Greg Chase is unique among Edmonton Oilers prospects. There are physical players who don’t score and there are scorers who don’t agitate. Chase? 6.0, 205, probably plays his pro hockey on RW, he has good hands, creativity and plays a rugged game. He’s surprised since his draft day, and despite his draft number there were a lot of fans before that day:
- RED LINE: “A real Red Line favourite who flies under the radar. He’s a fine puck distributor who shows great patience and possesses the touch to constantly find linemates off the cycle. Keeps feet going after making a pass to sustain pressure in offensive zone. Versatile forward has spent time on every line and been effective in every role. Shows up every shift and his play away from the puck is impressive, makes things happen by constantly filling open ice. Refuses to back down in contested areas; first player into the corners. Wide skating stance helps him maintain balance and uses edges well to maximize glide. Hungry player has a great compete level and looks to make a difference every shift. Not as dynamic offensively as other prospects on this list, but plays a well-rounded, consistent game.”
Chase has a chance to show up early and often. In Penticton, the Oilers are going to want a game rooster who plays balls out alongside some of their extreme skill. Opportunity knocks. That rugged player has to have some offensive ability, Chase’s NHLE (82GP, 10-14-24) suggests he is the best combination available. Opportunity knocks.
LAST YEAR’S PRE-SEASON
"I thought it was a prank.” Greg Chase when he first noted he'd be playing with Taylor Hall & Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in #Oilers-Flames game.
— Joanne Ireland (@jirelandEJ) September 21, 2014
Opportunity knocked a year ago after he earned the chance with hard work and determination. He’s willing to give no quarter and likely to initiate trouble. That has value, and if he can do it without costing his team too many penalties, he will have a long career.
WILL HE PLAY IN THE NHL THIS SEASON?
I didn’t include him in the ‘callup’ portion of the recent RE series, mostly because there’s so much uncertainty higher up the at-bats were spent hedging bets. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him get a look, though—especially if he rips it up in camp as he’s done in the past.
Chase could easily get the call ahead of any of these men, it’s a completely random call based on Slepyshev’s skill, Yakimov’s size and skill, Platzer’s impressive two-way reputation and Moroz being one year along from Chase.
WHAT WILL HIS BAKERSFIELD NUMBERS LOOK LIKE?
I think Chase gets a lot of playing time down there, and if we project his junior numbers to the AHL, it works out (per 82GP) to 19-27-46, .561. If we project 65 games, that’s 15-21-36 or thereabouts. Of course, we have to project that downward because the Oilers have signed some AHL veterans and they’ll take at-bats away, so I’m going to guess 65GP, 12-17-29 .446 points-per-game. Let’s see how that compares to recent Oilers picks and their point-per-game performances (at 20) over recent seasons:
- Tobias Rieder 64GP, 28-20-48 .750
- Teemu Hartikainen 66GP, 17-25-42 .636
- Bogdan Yakimov 57GP, 12-16-28 .491
- Josh Winquist 46GP, 8-11-19 .413
- Phil Cornet 60GP, 7-16-23 .383
- Tyler Pitlick 62GP, 7-16-23 .371
- Anton Lander 14GP, 1-4-5 .357
- Curtis Hamilton 41GP, 5-6-11 .268
- Jujhar Khaira 51GP, 4-6-10 .196
- Travis Ewanyk 68GP, 7-5-12 .176
- Mitch Moroz 66GP, 5-4-9 .136
- Kale Kessy 54GP, 2-4-6 .111
Chase is the best ‘gritty’ prospect (in terms of offense) to come down the pipe in many seasons. He might end up being what I’d always hoped Curtis Hamilton would turn into, that throwback Habs winger who could play a two-way game and score enough to play up with the skilled men. My goodness there’s a really good opportunity waiting for Greg Chase.
PROJECTED BAKERSFIELD RE (SO FAR)
- G: Brossoit (Laurikainen backup)
- D1: Reinhart-Davidson
- D2: Nurse-Musil
- D3: Hunt-Simpson (or Oesterle)
- L1: Pakarainen—Draisaitl—Miller
- L2: Slepyshev—Yakimov—Ford
- L3: R. Hamilton—McRae—Chase or Platzer
- L4: Moroz—Khaira—Platzer or Chase
There’s a lot of talent in Bakersfield. Among the players not listed on this projected opening night roster? Joey Laleggia, Alexis Loiseau, Marco Roy, Josh Winquist, Kale Kessy. It’s going to be fun in Bakersfield this winter!