FAMOUS ROOKIES OF BAKERSFIELD

The Oklahoma City Barons saw some outstanding rookies pass through in five seasons but the Bakersfield Condors may get a better single-season crop out of the box. How? Well, there are kids coming from college, junior and Russia who have NHL potential and all of them should play this year in California.

BARONS 10-11 ROOKIES

  1. C Teemu Hartikainen 66GP, 17-25-42
  2. F Milan Kytnar 78GP, 13-16-29
  3. D Jeff Petry 41GP, 7-17-24
  4. L Phil Cornet 60GP, 7-16-23
  5. C Mark Arcobello 26GP, 11-11-22
  6. C Chris VandeVelde 67GP, 12-4-16
  7. D Colten Teubert 20GP, 2-5-7

Todd Nelson’s first rookie crew did pretty damn well if you ask me—all of them played in the NHL. Jeff Petry (314 NHL games) is a bona fide NHL defenseman, Mark Arcobello (119), Chris VandeVelde (118), Teemu Hartikainen (52) Colten Teubert (24), Phil Cornet (2) and Milan Kytnar (1) all saw playing time in the world’s best league.

BARONS 11-12 ROOKIES

  • L Hunter Tremblay 68GP, 16-15-31
  • R Tyler Pitlick 62GP, 7-16-23
  • C Tanner House 68GP, 8-12-20
  • R Antti Tyrvainen 55GP, 6-13-19
  • L Curtis Hamilton 41GP, 5-6-11
  • D Kirill Tulupov 33GP, 1-7-8
  • R Cameron Abney 14GP, 0-0-0

This group wasn’t as strong as year one, but Tyler Pitlick (27 NHL games) and Curtis Hamilton (1) did see some time. It’s also interesting to see that the group is (for the most part) outside the control of NHL clubs at this time—not a lot of sustain from these men.

BARONS 12-13 ROOKIES

  1. D Justin Schultz 34GP, 18-30-48
  2. L Toni Rajala 46GP, 17-28-45
  3. D Martin Marincin 69GP, 7-23-30
  4. D Taylor Fedun 70GP, 8-19-27
  5. C Anton Lander 47GP, 9-11-20
  6. C Ryan Martindale 41GP, 6-8-14
  7. C CJ Stretch 17GP, 5-3-8
  8. L Kristians Pelss 20GP, 1-7-8
  9. D Brandon Davidson 26GP, 2-3-5

Nelson is back to delivering considerable talent to the Oilers. Justin Schultz (203 NHL games) may never have been the AHL without the lockout but he started out in OKC and should have a long pro career. Anton Lander (132), Martin Marincin (85), Brandon Davidson and Taylor Fedun (11) are also NHL bona fide with miles to go.

BARONS 13-14 ROOKIES

  1. R Andrew Miller 52GP, 8-26-34
  2. D Martin Gernat 57GP, 4-17-21
  3. C Austin Fyten 47GP, 7-13-20
  4. D David Musil 61GP, 2-10-12
  5. C Travis Ewanyk 68GP, 7-5-12
  6. D Oscar Klefbom 48GP, 1-9-10
  7. L Kale Kessy 54GP, 2-4-6

There’s still some time for several of the men who haven’t made the grade but early results are good. Oscar Klefbom (77 NHL games) looks like a decade plus defensive option, plus Andrew Miller (9) are David Musil (4) working on establishing themselves.

BARONS 14-15 ROOKIES

  1. C Bogdan Yakimov 57GP, 12-16-28
  2. D Jordan Oesterle 65GP, 8-17-25
  3. L Josh Winquist 46GP, 8-11-19
  4. D Dillon Simpson 71GP, 3-14-17
  5. F Kellen Jones 49GP, 5-10-15
  6. C Connor Jones 41GP, 4-6-10
  7. C Jujhar Khaira 51GP, 4-6-10
  8. L Mitchell Moroz 66GP, 5-4-9
  9. D CJ Ludwig 28GP, 1-4-5
  10. G Laurent Brossoit 53GP, 2.56 .918

The final Barons season saw a few terrific young prospects make their debut. Among the group who also played in the NHL: Jordan Oesterle (6 NHL games), Bogdan Yakimov (1) and Laurent Brossoit (1).

BAKERSFIELD AHL ROOKIES 2015-16

  • G Eetu Laurikainen. It seems like months ago we found out about the signing. He remains a solid bet, and I wonder if the club will consider sending him to the ECHL in order to get work (if required). I really hope he gets playing time, that shortened AHL schedule is a bit of an issue.
  • D Darnell Nurse. I’m not sure he plays in Bakersfield, we’ll see how the summer rolls. Nurse played in the AHL playoffs this past spring and the verbal was very positive (David Staples wrote some nice things about him). I just can’t see him playing a lot in the minors.
  • D Ben Betker. Big and has speed, a fun combination. He’s raw, so there’s every chance Betker plays some in the ECHL (I’d count on it) but this is a very nice giant on skates, as prospects go.
  • D Joey Laleggia. Highly skilled defender whose offense in the NCAA is so good one almost doesn’t trust it (maybe they’re using juiced pucks in Denver!). Either way he’ll get a big opportunity to show his stuff and if those boxcars are legit Edmonton will have to find a way to make room. I suspect he’ll be dizzying in a MacLellan power play.
  • C Kyle Platzer Fine two-way resume and he blossomed offensively after being drafted. A little under the radar as he turns pro, the range of skills from Platzer makes him an option up and down the order.
  • C Alexis Loiseau. Signed to an AHL deal, he may be this year’s Josh Winquist. He’s 21, 6.01, 180, he scored 96 points in 68 QMJHL games. Highly skilled, it’s a wonder these kids with the mammoth boxcars don’t get drafted.
  • L Anton Slepyshev. One of the big names who will be heading to Oilers camp, Slepyshev should get every chance to impact the Bakersfield offense this coming season. One hopes the club doesn’t ease him into the lineup, he’s been in the KHL for some time so we should see a short adjustment period.
  • L Connor Rankin. Bakersfield signing, scored 32 in the WHL. Decent size, he might have to earn his way to the Condors via the ECHL (that’s probably true for all of these undrafted fellows).
  • L Braden Christoffer. Tough winger with skill, 5.10. He’s a unique skill set so will be one to watch this fall. More offense than one might expect (59 points a year ago).
  • R Greg Chase. With due respect to the Russian, this is the fellow I’m looking forward to seeing. Chase’s rugged game should fit better at the pro level than it did in junior and if he can bring some offense with him from his WHL days he could have an NHL career.

That’s a tremendous group of young players, if the entire group spends the season in Bakersfield then Condors fans should be delighted with the quality of the prospects. Add this crew to the young men coming back (possibly Leon Draisaitl, Bogdan Yakimov, Griffin Reinhart, Laurent Brossoit, others) for their second and third seasons and sky’s the limit.

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33 Responses to "FAMOUS ROOKIES OF BAKERSFIELD"

  1. Woogie63 says:

    Nurse and Slepyshev will be in the NHL by January

  2. Pajamah says:

    Slepyshev is so incredibly under the radar but lines up with other 19yr old Russians coming over from the KHL.

    Could easily be a 2R if the Oilers want to move Yakupov (long term of course)

    If Yakimov turns out, they will really be top heavy and will have to deal from a surplus. Solves cap issues if one of the 6 million dollar men need to be moved for a cheap ELC defenseman or the Josi/Jones/Larsson mold.

    If they need the money and it is McDavid/Drai/Yakimov/Lander in 3 seasons, and Chiarelli can turn RNH into Noah Hanifan, ecstatic.

  3. striatic says:

    Woogie63:
    Nurse and Slepyshev will be in the NHL by January

    Nurse could be a permanent member of the Edmonton Oilers hockey club by January, sure.

    Slepyshev? Barring a trade he’s an injury call up no matter how well he plays. He might see games but I can’t see him cracking the top 6 on the Oilers otherwise, even with a stellar Bakersfield debut.

  4. spoiler says:

    At some point this season, Betker is going to start stealing Musil’s lunch money.

    I really think the Musil types are going the way of the dodo and the dinosaur. Two comps mentioned for him in the last thread, Greene and Smid, are both far better skaters than Frank’s boy.

    Even a defensive D in the new NHL is going to have to be able to skate and move the puck, preferably at the same time.

    Coming from Everett, Betker’s learning curve in his own end should be short and sweet. I won’t be disappointed if we don’t see the step forward till next year, but I think it will come earlier, if he gets the minutes.

    Musil is redundant, but in a good way. Kind of like how you build bridges to take triple the rated load. Everyone needs young tweeners who might be able to deliver the goods during injury season, but if he doesn’t establish himself as something more by the end of the year, I think he gets passed.

  5. Stelio Kontos (Formerly Zangetsu-Formerly Thinker) says:

    I think there might be some rookies worth playing time this year. Should stop some of the bitching.

  6. Hammers says:

    If any of Chase or Sleppy make it we may have 3 scoring lines . Think of the combinations we could have . Glad I’m not coach . 3 centres in Leon , Nuge , , McDavid and Lander in the wings . Wingers that are there and coming may change the game back to scoring goals like the 80’s . Brilliant .

  7. viking chug says:

    Pajamah:
    Slepyshev is so incredibly under the radar but lines up with other 19yr old Russians coming over from the KHL.

    Could easily be a 2R if the Oilers want to move Yakupov(long term of course)

    If Yakimov turns out, they will really be top heavy and will have to deal from a surplus. Solves cap issues if one of the 6 million dollar men need to be moved for a cheap ELC defenseman or the Josi/Jones/Larsson mold.

    If they need the money and it is McDavid/Drai/Yakimov/Lander in 3 seasons, and Chiarelli can turn RNH into Noah Hanifan, ecstatic.

    When Slepyshev was captain of Russia in the 2014 WJC he was always on the left wing. Underrated vision for a sniper, I remember that 3 assist game against the US particularly. Think he was LW in the KHL too. A lot of the highlights I’ve seen show one-timers as he’s moving backwards into open ice on the left wing. Would love to see a future Draisaitl (or even Yakimov?) at C, Yakupov RW and Slepyshev on the left. Excited for this guy in the AHL. He reminds me a bit of Tony Amonte.

  8. Bruce McCurdy says:

    viking chug: When Slepyshev was captain of Russia in the 2014 WJC he was always on the left wing.Underrated vision for a sniper, I remember that 3 assist game against the US particularly.Think he was LW in the KHL too.A lot of the highlights I’ve seen show one-timers as he’s moving backwards into open ice on the left wing.Would love to see a future Draisaitl (or even Yakimov?) at C, Yakupov RW and Slepyshev on the left.Excited for this guy in the AHL.He reminds me a bit of Tony Amonte.

    I saw quite a bit of the Spengler Cup & Slepyshev was playing LW, while left-shooting Teemu Hartikainen (of all people) played right side & largely drove the bus on the line. Not sure if the Slepyshev highlights you mentioned would be the same video embedded here but in this set you can repeatedly see Slepyshev (#58) converting a number of sweet feeds from Hartikainen (#70). E does have a nice nose for the net, with a wicked quick release.

  9. viking chug says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I saw quite a bit of the Spengler Cup & Slepyshev was playing LW, while left-shooting Teemu Hartikainen (of all people) played right side & largely drove the bus on the line. Not sure if the Slepyshev highlights you mentioned would be the same video embedded here but in this set you can repeatedly see Slepyshev (#58) converting a number of sweet feeds from Hartikainen (#70). E does have a nice nose for the net, with a wicked quick release.

    Can’t seem to access that link but there are a couple Slepy videos out there like that. Also thought it was funny that Hartikainen was playmaker on that line. The bus driver role tilted a bit towards Slepyshev as the season progressed I think. I like Harti, but when given opportunities he just didn’t play with enough intensity or desire. Slepyshev plays with a lot of belly-fire and a bit of edge too. When I think back to the 2014 WJCs he looked like he really wanted it and tried to lead the Russian’s by example in that tournament. I remember seeing those kind of games from Harti on the Barons but not when he had a chance to stake a claim on the big club.

  10. wheatnoil says:

    There’s a lot of skill wingers on the NHL team and they are looked up pretty long-term, so that doesn’t look good for guys like Slepyshev and Chase (and maybe Platzer and Yakimov if they move to the wing to get a spot in the NHL).

    However, in their favour is that there are few genuine skill forward incumbents on the AHL roster. There’s a real chance for these rookies to grab a top 6 role (assuming Hamilton and Ford don’t take two of them) and it wouldn’t take too many injuries for even the AHL signings to get some solid playing time (like Winquist last year).

    The other thing in their favour… barring an NCAA or Europe signing, there’s no one coming next year to join them (as LT noted in the depth chart a few weeks ago). There may legitimately be no rookie pro forwards signed to ELCs next year in Bakersfield. There’s no one in Major Junior and no one in Europe. Just three forwards in the NCAA, none of whom are graduating next year unless they leave early.

    It’s these guys or bust and reinforcements are a long ways off.

  11. Lewis Grant says:

    I still want to know WTF happened with Toni Rajala. PPG as an AHL rookie, and we just flushed him. We talk about the possibilities for Pitlick or Yakimov or even Moroz, but just compare their numbers to Rajala.

    Can we get him back now that we have a new regime? Please? (And while we’re at it, maybe Hartikainen too? You can never have too many Finns, right?)

  12. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Lewis Grant,

    I believe Rajala wouldn’t sign a 2 way deal and wanted to make bigger money in Europe

  13. wheatnoil says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Lewis Grant,

    I believe Rajala wouldn’t sign a 2 way deal and wanted to make bigger money in Europe

    He was already on a 2-way deal but it was terminated early. Wanting to make more money in Europe is definitely a possibility but I’m not sure the full story was ever told.

  14. Ducey says:

    Where would Rajala play on the Oilers??

    He isnt good enough to be an NHL scorer and isnt a checker.

    I am glad the Oilers are not wasting picks on these smaller tweener players anymore. I have no problem with taking a smaller player but he better have wicked speed and hands along with some elment of grit. Otherwise you can just them as UFA’s.

  15. Lewis Grant says:

    Ducey,

    We don’t really know whether he’s good enough to be an NHL scorer. What if he becomes the next Ray Whitney?

    Nothing wrong with 3 scoring lines. Buffalo 2006 had 4 scoring lines and almost made it to the SCF despite missing 4 of their top 6 d-men.

    I appreciate the need for size in today’s Western conference, but skill is still the most important thing.

  16. Bootstrap Effexor says:

    Todd McLellan could be a little bit more mean, says former player Roenick

    It is good to hear McLellan understands players need to be themselves to be their best. Guiding that ability within a system isn’t the same as imposing a system on them. Hopefully many Oilers will return to better performances they had prior to Eakins’ arrival.

    This is precisely why I called myself BoEffe. (I suppose “boutstrap” twists things a little too far.)

    Opéras bouffes are known for elements of comedy, satire, parody and farce. The most famous examples are La belle Hélène, Barbe-bleue (Bluebeard), La vie parisienne, La Périchole and La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein.

    “Bouffe” also means “grub”.

    In any case, the other reading concerns “Effexor” as a name-brand antidepressant. I believe that releasing the hind banana (Captain! Release the Hind Banana!) is the precursor to being perceived as under good management, whereas the common sentiment is that good management is the precursor to hind banana repeal.

    Fact. With CMD now in the fold, far more cookies are crumbling in our general direction. Not one white whit-crumb of this effect due to better management.

    Of course, when better management becomes a crumb for the taking, there’s the crumb-avalanche effect (curiously, the one true sign of competent management is that they won’t even sign up until the hind banana is already spotting the rear-view mirror).

    This evening my lemon tree made chocolate chip cookies. She puts her cooling rack right in front of my coffee grinder. I’m (briefly) in that mode again where my coffee grinder croons to the moon beam. Problem. Before I could pull it out from under the cupboard, to fill the hopper with a single charge (9.3 g) of specialty coffee beans, after moving the rack, I had to sweep up and put down the fresh-baked chocolate cookie crumb insurrection and counter offensive.

    As Lou Tzu once said, “a journey of 1000 calories begins with a single speck”.

    Back the McLellan quote. The problem with applying this to Eakins is the small question of “what system?”

    Let’s run that play again in slow motion.

    Guiding that ability within a system isn’t the same as imposing a system on them.

    I ask you, what frickin’ system did Eakins inherit to successfully guide these players within?

    Precondition to “guiding players within a system” is that you have a system in place in the first place.

    ———

    What Dallas believed he was doing:

    Act I: Create system.

    Act II: Guide players within system.

    ———

    What Dallas actually accomplished:

    Act I: Discover that the missing system has a second sub-basement (by stepping on a rug covering an open trap door after ignoring the yellow tape).

    Act II: Create system while bleeding profusely.

    Act III: Sit back and observe successor guide players within the system while revisionist historians everywhere have a field day.

    ———

    For ONE THOUSAND points and a rumble-seat berth on the newly repaired SpaceX rocket ship, who first said “desperate times call for desperate measures“?

    ———

    Those or you who said “Erasmus”, for you we have a consolation prize. You are now first in line on the waiting list for 2017-2018 (with a non-refundable 10% advance deposit).

    Well done, I tip my hat.

    ———

    Bzzzzzzzt. Time’s up.

    [Audience, softly] awwwww.

    [Pregnant pause.]

    [Host now speaks in a metrognomic voice of positronic certainty, copping the unmistakable intonation of The Professor as buffed up by seven years of elocution training from Ginger and Mrs Howell.]

    The origin of the phrase “desperate times call for desperate measures” is attributed to Hippocrates, whose version was later paraphrased in the ages no-longer-known-as-dark by the Latin expression, extremis malis extrema remedia.

    ———

    We all knew they’d one day finally get off that island with a masterstroke of bad planning.

    Everyone asks “if The Professor is so smart, how come he can’t make a simple boat?”

    First of all, The “Professor” is a high-school science teacher. Back home, his “social reach” is not what you figured.

    Secondly—you fools!—it was obviously The Professor holding them back all along.

    “Ginger? Mary Anne? I’m taking my sweeeet time.”

    ———

    “Whatever you do, Bubba,” The Professor says to himself, “keep that Gilligan in a ready supply of piña coladas.”

    Ugly Friends Make You Look Better, Studies Show

    ———

    Bonus illusion.

    The Cheerleader Effect

    This is so totally true. When you zoom in one-on-one, the one thing that separates most cheerleaders from any old hottie next door is the spectacular mid-riff of the bull-necked hourglass fountain-juggling The Gumby Grubbers’ Capeless Capers Rodeo Roadshow (hence the reason they didn’t much cover his professional life in the stop-animation shorts).

    It’s exactly like the hottie next door mutated into an aerobics instructor, and then stumbled into a steam-powered Multi-Me.

    ———

    I don’t need me no stinking cheerleaders.

    — The Professor

    Which lead to his personal motto: two’s company, three’s a catfight.

    Turns out a man learns a lesson after all in the comic opera of teaching adolescents compound growth.

    ———

    “What you always suspected” bonus.

    Back in his glory days, Skipper got an “A” in compound growth, centering Varsity B with an all-world cut-block until “compound growth” high-centered his hobcap.

    ———

    “Hey, guys, I’ve got an idea!”

    stiff sock : tiller :: stiff jock : sail

    I guess poor Skipper had to take his seven years of island education where he could find it.

    ———

    [*] On The Professor’s day of rest, if that wasn’t obvious.

  17. Professor Q says:

    I admit nothing…

  18. hunter1909 says:

    Bootstrap Effexor,

    As soon as the article went past the part that stated Roenick needs to be shouted at(because he’s a primitive) it lost me.

    As if the team which turns up in September to meet McLellan is carved in rock. Baloney. Extremely poor analysis from this point on.

    Lowetide’s a thousand times more insightful than this hack.

  19. Centre of attention says:

    Is it just me or does Slepyshev look a bit like a Russian Eberle? At least in the picture posted. 😛

  20. T0ML says:

    Centre of attention:
    Is it just me or does Slepyshev look a bit like a Russian Eberle? At least in the picture posted.

    THATS IT …. was killing me who he looked like

  21. Pouzar says:

    Centre of attention: Is it just me or does Slepyshev look a bit like a Russian Eberle? At least in the picture posted.

    The only thing worse in Oilerville than a Russian Eberle is a Regina Eberle.

  22. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar: The only thing worse in Oilerville than a Russian Eberle is a Regina Eberle.

    Can we start trading Slepyshev now?

  23. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk: Can we start trading Slepyshev now?

    Yes. For a #1 D-man.

  24. hunter1909 says:

    frjohnk,

    Pouzar,

    You guys are spot on.

    The sooner they’re all traded(Hall+Eberle+Yakupov preferably twice, RNH + McDavid joins Toronto or another similarly deserving city) the better.

  25. hunter1909 says:

    And let’s not forget to run the following defencemen out of town also: Klefbom, Reinhart(like Yakupov preferably twice), Schultz, and Musil.

    I’d like to include Dillon Simpson, but he’s not yet well known enough to make personal and entirely baseless unprovoked attacks on.

    I hope The Edmonton Journal, Sun, and the radio media take note. Don’t forget to include a litany against the Oiler fans either. Because that’s about all you’ve been good for during the past 10+ years.

  26. frjohnk says:

    hunter1909:
    frjohnk,

    Pouzar,

    You guys are spot on.

    The sooner they’re all traded(Hall+Eberle+Yakupov preferably twice, RNH + McDavid joins Toronto or another similarly deserving city) the better.

    Was with you until I read “Toronto” and “deserving city” in the same sentence.

  27. hunter1909 says:

    How little do the Edmonton msm understand about hockey? Do they really think the Oilers under McLellan cannot possibly improve??

  28. hunter1909 says:

    frjohnk: Was with you until I read “Toronto” and “deserving city” in the same sentence.

    That was a sad attempt at irony. By me. sorry

  29. hunter1909 says:

    frjohnk: Was with you until I read “Toronto” and “deserving city” in the same sentence.

    You do have to admit that Ontario, now that it doesn’t actually make anything useful anymore does deserve their beloved Maple Leafs every player currently on the Oilers roster, then they trade us Kadri Nylander and Lupul?

    They’re going to need something to keep them from committing mass suicide once their real estate bubble collapses in about thirty minutes flat, sometime in the foreseeable future.

  30. Yeti says:

    viking chug: Would love to see a future Draisaitl (or even Yakimov?) at C, Yakupov RW and Slepyshev on the left.

    A Yaki-Yaku-Slepy line sounds great in theory, but Woodguy insists they’d be too damned lazy to take more than three meaningful shifts a game.

  31. GCW_69 says:

    If the left side is: Sekera – Klefbom – Ference/Nikitin, and the right side is Fayne – Schultz – Gryba then Nurse playing in the NHL puts $7.75M in the press box. I just can’t see that happening.

    Buying out Ference and trading Schultz to drop Franson into the Schultz spot and leave Nurse to battle Nikitin for the 3LD spot. In that scenario, I could have seen Nurse taking the spot from Nikitin.

    But, we are where we are and NHL teams rarely put $7.75M in the press box.

  32. Lynas1 says:

    Pajamah:
    Slepyshev is so incredibly under the radar but lines up with other 19yr old Russians coming over from the KHL.

    Could easily be a 2R if the Oilers want to move Yakupov(long term of course)

    If Yakimov turns out, they will really be top heavy and will have to deal from a surplus. Solves cap issues if one of the 6 million dollar men need to be moved for a cheap ELC defenseman or the Josi/Jones/Larsson mold.

    If they need the money and it is McDavid/Drai/Yakimov/Lander in 3 seasons, and Chiarelli can turn RNH into Noah Hanifan, ecstatic.

    That C depth chart looks scary if Yakimov has the goods. I bet he does. I love RNHs game, but being in the west I’d rather have a guy like LD down the middle.

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