The Edmonton Oilers have been procuring specific talent this summer, adding size whenever possible. An example: Griffin Reinhart, brought in despite a premium to be a part of the young group of blue who will play for the team in the next several years. Another big player, forward John McCarron, will be a free agent as of today, as unsigned college players find freedom on 15 August after their senior season.
- Kirk Luedeke on McCarron July 2012: “He’s another one of those raw guys, pretty hard nosed for college. Nothing flashy, meat and potatoes north-south type player his production was pretty good. He’s got a chance to be a bottom 6 player, at very best he would be a fringe third liner or solid fourth liner. He finishes his check and goes hard to the net. He’s a pretty hard nosed guy for NCAA, has a chance to play because he’s big and strong. Straight line player, drops his shoulder, finishes his check and fights for position in front of the net.”
Appears #Isles will not be signing D Robbie Russo, 2011 4th rd pick. 2nd team NCAA All-American at Notre Dame this season. Will become FA.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 1, 2015
He'll be grabbed up pretty quickly…. https://t.co/kJisDqfmLo
— Sean Lafortune (@SeanLafortune) June 1, 2015
@crimsonace Chicago is basically signing everyone to an ELC these days, they'd be a spot. He'd fit in a lot of orgs.
— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) June 1, 2015
- Red Line Report’s Max Giese before draft day: “He’s playing well and I’d expect him to be an early second-rounder. He reminds me a lot of Matt Carle– he’s not the biggest (5-11, 190), most explosive defenseman out there, but he’s very intelligent and calculated with his puck movement. I like him OK. But he doesn’t really light a fire under me. I would imagine that NHL teams like him, but if I were with a team, he wouldn’t be my guy. Not taking anything away from him as a player, but he just doesn’t have the kind of dynamic game that I would want to spend a second-round pick on.” Source
Russo is a substantial offensive prospect (NHLE: 82GP, 10-18-28) and is a RH shot. I imagine he’ll sign with Chicago or Toronto or Detroit, but he would be a nice addition.
PRONMAN’S WORDS ON REINHART
Corey Pronman posted his 2015 top 100 prospects this week, Edmonton had three men on the list. It would have been four, but Leon Draisaitl didn’t qualify because of his NHL games (he was No. 8 a year ago, Oscar Klefbom was No. 46). Here are the Oilers on Corey’s list this season:
- Connor McDavid at No. 1
- Darnell Nurse at No. 20
- Griffin Reinhart at No. 56
Pronman noted (in regard to Reinhart) “He’s high-end defensively, and average offensively, which is still a pretty good player. He performed well versus men this season in the AHL and could make the Oilers very soon.”
I think that’s about right.
Back to Russo. The Oilers already have a fantastic college grad coming into the system and it’s Joey Laleggia. Quality offensive defenseman at the NCAA level, the downside is size (5.09, 182) and the upside is a splendid puck-moving defenseman. His equivalency is eye popping. NHLE: 82GP, 14-23-37. If Edmonton does pursue Russo, one hopes he qualifies in the ‘two-way category’. In terms of offense, the numbers suggest Laleggia brings more to the table than Russo.
OILERS PROSPECTS, ALL IN A ROW
With McCarron no longer in the organization, and Marco Roy back (kind of), I thought it might be an idea to tweak my list from the last time it was published. I haven’t changed the ranking (that happens next in December) but did move out McCarron and placed Roy back in (not at previous level).
- C Connor McDavid NHLE: 82GP, 23-40-63. Destination: NHL from opening night.
- C Leon Draisaitl NHLE: 82GP, 15-26-41. Destination: NHL before Christmas.
- D Darnell Nurse NHLE: 82GP, 7-16-23. Destination: NHL this season.
- D Griffin Reinhart. NHLE: 82GP, 6-11-17. Destination: NHL by the trade deadline.
- C Bogdan Yakimov. NHLE: 82GP, 10-13-23. Destination: AHL for 2015-16, with a cup of coffee in the NHL.
- W Iiro Pakarinen. NHLE: 82GP, 16-11-27. Destination: AHL to start, callups to the NHL early and often.
- C Kyle Platzer. NHLE: 82GP, 12-17-29. Destination: He’ll spend his rookie pro season in the AHL.
- C-R Greg Chase. NHLE: 82GP, 8-16-24. Destination: AHL all year, with an NHL look-see possible.
- L Anton Slepyshev. NHLE: 82GP, 17-11-28. Destination: AHL marksman.
- D Ethan Bear. NHLE: 82GP, 5-9-14. Destination: WHL all year, hopefully plenty of PP time.
- G Laurent Brossoit. Destination: A full season in Bakersfield as starter.
- D Joey Laleggia. NHLE: 82GP, 14-23-37. Destination: Full AHL season, possible recall if he flourishes.
- D Dillon Simpson. NHLE: 82GP, 2-9-11. Destination: Full AHL season.
- G Eetu Laurikainen. Destination: Minor leagues for sure.
- R Andrew Miller. NHLE: 82GP, 16-19-35. Destination: AHL to start, significant NHL time possible.
- D Jordan Oesterle. NHLE: 82GP, 6-12-18. Destination: AHL all year, with a callup possible.
- D Caleb Jones. NHLE: 82GP, 2-5-7. Destination: Feature role in WHL with Portland.
- C Jujhar Khaira. NHLE: 82GP, 4-5-9. Destination: Full AHL season.
- R Tyler Pitlick. NHLE: 82GP, 8-16-24. Destination: NHL all season or the waiver wire/AHL.
- D William Lagesson. NHLE: 82GP, 1-6-7. Destination: UMass and college hockey.
- F Marco Roy. NHLE: 82GP, 11-10-21. Destination: Somewhere in pro hockey, climbing.
- D Ziyat Paigin. NHLE: 82GP, 2-2-4. Destination: KHL with more playing time.
- G Anders Nilsson. Destination: Backup goalie in the NHL.
- D Ben Betker. NHLE: 82GP, 2-10-12. Destination: Full AHL season.
- D Brandon Davidson. NHLE: 82GP, 3-4-7. Destination: AHL to start but could see significant NHL time.
- D Brad Hunt. NHLE: 82GP, 11-19-30. Destination: Impact AHL defender, with a chance for recall.
- L Kale Kessy. NHLE: 82GP, 8-8-16. Destination: A full AHL season.
- D David Musil. NHLE: 82GP, 1-7-8. Destination: Full AHL season, with a chance to make an NHL appearance.
- D John Marino. Destination: Another season with the South Shore Kings.
- G Zach Nagelvoort. Destination: Another seasons in the NCAA.
- C Alexis Loiseau. NHLE: 82GP, 12-20-32. Destination: AHL/ECHL and a big pro chance. S
- R Tyler Vesel. NHLE: 82GP, 7-13-20. Destination: Another full season of NCAA hockey in Omaha.
- L Mitch Moroz. NHLE: 82GP, 3-3-6. Destination: Full AHL season.
- L Evan Campbell. NHLE: 82GP, 7-8-15. Destination: UMass-Lowell and another NCAA season.
- L Josh Winquist. NHLE: 82GP, 8-11-19. Destination: AHL all year, possibly ECHL if numbers dictate.
- G Miroslav Svoboda. Destination: Somewhere in Czech Republic.
- L Connor Rankin. NHLE: 82GP, 11-16-27. Destination: AHL/ECHL contract.
- L Braden Christoffer. NHLE: 82GP, 9-11-20. Destination: AHL/ECHL contract.
- L Aidan Muir. NHLE: 82GP, 4-6-10. Destination: Another NCAA season in Western Michigan.
- G Ty Rimmer. Destination: Whatever’s left.
- G KevEN Bouchard. Destination: Another QMJHL season with a SP in the .880s.
- D Martin Gernat NHLE: 82GP, 1-7-8. Destination: ECHL, AHL or Europe.