There are (incredibly) 40 prospects of note in the Oilers system this winter, so I’m going to finish off the list with two posts that include 21-30 and then 31-40. As I mentioned as we got toward the end of the top 20, after about #16 there’s not a lot of difference so if your guy is #28 don’t have a fit because he could have landed at #21 if the wind was blowing in a different direction.
- #21 F Kyle Platzer, London Knights (34, 8-7-15 -3). I like him plenty and believe there might be a player here, but his NHLE (82, 6-5-11) tells us he could improve a lot and still miss by a mile. Platzer can’t get playing time, and I know the Knights are a talent-rich team but he’s 18-years old and still can’t break in. This could be a significant slotting error, but I think we’ll wait to give him a push.
- #22 D Brandon Davidson, Oklahoma City Barons (24, 0-2-2 -10). It’s been an up and down fall for the young man, he was called up to the NHL (didn’t play) early on and then struggled during the rest of the schedule. The problem for all of the depth D prospects in this organization is the sheer number of blue chip D above them. I’m cheering like hell for this young man. He was #21 a year ago.
- #23 G Laurent Brossoit, Oklahoma City Barons (7, 3.53 .885). Pegging these goaltenders is a tough item, and there are suddenly a ton as you’ll see as we roll toward #40. I’m ranking Brossoit here on the strength of ‘saw him good’ during his time with the Oil Kings and the value Edmonton clearly has for this goalie (believe me, he’s going to get a push).
- #24 L Daniil Zharkov, Torpedo (35, 3-0-3 +1). A big winger with skill, he hasn’t done a thing to improve his number this season. In the OHL, I got the feeling he was a ‘tweener’ in that he was supposed to score but didn’t seem to be doing a lot of it. That trend continues in Russia, but his size gets him here.
- #25 F Aiden Muir, Indiana Ice (22, 6-11-17). Another big forward, this fellow is getting some traction now and I have a feeling he’ll be well inside the top 20 by the time we pick up the conversation in summer. 6.03, 180 and he’s just a kid. Should be a fun follow.
- #26 D Brad Hunt, Oklahoma City Barons (22, 3-10-13 +4). If you were to accuse me of slotting the defensemen conservatively after the top 5 or so, I’d agree with it. Part of the difficulty here is that there’s so many impressive blue that we know they can’t all make the grade. Hunt’s small stature makes him a long shot, but he’s impressed in a big way.
- #27 C Ryan Martindale, Oklahoma City Barons (13, 1-4-5 -7). I refuse to believe he’s lost all that junior talent. Martindale has size and skill, and that’s what this organization needs in spades. I’m hopeful they give him a full shot, and if he ends up not getting a contract then at least you knew for sure.
- #28 G Richard Bachman, Oklahoma City Barons (10, 2.58 .920). A nice debut with the Oilers, he made it all the way to the NHL. I’m not certain he really counts as a prospect, but he is certainly a possible future solution so he makes the list in that category.
- #29 D Joey Laleggia, Denver (19, 6-7-13). Another defenseman who could probably be ranked higher, Laleggia is a very small, mobile defender who might flourish in the Eakins system. I haven’t a good feel for the ranking this year, and guys like Laleggia are the reason why. MacT may love the guy or they might not bother to sign him—the new GM has no attachment to him.
- #30 C Travis Ewanyk, Oklahoma City Barons (29, 3-2-5 -3). This is not where I had him slotted originally, but the reports from OKC have been so positive Ewanyk lands here. I don’t think we’re looking at anything beyond a 4line C, but if he ends up being Jim Dowd with an edge that’s a useful item.
I find this year’s list 21-30 to be stronger than last season’s and the list 16-33 or so is about equal, honestly.