Every year, over one Edmonton Oilers prospect who appeared in the AHL is fired out of a cannon and into the sun. In this way, the parent club can both make room for new players and help other NHL teams and leagues stock their rosters with qualified men. Before we look at this year’s exits, let’s go back for a couple of knee-slapping episodes.
2013 SUMMER (MACT’S FIRST)
- Teemu Hartikainen bolted to the KHL (and was traded).
- Toni Rajala was released and Edmonton no longer retains his rights.
- Mark Arcobello was retained and played half the season in the NHL. He would emerge as an NHL regular before being traded.
- Phil Cornet exited the system.
- Chris VandeVelde moved on, and played 18 games with the Flyers (no compensation). Now a regular Flyer.
- Magnus Paajarvi was traded in a deal that delivered David Perron.
- Colten Teubert signed in Germany.
- Alex Plante exited the system and hit Europe.
Edmonton got value for Paajarvi and retained Arcobello from this group. Among those sent away for nothing, Chris VandeVelde gained NHL employment.
2014 SUMMER (MACT’S SECOND)
- Mark Arcobello was signed to a team friendly deal after playing in the NHL in 2013-14 (41GP, 4-14-18). He would emerge as an NHL regular before being traded.
- Martin Marincin arrived in the NHL, looking for all the world like he’d developed in the Red Wings’ system (44GP, 0-6-6). He would eventually be traded.
- Oscar Klefbom struggled early and then turned a corner in OKC. He also spent time in the NHL (17GP, 1-2-3)
- Ryan Martindale was traded for a veteran AHLer in Steve Pinizzotto, who spent some time in the NHL (6GP, 0-2-2).
- Tyler Pitlick finally played in the NHL (10GP, 1-0-1) and would get a chance in 2014-15.
- Anton Lander had a fine AHL season. He also played 27 games in the NHL.
- Curtis Hamilton got another contract.
- Andrew Miller, Martin Gernat, David Musil, Brandon Davidson, Travis Ewanyk, Richard Bachman all continued to develop and were retained.
2015 SUMMER (CHIARELLI’S FIRST)
- Oscar Klefbom spent nine games in the AHL, but spent 60 impressive games in the NHL and looks to be a big part of the Edmonton Oilers through the end of the decade and beyond.
- Martin Marincin was inexplicably banished to the AHL before getting recalled to Edmonton and playing in 41 uneven games. He was not impressive in the AHL at the end of the year and was traded to Toronto.
- Anton Lander was waived, had a strong showing in the AHL, was re-called and blossomed in the NHL while playing in 38 effective games. He is signed and a part of the future. This is what the AHL is supposed to do for prospects (wobbly moments by the organization set aside).
- Iiro Pakarinen rocked up the AHL depth chart and made it all the way to the NHL for 17 games.
- Brandon Davidson took another step in the AHL, and impressed in 12 NHL games.
- Brad Hunt continued to develop, played in 11 NHL games, and was re-signed.
- Andrew Miller continued to develop, played in nine NHL games, and was re-signed.
- Jordan Oesterle debuted, played well in the minors and impressed in six NHL games.
- David Musil continued to defy the supposed odds and impress the organization. Played in his first four NHL games.
- Laurent Brossoit was money in the minors and delivered a fantastic NHL debut in his one game. Bona fide prospect.
- Bogdan Yakimov debuted, developed, flourished and played in one NHL game. He’ll be back.
- Curtis Hamilton, stayed healthy, developed, played in one NHL game, and was not retained.
- Josh Winquist signed an AHL deal, flourished in the ECHL & AHL but did not receive the NHL contract he earned.
- Dillon Simpson struggled early but continued to develop, just as he had in the NCAA as a freshman.
- Kale Kessy had a nice start to the year, including a Landeresque spike in skating ability. He was then injured, out for the year.
- Jujhar Khaira stuggled all season long offensively, seems to have done good work in other areas.
- Travis Ewanyk continued to play in the AHL in an extreme defensive role, and then was traded to Ottawa in the Eric Gryba deal.
- Mitch Moroz had a very difficult time early but by season’s end had things going in a good direction.
- Martin Gernat took an enormous step backward.
The Oilers minor league team is delivering more talent than at any point since the EIG shot the AHL team in the face, and more talent is getting to the NHL. As the handling of Marincin this summer proves, the organization is still hurting itself over demons and sins real and imagined. At some point, Peter Chiarelli will learn that trading players for reasons that aren’t hockey related is both an Oilers tradition and the damndest thing. He needs to stop doing it, or we’ll be talking about another Martin Marincin—or Jeff Petry—and that’s the kind of thing that gets a GM fired.