Ideally, the rookie crop of prospects who are sent to the AHL each fall will produce actual NHL players every year. Does Edmonton have that kind of system? Yes and no. Here is a quick look at the Oilers AHL-to-NHL conversion of OKC/Bakersfield rookies.
BARONS 10-11 ROOKIES
- C Teemu Hartikainen 66GP, 17-25-42
- F Milan Kytnar 78GP, 13-16-29
- D Jeff Petry 41GP, 7-17-24
- L Phil Cornet 60GP, 7-16-23
- C Mark Arcobello 26GP, 11-11-22
- C Chris VandeVelde 67GP, 12-4-16
- 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 (365 NHL games) is a bona fide NHL defenseman, Chris VandeVelde (197), Mark Arcobello (139), Teemu Hartikainen (52) Colten Teubert (24), Phil Cornet (2) and Milan Kytnar (1) all saw playing time in the world’s best league. Petry and VandeVelde appear to be locks for 2016-17 employment.
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
- D Justin Schultz 34GP, 18-30-48
- L Toni Rajala 46GP, 17-28-45
- D Martin Marincin 69GP, 7-23-30
- D Taylor Fedun 70GP, 8-19-27
- C Anton Lander 47GP, 9-11-20
- C Ryan Martindale 41GP, 6-8-14
- C CJ Stretch 17GP, 5-3-8
- L Kristians Pelss 20GP, 1-7-8
- D Brandon Davidson 26GP, 2-3-5
Nelson is back to delivering considerable talent to the Oilers. Justin Schultz (266 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 (193), Martin Marincin (150), Brandon Davidson (63) and Taylor Fedun (12) have NHL time and we may see three or four emerge with NHL careers.
BARONS 13-14 ROOKIES
- R Andrew Miller 52GP, 8-26-34
- D Martin Gernat 57GP, 4-17-21
- C Austin Fyten 47GP, 7-13-20
- D David Musil 61GP, 2-10-12
- C Travis Ewanyk 68GP, 7-5-12
- D Oscar Klefbom 48GP, 1-9-10
- L Kale Kessy 54GP, 2-4-6
- G Tyler Bunz 5, 3.63 .901
There’s still some time for several of the men who haven’t made the grade but early results are good. Oscar Klefbom (107 NHL games) looks like a decade plus defensive option, plus Andrew Miller (15) are David Musil (4) working on establishing themselves. Tyler Bunz (1) also appeared in the NHL.
BARONS 14-15 ROOKIES
- C Bogdan Yakimov 57GP, 12-16-28
- D Jordan Oesterle 65GP, 8-17-25
- L Josh Winquist 46GP, 8-11-19
- D Dillon Simpson 71GP, 3-14-17
- F Kellen Jones 49GP, 5-10-15
- C Connor Jones 41GP, 4-6-10
- C Jujhar Khaira 51GP, 4-6-10
- L Mitchell Moroz 66GP, 5-4-9
- D CJ Ludwig 28GP, 1-4-5
- 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 (23 NHL games), Jujhar Khaira (15), Laurent Brossoit (6) and Bogdan Yakimov (1) have at least played in the NHL.
CONDORS 15-16 ROOKIES
- LD Joey Laleggia 63, 8-19-27
- R Anton Slepyshev 49, 13-8-21
- C Marco Roy 42, 8-12-20
- C Kyle Platzer 48, 6-11-17
- R Greg Chase 19, 1-6-7
- L Braden Christoffer 33, 1-4-5
- G Eetu Laurikainen 18, 3.42 .907
Anton Slepyshev (11 NHL games) played in the big leagues before the AHL, and Laleggia did receive a paper recall to the show. This is a strange group of prospects, their pro debuts seem half baked—that may indicate this group will not produce an NHL player. However, I would like to see Laleggia, Slepsyshev, Roy, Platzer and Chase in a more prominent role in year two—let them get their at-bats.
BAKERSFIELD AHL ROOKIES 2016-17
- R Jesse Puljujarvi—My RE projects him to play fewer than 20 games in the AHL this coming season. He would be the most talented Oilers prospect to play in the minors since all the kids hit OKC during the lockout.
- F Drake Caggiula—I think there is a good chance he spends some time in the NHL this season, but betting on 40 or more AHL games seems reasonable. He is a very interesting prospect, I am looking forward to seeing what kind of boxcars he will post—and if he can break through Edmonton’s established habit of not featuring new pro players.
- G Nick Ellis—Intriguing signing, he was .936 in college (.936 in your basement is great) and it will be fun to see where he starts, and if he can push up from that point in-season. Among the additions this spring and summer, he is one of my favorite under the radar signing.
- F Jere Sallinen—He will be 26 on opening night, not certain if we can call him a rookie. He is a bit of a wild card in Edmonton and Bakersfield, we will know more after training camp.
- R Patrick Russell—Under the radar because Caggiula was the big prize, he scored 20 goals at St. Cloud State last year and should be able to help out in that area in Bakersfield. Appears to bring some physical elements, someone to watch for in training camp.
- LD Ben Betker—Last season saw him play most of the time in Norfolk, but Betker the giant (6.06, 223) should see plenty of AHL time this coming season. His wheels aren’t bad, but mobility will be the issue for him—turning big rigs in a hurry can be troublesome.
- L Scott Allen—A giant (6.03, 198) who came out of college (Alaska-Anchorage) and scored some with two ECHL teams last season. A former Spruce Grove Saints forward, he is on an AHL deal.
- C-L Joey Benik—Another AHL contract, Benik is a small (5.10, 174) and quite skilled—his St. Cloud State career totals (126 points in 137 games) are impressive. Interesting addition to the team, suspect ECHL time is likely.
Slight chance of a 10am post, otherwise there will be something at 5pm.