THE 2015-16 BAKERSFIELD CONDORS

If everything breaks right, and the chances of that happening are better now than a month ago, the first edition of the Bakersfield Condors should be a tremendous AHL hockey team. The possible roster could include a couple of lottery picks and fewer AHL veterans than normal. Let’s have a look.

SIGNED FOR NEXT SEASON AND POSSIBLY AHL BOUND

  1. G Laurent Brossoit. He should be the 1G and this is his time to shine. RFA summer 2016 and might push for NHL job.
  2. G Eetu Laurikainen. Sign all the goalies with .933SP’s. A terrific bet, got lost in the excitement.
  3. D Darnell Nurse. If he’s in the AHL, he’s playing a major role for the team.
  4. D Jordan Oesterle. College man now has experience, lordy he can wheel.
  5. D David Musil. Should be a big part of the Condors blue next year.
  6. D Dillon Simpson. He should be able to take on more responsibility in 2015-16.
  7. D Martin Gernat. I have no idea where he’s going to end up.
  8. D Ben Betker. Likely to get some ECHL time.
  9. D Joey Laleggia. Also an ECHL candidate, should get some PP looks.
  10. C Leon Draisaitl. He should make mincemeat out of the AHL after Christmas.
  11. C Bogdan Yakimov. I can’t wait to see his year over year progress, encouraging rookie year.
  12. C Jujhar Khaira Looks like he has a future as a checking C, can he score enough to make NHL?
  13. C Travis Ewanyk Tough checker who will probably play a big role in PK department.
  14. C Kyle Platzer He’ll push his way up the depth chart but could start in ECHL.
  15. L Kale Kessy. He was emerging as an AHL regular when injured, should build on that in 2015-16.
  16. L Ryan Hamilton He’ll be the veteran hand in the  minors helping to guide the kids.
  17. L Mitch Moroz. Absolutely needs to play a lot next season.
  18. R Iiro Pakarinen. Should be a quality AHL regular in 2015-16, could get called up.
  19. R Greg Chase. Really looking forward to seeing his progress next year.

The Oilers have a bunch of RFA’s to decide on (we talked about it yesterday) and if they asked me I’d tell them to bring back Andrew Miller, Tyler Pitlick, Josh Winquist and Brandon Davidson for the Condors. Sign Anton Slepyshev while they’re at it and maybe those Jones boys will accept AHL deals again to help the PK (suspect some NHL team has noticed them, though).

Folks, I don’t think they’re going to sign Marco Roy. I think Kyle Platzer ate his lunch.

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52 Responses to "THE 2015-16 BAKERSFIELD CONDORS"

  1. spoiler says:

    I’d like to see Kessey gone if that means more playing time for Moroz. Moroz actually has some decent skills, but it is tough to mold that clay without ice time.

  2. Lowetide says:

    spoiler:
    I’d like to see Kessey gone if that means more playing time for Moroz.Moroz actually has some decent skills, but it is tough to mold that clay without ice time.

    Agreed. I’m bewildered by Moroz’ handling this past season.

  3. spoiler says:

    Lowetide,

    There were some rumours about mono?

  4. spoiler says:

    Lowetide,

    This post from your March 7 Slepyshev article:

    scratch:
    Mitch Moroz was just diagnosed with mono and not a new case but he has had it for 2 months. Trainers thought he needed more conditioning due to his fatigue levels not realizing there may have been a reason for his lack of energy.

    Looking for confirmation, but so far no luck.

  5. Lowetide says:

    spoiler:
    Lowetide,

    There were some rumours about mono?

    Yes, from Scratch in March:

    Mitch Moroz was just diagnosed with mono and not a new case but he has had it for 2 months. Trainers thought he needed more conditioning due to his fatigue levels not realizing there may have been a reason for his lack of energy.

    http://lowetide.ca/2015/03/07/waiting-on-slepyshev/

    Comment at 6:31 pm.

    He wasn’t playing long before then, too.

  6. Marc says:

    spoiler:
    Lowetide,

    There were some rumours about mono?

    If he had mono, I’m amazed he played as much as he did. I had it in university and even after I was well enough to return to class I wasn’t myself for about three months. I took a reduced course load that term and still got the worst grades of my life.

  7. gr8one says:

    Speaking of the Condors, I recently just found this. It was the first time I’d seen the new logo in OIlers colours, I think it looks fantastic, can’t wait to see the actual jerseys!

    I’m sure many of you have already seen it but for those that haven’t.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di27ebz3zBo

    http://static1.squarespace.com/static/5007b2ea84aef6ab9cd08134/t/551e0bbbe4b0632680e70448/1428032445925/

  8. John Chambers says:

    No one really mentions it, but notice how the Barons just kept on rolling throughout winter and spring even without Nelson …

    I’m not drawing any conclusions other than Nelson’s promotion didn’t appear to hurt the team, at least not in the short term.

  9. spoiler says:

    I don’t know that Scratch can be right. Moroz played the night before that post, had 29 PIMs the next night, +2 the game after and continued to play throughout the week.

    But maybe he was getting out of it by that time? Dunno, but it looks a bit dubious.

    Enjoyed this from OKC Game Notes:

    Miller departs the AHL with points in 5 straight, 9 of the past 10 games and 12 of the last 14. He has 20 points (9G, 11A) in the past 14 games dating to Feb. 14, a point total that leads the AHL since that date. He tops the team in goals (25, tied for third in the AHL), assists (31, tied for 15th) and points (56, fifth). His 3 OT goals are 1 off the league lead.

    Also had a hattie couple of games before his call-up. Horak was the last Baron to pull the trick.

    Maybe Miller is Alex Giroux but he looks too good to be an AHLer with his NHL class speed.

  10. G Money says:

    spoiler,

    We can hope he turns into Cogliano v2…

  11. Gret99zky says:

    Beautiful birds, condors.

    Misunderstood. Very misunderstood.

    http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kalw/files/201301/California_Condor.jpg

  12. blainer says:

    Drai and Nurse are gonna be tough calls at camp. The last time we had the MVP from the WHL it was Jordan Eberle.. If he produces like Ebs did the year after he won I will be very happy.. Drai did it at a younger age too. What a team this is gonna be.. Would love to see a line with Hall CMD and Drai if or when he’s ready..

  13. Lowetide says:

    Gret99zky:
    Beautiful birds, condors.

    Misunderstood.Very misunderstood.

    http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kalw/files/201301/California_Condor.jpg

    What the Jesus?

  14. BOLD OVER (5-14-6-1) says:

    Lowetide: What the Jesus?

    What the McJesus!?

  15. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    G Money:
    spoiler,

    We can hope he turns into Cogliano v2…

    And with new management actually recognize his skills and play him to best advantage instead of what happened with Cogliano v1.

  16. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    And Cogliano has heard his name called and ties it up.

  17. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    Correct that – not Cogliano, looks like Palmieri or possibly Etem. I jumped the gun on that one. Too bad it seemed timely…

  18. leadfarmer says:

    Gret99zky,

    Don’t always make the best mascots though, especially live ones. If you remember this little scene a few years ago. This is going to be reason enough to watch the Condors play

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1IHYKAEyzg

  19. Jonathan Willis says:

    I didn’t watch the Barons this year, but I know the way Todd Nelson ran his bench when I was down there (and, come to think of it, the way he did it up here). He likes big, physical guys and his fourth lines play.

    Luke Gazdic is a good example everyone will be familiar with. He played between 7-10 minutes for Nelson pretty much every night once he got into the regular rotation. If he dressed, it generally meant he was playing. He also looked as good as he’s ever looked in an Oilers’ uniform.

    If Mitch Moroz was dressed, it’s a very good bet he was getting similar treatment, even if he was on the fourth line. Additionally, it’s pretty hard to run up a minus-15 rating without ever seeing the ice.

    I don’t know that there’s an issue with playing time here so much as there’s an issue with the prospect.

  20. leadfarmer says:

    Jonathan Willis,

    Well with the Perron trade, injuries to Hall, Pitlick, gordon and others he did run out of warm bodies to play. If he had a full line up I don’t think he would have played him every night

  21. Jonathan Willis says:

    Incidentally, Kessy’s a pretty interesting comp for Moroz.

    Season / Kessy / Moroz

    Draft: 0.37 PPG / 0.38 PPG
    Draft+1: 0.33 PPG / 0.49 PPG
    Draft+2: 0.72 PPG / 0.90 PPG
    — (jump to the AHL) —
    Draft+3: 0.11 PPG / 0.14 PPG
    Draft+4: 0.35 PPG /

    There looks like a gap between the two in junior, but when you look at the time Kessy missed in his Draft+2 year (plus what looks like some SH% issues in junior) and at what he did in Kamloops in Draft+3, I think these guys are probably closer than draft position and a superficial look at the numbers would seem to indicate.

  22. leadfarmer says:

    Holy crap ducks two goals in half a minute

  23. leadfarmer says:

    Make that 3 goals in 40 sec

  24. Jonathan Willis says:

    leadfarmer:
    Jonathan Willis,

    Well with the Perron trade, injuries to Hall, Pitlick, gordon and othershe did run out of warm bodies to play.If he had a full line up I don’t think he would have played him every night

    I’m not 100% convinced that’s a bad thing, either.

    If a guy isn’t ready, he isn’t ready and forcing it won’t make it so; sometimes it even has negative consequences. Sometimes rushing a guy means sticking Anton Lander in the NHL as a rookie NA pro, but sometimes it means sticking a guy higher on a depth chart than he really should be.

    Justin Schultz is a good example of what I mean; all those minutes should in theory be great for his development but in point of fact he’s regressed since he entered the NHL. Have to wonder if it would have been different if he’d started out on the third-pairing and as an occasional healthy scratch.

    Maybe it means Moroz should have been in the ECHL, but I don’t know that forcing him to fight for AHL minutes hurt him any and I don’t know that he should be an automatic in the lineup every night just because Edmonton was silly enough to stick a No. 32 overall label on him.

  25. leadfarmer says:

    Jonathan Willis,

    Well since he was battling mono for a big chunk of the season I think it was going to be a lost season either way. He got good coaching and practicing day in and day out with better Ahl players. Hope he is healthy next year and takes a step forward. Seems like he takes a step forward every year so hope he continues that trend.

  26. Unwashed Oilfan says:

    leadfarmer,

    I’ve never seen that before. That may have been the best game Intro ever!!

  27. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Is there different variations of mono?
    Because the posters here defending Moroz always refer to his struggles due to a bout of mono.
    However, Tyler Toffoli (second round pick two years older than Moroz) battled mono to a neat and tidy season in LA with 23 goals and 26 assists in 76 games.
    Sure would be nice if Moroz has a similar season with the Oilers in two years sans Mono.

  28. Lowetide says:

    I have no issue with Moroz in the ECHL. Major issue with Moroz on the bench.

  29. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Lowetide:
    I have no issue with Moroz in the ECHL. Major issue with Moroz on the bench.

    LT, For The Win.

  30. Jonathan Willis says:

    Lowetide:
    I have no issue with Moroz in the ECHL. Major issue with Moroz on the bench.

    My instincts on this sort of thing are always to look at what successful teams do. On the development side, that means Detroit. Interesting to see that both Andrej Nestrasil and Luke Glendening saw significant time in Toledo (ECHL) during their formative years.

  31. Oddspell says:

    Klima’s_Bucket,

    i don’t know about different variations but I know a few people who’ve gotten mono and each of them had different reactions. Some were incapacitated for months, others felt tired for a couple weeks.

  32. BOLD OVER (5-14-6-1) says:

    Gret99zky: Beautiful birds, condors.

    An exquisite, 30 lb bird.

    Now I know why Dwight Yokam was afraid to walk alone.

  33. GCW_69 says:

    Catching up on the latest here and was surprised at the number of people who don’t want the Oilers to trade the 16th overall pick. Best time to win is during Connor McDavid’s entry level deal.

    That means the Oilers should be trading the Pittsburgh pick and the Montreal pick to accelerate the rebuild process. If the Oilers wall away with McDavid and a decent player at 33, and don’t do stupid things with the rest of their picks, the development system will get enough of what it needs plus the defence and goaltending get a boost of what they need by trading Pittsburgh’s pick and Montreal’s second round pick.

    Can’t lose sight of the fact the Oilers gave up two pretty good roster players to get those picks. Those roster players need to be replaced.

  34. Halfwise says:

    GCW_69:
    Catching up on the latest here and was surprised at the number of people who don’t want the Oilers to trade the 16th overall pick. Best time to win is during Connor McDavid’s entry level deal.

    That means the Oilers should be trading the Pittsburgh pick and the Montreal pick to accelerate the rebuild process.If the Oilers wall away with McDavid and a decent player at 33, and don’t do stupid things with the rest of their picks, the development system will get enough of what it needs plus the defence and goaltending get a boost of what they need by trading Pittsburgh’s pick and Montreal’s second round pick.

    Can’t lose sight of the fact the Oilers gave up two pretty good roster players to get those picks.Those roster players need to be replaced.

    I agree, assuming that the pattern holds of draft picks being worth less at the trade deadline than at the draft, and roster players being worth less at the draft than at the deadline. They bought the picks low, sell them high.

    If the consensus amongst GMs is that the draft is deep then it stands to reason that the players required to get those picks are useful.

    Oilers could get creative and package either 16 or 33 with someone from NSF for a more capable D with term coming back. A team with D roster depth could shelter any of the three better than the Oilers could.

  35. Marc says:

    GCW_69:
    Catching up on the latest here and was surprised at the number of people who don’t want the Oilers to trade the 16th overall pick.

    What I find puzzling is that there is considerable support for dumping Schultz and/or buying out or taking a bad contract in exchange for one or more of Nikitin, Purcell and Ference, as well as considerable support for keeping the 16th and 33rd picks.

    Those represent diametrically opposed strategies for next season.

    If you give up on Schultz now, at his absolute nadir as a prospect, instead of seeing what he looks like after another pro season under a highly experienced coach before making the call on him, you are prioritising winning next season over making the right long term decision on Schultz by gathering as much information as possible. If you incur a cap penalty in the 16/17 season or beyond in order to ensure that Nikitin, Purcell and/or Ference aren’t on the team next season, you are prioritising winning next season over the future cap health of the team.

    But if you keep the 16th and 33rd picks instead of trading them help next season, you are prioritising the possibility of getting one or more good players three to five years from now over winning next season.

    These positions seem to me to be totally irreconcilable. If the prospects in this draft are so good that it’s worth sacrificing wins next season to get them, then it makes zero sense to make hasty decisions on players like Schultz (or Yak or Marincin) or in any way harm the team’s cap position in the 16/17 season or beyond in order to get a few more wins next season.

  36. striatic says:

    Marc,

    You keep the picks unless you can fill a pressing need with a young player with a longish contract or going RFA.

    The picks will help you win in a couple years. These picks represent depth players who will be ready as injury replacements on your playoff run 2 years from now, and ongoing value after that. These picks represent depth in the system that allows for moving assets for balance because you have players growing into the roles. I think you want to take forwards in order to create real positional strength so you can trade a higher end forward for a higher end D without creating a gaping hole.

  37. Marc says:

    striatic:
    Marc,

    You keep the picks unless you can fill a pressing need with a young player with a longish contract or going RFA.

    The picks will help you win in a couple years. These picks represent depth players who will be ready as injury replacements on your playoff run 2 years from now, and ongoing value after that. These picks represent depth in the system that allows for moving assets for balance because you have players growing into the roles. I think you want to take forwards in order to create real positional strength so you can trade a higher end forward for a higher end D without creating a gaping hole.

    I agree. But that approach is at odds with giving up on Schultz now, or buying out anyone, which are moves that potentially sacrifice the long term interests of the team in the interests of winning next season.

    All off season moves should support, and be consistent with a plan for the team. Making some moves that sacrifice the future in the interests of winning now, and others that sacrifice the present in the interests of the future demonstrates muddled thinking and no clear plan.

    It’s the kind of thinking that leads to sacrificing Smyth for picks and prospects, then giving up picks to offer sheet Penner. It is not the model we should be following this summer.

  38. Kmart99 says:

    Marc,

    I am at the point where I’d prioritize winning over everything. I’m just so damn tired of losing. 9 years is long enough, no more.

    Trade the 16th, dump one of Ference,Nikitin. Trade Jultz.
    Make me happy.

  39. meanashell11 says:

    Speaking of Dwight Yokum, I have been waiting for some Bakersfield sound in some of these articles since Bakersfield was announced! Some Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and of course Dwight Yokum. Make it so LT!

  40. Pouzar says:

    Kmart99: dump one of Ference,Nikitin. Trade Jultz.

    One?

  41. Genjutsu says:

    Oddspell:
    Klima’s_Bucket,

    i don’t know about different variations but I know a few people who’ve gotten mono and each of them had different reactions. Some were incapacitated for months, others felt tired for a couple weeks.

    This is it exactly.

    Mono is like most virus’ it’s a different experience for everyone. It can be weeks to the better part of a year before recovery.

    In some cases it can go undiagnosed even after multiple blood tests (false negatives).

    This can be extremely difficult to deal with as doctors will tell “we can’t find anything wrong with you”. Leading them to suggest a mental issue.

    Let’s give the kid a chance and try and remember that reliable reports had at least three teams taking him later in the second.

  42. Lowetide says:

    I’m in favor of dumping Schultz because (imo) there’s simply too much chaos. He might fit as a third pairing guy but then you’re overpaying him for the role. Why bother? I imagine Chiarelli and McLellan will want to have a year to look at him so he’ll be here, but I’m not at all convinced keeping him is the best plan.

  43. Marc says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m in favor of dumping Schultz because (imo) there’s simply too much chaos. He might fit as a third pairing guy but then you’re overpaying him for the role. Why bother?I imagine Chiarelli and McLellan will want to have a year to look at him so he’ll be here, but I’m not at all convinced keeping him is the best plan.

    Fair enough.

    I don’t think we’ve seen enough yet to know whether the overpaid third pairing guy he’ll be next season is his actual ceiling, or just where he is in his development right now.

    If the plan is to play for the Cup next season, then you can’t afford to wait and find out what he is and should dump him now. If that’s where we are though, all picks but CMD should be in play.

    If we’re not playing for the Cup next season though, then I can’t see why you don’t wait another year before deciding what Schultz is.

  44. oliveoilers says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m in favor of dumping Schultz because (imo) there’s simply too much chaos. He might fit as a third pairing guy but then you’re overpaying him for the role. Why bother?I imagine Chiarelli and McLellan will want to have a year to look at him so he’ll be here, but I’m not at all convinced keeping him is the best plan.

    Reverse Brent Burns him into a winger.

    Still reckon he has the tools for that particular job.

  45. jake70 says:

    oliveoilers: Reverse Brent Burns him into a winger.

    Still reckon he has the tools for that particular job.

    Just trying to imagine him beating a guy to puck in Ozone on an icing play, knowing a freight train is comming. I am trying…

  46. gogliano says:

    I don’t want to trade the #16 or #33 picks unless it fixes a key D slot for years because this is shaping up to be a 2003esque draft:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/nhl2003e.html

    It’s true that draft day is the best time to unload picks, but I doubt the increase GMs will pay for picks in this year’s draft will reflect its actual quality. If 2015 is in spitting distance of 2003, we’re talking about a serious chance of adding three actual career NHLers with our first three picks, with a non-negligible chance of walking away with a Getzlaf/Bergeron/Weber/Perry/etc in addition to McDavid.

    McDavid is an opportunity to win the cup in about year 3 of his deal but adding bona fide NHLers via the draft will make this team a contender for as long as McDavid is playing.

  47. gogliano says:

    oliveoilers: Reverse Brent Burns him into a winger.

    Still reckon he has the tools for that particular job.

    I’m not so sure. Muffin of a shot and can’t give and take a pass. His best skill — finding space coming in from the back of the play — doesn’t translate. Also weak on the puck.

  48. oliveoilers says:

    jake70: Just trying to imagine him beating a guy to puck in Ozone on an icing play, knowing a freight train is comming. I am trying…

    He’d be cheaper than Purcell for the same amount of Grit/60.

  49. jake70 says:

    oliveoilers: He’d be cheaper than Purcell for the same amount of Grit/60.

    True enough. If you can rid yourself of Purcell for zero cost to you, may as well..and put him up there – he is a much faster skater IIRC.

  50. Pouzar says:

    jake70: True enough.If you can rid yourself of Purcell for zero cost to you, may as well..and put him up there – he is a much faster skater IIRC.

    Come on guys. Really? The level of Purcell hate in Oilerland befuddles me.

  51. oliveoilers says:

    Pouzar: Come on guys. Really? The level of Purcell hate in Oilerland befuddles me.

    I don’t hate Purcell. He’s just the new Horcoff – a perfectly competent NHLer that for some reason got a huge contract. And it’s beginning to bite us in the ass.

  52. blainer says:

    Kmart99:
    Marc,

    I am at the point where I’d prioritize winning over everything.I’m just so damn tired of losing.9 years is long enough, no more.

    Trade the 16th, dump one of Ference,Nikitin.Trade Jultz.
    Make me happy.

    Dump at least Two.. With today’s cap world that 16th and even the 33rd in this draft is crazy valuable. My gut says PC keeps at least the 16 and maybe trades 33. That 16 on draft day is going to be really good and wonder if we get to use it. Was the Rask trade on PC’s watch because if it was I am hopeful he will get another great Goalie for us.. This will be the biggest year for us since the gretzy days.. The cup will be back in CMD last of his ELC.. calling it now.. lol..top that for optimistic..

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