signed him to an entry level deal. What does this mean for the pro roster?
Kessy is a big kid (6.03, 200) who has 2 hat tricks so far this playoffs (6, 7-2-9) and a brand new contract. The Oilers have already signed Travis Ewanyk (6.01, 185) and so will graduate at least two (Bigos is still out there) very physical players to pro hockey.
PLAYER STATS FOR GRADUATING JUNIORS
- Kessy 60, 21-22-43 106pims (age 20 years, 4 months) 1.77 pims/game (WHL)
- Ewanyk 58, 8-15-23 119pims (age 20 years, 1 week) 2.05 pims/game (WHL)
PIM LEADERS IN OILERS SYSTEM 2012-13
- Mike Brown 16, 1-0-1 44pims (age 27) 2.75 pims/game (NHL)
- Ben Eager 14, 1-1-2 25pims (age 28) 1.79 pims/game (NHL)
- Dane Byers 58, 6-4-10 144pims (age 26) 2.48 pims/game (AHL)
- Antti Tyrvainen 28, 3-2-5 61pims (age 23) 2.18 pims/game (AHL)
- Cameron Abney 36, 5-3-8 58 pims (age 21) 1.61 pims/game (ECHL)
- John McCarron 33, 7-12-19 84pims (age 20) 2.55 pims/game (NCAA)
- Mitch Moroz 69, 13-21-34 140pims (age 18 years, 11 months) 2.03 pims/game (WHL)
The Oilers have already flushed Byers, and may take care of Tyrvainen and Abney this summer. They’ve already signed two potential replacements, and if Eager plays next season in the AHL that’s three enforcers among the forwards (Eager, Kessy and Ewanyk).
The question I have is this: how many of these guys can play hockey at the pro level? The answer may be zero; then again, the guys heading out have been no screaming hell. The Oilers aren’t going to find Milan Lucic unless they’re extremely lucky, hell you have to be fortunate to find Dwight King or Kyle Clifford.
We may be looking at several years of searching for useful coke machines. The useful ones come via the draft or junior/college free agent signings. I expect we may see at least one of those later in the spring.