OILERS PROSPECTS 21-30 (winter 2016) THE SECONDARY MODERNS

There are 41 (one more than normal) prospects of note in and around the Oilers system who are worthy of mention this winter. In December 2015, the Top 20 consisted of  two goalies, eight forwards and 10 defensemen. This year, the Top 20 houses three goalies, nine defensemen and eight forwards.

THE FIRST 20

I see this year’s top 20 as five different levels:

  1. Jesse Puljujarvi
  2. The college men, the Russian and the WHL kids (No. 2 through No. 7)
  3. Top AHL trio (Slepy, Khaira, Pitlick No. 8-10)
  4. Real positives with some worries (No. 11-17)
  5. Some promise but in need of more traction

The group 21-30 includes four Bakersfield Condors, players I would love to have listed earlier but their performance this year made it impossible. We also have some collegians, Europeans—but the CHL kids are already gone.

  • No. 21 (No. 20 Winter 2015) RD John Marino, Harvard. He is a perfect fit in terms of style for the modern game. Fluid skater who can make quick transitions, retrieve pucks and make good decisions in a hurry. Excellent passer. He is 11gp, 1-2-3 for Harvard, playing a regular shift as a freshman and his arrows are heading in a solid direction.

  • No. 22 (No. 32 winter 2015) G Miroslav Svoboda, HC Dukla Jihlava (Cze2). His numbers are fierce (18, 1.49 .950) and the only reason Svoboda didn’t make it into the Top 20 is that no one (no one!) could tell me about the quality of his league. If you have a .950 SP in your back yard, a scout should go have a look. Interesting prospect, wish very much we had more on him in which to make a better estimate.

Photo by Mark Williams. All rights reserved

  • No. 23 (No. 21 winter 2015) LD David Musil, Bakersfield Condors. Of all the players I write about each season, this is the one I always hope won’t be here the next winter. David Musil was a fine junior, and I think he could have an NHL career, but foot speed and the Leftorium have him buried in the organization. Currently at 18gp, 1-5-6 with the Condors, he plays all the big minutes and does the heavy work. If you could get his foot speed up to par, Musil would be a very valuable player. I still think he finds a way to have a Greg Joly-length career.

  • No. 24 (NR) LD Matthew Cairns, Fargo Force (USHL). I am still getting a feel for what he is (Cairns has some offense to him but is not a flashy puck mover, don’t know about the defense and physical play), and the Force numbers (17gp, 0-4-4) are no help at all. A smart hockey man told me that Edmonton taking Cairns where they did (No. 84) was an intelligent move. Why? The obvious prospects and good CHL kids were off the board, so it comes down to a shoot the moon player like Cairns from a lesser league or a lesser player from the bigger league. Interesting comment, Anaheim took Josh Mahura with the next selection.

Photo by Mark Williams, all rights reserved

  • No. 25 (No. 23 Winter 2015) LD Jordan Oesterle, Bakersfield Condors. I had high hopes for this player—he is a fast train—but two things have happened. First, the Oilers upgraded in both lefties and puck movers, and second—he got hurt and is just now getting back into the swing of things. He is 10gp, 3-2-5 as we speak, I cannot see a way to get him on to the Oilers roster from here. Expansion may be coming just in time.

Photo by Mark Williams, all rights reserved

  • No. 26 (No. 11 Winter 2015) LC Bogdan Yakimov, Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik KHL. How the mighty have fallen, but it is so hard to suss out exactly what is happening with Yakimov. He is currently 32gp, 3-5-8 in the KHL, playing 8:53 a night. He could have been in North America the entire season and would surely have seen some NHL action. A strange career progression, I remain convinced he has NHL talent. He is 6.05, 232 and has reasonable hands. That is a Chiarelli player.

Photo by Mark Williams, all rights reserved

  • No. 27 (No. 14 winter 2015) C Kyle Platzer, Bakersfield Condors. I have him in the Kyle Brodziak two-way center family, but Brodziak scored 31 points in 55 games during his second AHL season. Platzer has just five points in 21 games, and there is some evidence the Oilers simply are not playing him. Prospect-Stats estimates Platzer averages 11:31 5×5 minutes per game, which ranks him No. 8 among forwards. The seven men ahead of him? Beck, Lander, Hamilton, Khaira, Benik, Currie, Newbury. They have dropped Newbury, still puts Platzer on the 3line.

Photo by Mark Williams, all rights reserved

  • No. 28 (No. 27 winter 2015) L Mitchell Moroz, Bakersfield Condors. Moroz gets even less ice time than Platzer (estimate: 8:48 even-strength ice time this year), but he is showing some signs of progress. His boxcars (16gp, 1-2-3) don’t impress, but his three 5×5 points in 141 minutes (or so) have him at 1.28/60. His estimated time on ice a year ago was six minutes at one point in the season, so perhaps he is wrestling playing time away from older players.

  • No. 29 (No. 37 winter 2015) L Aidain Muir, Western Michigan. Muir moves smartly up the list, similar to the progress made by Tyler Vesel. His coach (Andy Murray) told Guy Flaming not long ago thatr Muir had a strong year going before injury. Big PF has been slow in developing, but fits the Chiarelli template well. He was 9gp, 1-6-7 when injured.

  • No. 30 (NR) L Graham McPhee, Boston College. He has a chance. Good skater, has skill, and is a very aware player defensively. Some very smart people (Corey Pronman, Chris Dilks) believe he is a legit prospect. Currently 20gp, 0-4-4 as an NCAA freshman.

ROLLING TOP 30

  • No. 31-40 will appear on Tuesday.
  • We will spend a lot of time on this Thursday (I will publish the list, with links, by position, as was the case last year) but the organizational areas of strength (including NHL) for me are center and left defense. I don’t see any other areas of strength, perhaps you do.
  • The weakest spots at this point are both wings, with right wing weak enough to require a trade. Edmonton can probably count on Jesse Puljujarvi for next season, but his graduation still doesn’t give this organization enough quality and depth at the position.
  • Left Wing is in a period of transition. When Taylor Hall was on the roster, the Oilers could look to fill in with quality veterans like Benoit Pouliot and Patrick Maroon. Now, things have changed. The club needs an impact prospect, Tyler Benson is the only one who projects as a sure NHLer.
  • Goal is improved markedly. Looks like two 2016 bets (Ellis and Wells) are solid prospects. Miles to go, but the names are more promising.
  • Culling the Leftorium has to come sooner or later, but I am beginning to worry which LHDs might be heading out. If Peter Chiarelli wants to add an NHL scoring winger, how high up the LHD depth chart will he go to make that happen?
  • One thing we should keep in mind: Players who are signed, need to be signed, or could be signed. Both Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear are signed and will turn pro. How does that impact William Lagesson, Ziyat Paigin and Filip Berglund? Interesting summer to come.
  • If you and I are making a list of players who are certain hits, how many? Precious few.

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24 Responses to "OILERS PROSPECTS 21-30 (winter 2016) THE SECONDARY MODERNS"

  1. flyfish1168 says:

    Sorry LT for Hijacking this thread.

    When word got out that Jordan was taking shooting lessons over the summer, this is what I imagined what he would do with the sweet passes from Connor.
    This is a goal from Laine against the Avs today.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/gotta-see-laines-one-timer-leaves-avalanche-broadcasters-awe/

  2. ykjoe says:

    flyfish1168,

    Would have been sweet.

  3. Zelepukin says:

    flyfish1168:
    Sorry LT for Hijacking this thread.

    When word got out that Jordan was taking shooting lessons over the summer, this is what I imagined what he would do with the sweet passes from Connor.
    This is a goal from Laine against the Avs today.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/gotta-see-laines-one-timer-leaves-avalanche-broadcasters-awe/

    Well you definitely ‘imagined’ a shooting class capable of turning someone who has never taken a one-timer before into Ovechkin.

  4. B.C.B says:

    I still think that LW is a position of strength for the Oilers overall:

    Lucic
    Pouliot (ok bad season)
    Maroon
    Hendricks
    Caggiula (I see him as a LW longterm, even though LT and I have discussed it)
    Kharia (same as Caggiula)
    Benson

    I think that is a very strong group, overall.
    Added to that, whenever RNH or Draisaitl are thought of to play wing they are always slotted in on the right side. I think this is more to do with that being the weak link on our current forward lines, not because those two should be playing port side, especially long term.
    Overall, I think the ‘position’ of weakness on the Oilers is anything that should be right handed (from defensemen, to wingers, and even to centres)

  5. Hope is a good thing says:

    Although it is early in their careers, you can see why the Finn hought he deserved to go first overall ahead of Matthews.

  6. Centre of attention says:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/nhl-secret-santa-edmonton-oilers-edition/

    Reporter: “Would you get Milan a new nose?”

    Draisaitl: -shocked look- “Why don’t you go ask him that to his face, he’s right over there. I would like to see that.”

  7. kinger_OIL says:

    flyfish1168,

    – A young Kurri…McD with a guy with a release would wreak even more havoc than current.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Bohologo:
    LT, your work is fantastic on a uniform basis-thanks so much for this series, you’ve clearly put in a great deal of work.

    My only contribution is the observation that the Czech word for goalie is apparently Golman, which is awesome.

    Thanks, Boho. Love doing these. I have probably sworn at more Golmans than any other position. 🙂

  9. flyfish1168 says:

    Zelepukin: Well you definitely ‘imagined’ a shooting class capable of turning someone who has never taken a one-timer before into Ovechkin.

    Never loose hope

  10. flyfish1168 says:

    kinger_OIL:
    flyfish1168,

    – A young Kurri…McD with a guy with a release would wreak even more havoc than current.

    I remember when there was a debate who had the fastest and hardest release. Everyone was saying Bossy, I would say Kurri and everyone would say who. Well when they saw Kurri one timing Gretz passes with a slapshot with that accuracy the debate was over.

  11. GMB3 says:

    Well the GP’s in the division are evening up and we are still within shouting distance of first place.

  12. GMB3 says:

    kinger_OIL:
    flyfish1168,

    – A young Kurri…McD with a guy with a release would wreak even more havoc than current.

    Yep, Laine would have fit the bill. Drai as our Mess?

  13. JJS says:

    Would you trade PJ for a top line RW who is under 25 y/o? How about next years first and one of our top 5 prospects?

    McDavid is ready to score 110+ points in this league with a shooter on his starboard. What is the right price for 8-10 years of glory?

  14. GMB3 says:

    JJS:
    Would you trade PJ for a top line RW who is under 25 y/o?How about next years first and one of our top 5 prospects?

    McDavid is ready to score 110+ points in this league with a shooter on his starboard.What is the right price for 8-10 years of glory?

    I say no to JP and probably no to the pick. We will be in cap hell shortly, and we will need guys who can come in and contribute on their ELC.
    I’d love if we drafted a Chris Kreider (assuming we pick around 18th or 19th).

  15. JJS says:

    GMB3: I say no to JP and probably no to the pick. We will be in cap hell shortly, and we will need guys who can come in and contribute on their ELC.
    I’d love if we drafted a Chris Kreider (assuming we pick around 18th or 19th).

    Agreed with the cap. Soon to be a big issue.

    Lucic is going to hurt us in that respect for many years unfortunately…

  16. Gordies Elbow says:

    JJS: Agreed with the cap.Soon to be a big issue.

    Lucic is going to hurt us in that respect for many years unfortunately…

    I’m not sure that Lucic’s contract is that bad of one. His current performance is comparable to his salary cap peers, and doesn’t have an injury history, per se. While other’s may think his performance will degrade, he’s only 34 at the end of his contract. I agree that the next contract he signs with Edmonton will be a problem. 😉

    Pouliot’s and Fayne’s contracts, though, are a problem. Fayne’s $3.625m expires at the end of the 2017-18, and Pouliot’s $4.0m at the end of 2018-19.

    Edmonton might be able to keep Fayne’s wasted cap space, but Pouliot’s is a real problem. Edmonton’s going to need to move an asset with it to not take on wasted cap space.

  17. GMB3 says:

    I can’t wait to see how much activity there will be on this site when the team eventually makes the playoffs.

  18. Gino says:

    Caleb Jones is the only left shot D IMO that has some great trade value. If it’s possible to package him up along with more for a move to address the lefty / righty situation on D or a another forward on right wing.

  19. limit says:

    Gordies Elbow:
    Pouliot’s and Fayne’s contracts, though, are a problem. Fayne’s $3.625m expires at the end of the 2017-18, and Pouliot’s $4.0m at the end of 2018-19.

    Edmonton might be able to keep Fayne’s wasted cap space, but Pouliot’s is a real problem. Edmonton’s going to need to move an asset with it to not take on wasted cap space.

    Agree and nailed it
    http://lowetide.ca/2014/07/01/oilers-sign-pouliot/

  20. VOR says:

    When I consult in the energy industry I use complex algorithms the single most important variables in which are the discount and replacement/depletion variables. Given I can successfully model a large solar farm in Mali or a rejuvenated oil field in Texas I should in theory be able to take any contract and create an estimated value for it at any time (X). I wonder if anybody has tried? The discount rate of finance should be dead easy. I am guessing the depletion rate would be tougher. How fast does a player in the NHL lose their on ice value? What are we even going to use as on ice measures? And what is the future cost of replacing Lucic for example? It will obviously change over time but what shape the curve of replacement value would take I find hard to visualize. Sorry, just thinking out loud.

  21. Dominoiler says:

    Gordies Elbow: I’m not sure that Lucic’s contract is that bad of one. His current performance is comparable to his salary cap peers, and doesn’t have an injury history, per se. While other’s may think his performance will degrade, he’s only 34 at the end of his contract. I agree that the next contract he signs with Edmonton will be a problem.

    Pouliot’s and Fayne’s contracts, though, are a problem. Fayne’s $3.625m expires at the end of the 2017-18, and Pouliot’s $4.0m at the end of 2018-19.

    Edmonton might be able to keep Fayne’s wasted cap space, but Pouliot’s is a real problem. Edmonton’s going to need to move an asset with it to not take on wasted cap space.

    Solid argument for not protecting Pouliot.. i still value him as a player, but also value Davidson.. the salary cap, it’s a thing..

  22. "Steve Smith" says:

    Dominoiler,

    Agreed. I like Pouliot too, and don’t particularly think he’s overpaid, but if we lost him, we could approximately replace him (big, thirty year old fifteen goal/thirty-five point winger) using just the freed-up cap space ($4 million), thereby suffering no net loss. If we lost Davidson, there is no possibility that we could replace him (big, steady twenty-five year old defenceman, left-handed but able to play right-side) using only his freed-up cap space ($1.425 million).

    Of course, Las Vegas probably knows this as well. Only saving grace may be that Edmonton’s a more desirable free-agent location than Las Vegas right now, so we’d have an easier time replacing Pouliot on the free-agent market than they would getting one.

  23. trencan says:

    I completely agree with B.C.B about situation with left wingers and his definition of weakness. Based on that fact I am not sure whether Maroon will stay in Edmonton more seasons. Lucic, Benson, Caggiula, Maroon, Khaira..(I dont see Poulliot in Chiarellis plan for future) I really like Pat but I am not sure whether he will be ok with his position and offered salary in the future.
    The weakness are right handed players – defense, wings, centers and it would be also nice to have quality right handed backup goalie.

    My list of top 5 interesting prospects who can help Oilers in the future:
    Jesse – fantastic potential, but I am not sure how Oilers handle his development
    Benson – hope he is future TOP 6 guy, his numbers in weak WHL team look good, but I would like to see his stats next season in AHL to see how good he really is.
    Benning – Looks very very promising. I would like to see him playing with Davidson
    Ethan Bear – This guy in my opinion is extremely important for Oilers, he could be our PP RHD. This type of players are very difficult to find available on trade market, so the way is draft them and develope them. He should play in AHL next season. I still cant believe that Ducks were ready to trade Vatanen for Poulliot + Yakupov…
    Caggiulla – Very good third line left winger for the future

    Other interesting names for me – Jones, Brossoit, Khaira, Rasanen, Slepyshev, Reinhart, Berglund
    Paygin – I dont think this guy will ever play in NHL if he stays where he is. He has potential but I am not sure about his development after the trade back to AK Bars Kazan. It is very rich club in KHL and they are oriented more on results than development of young players. I think his ice time and usage on different situations (PK, PP) is much smaller than it was in HK Sochi. He needs to play in a club with lower reputation and expectations in KHL or go to US.

    European leagues – There are big differencies and gaps between the leagues so I try to make my quality segmentation:
    Segment 1 – The top is KHL, no doubt, but still miles away from NHL
    Segment 2 – Then there are quality leagues like SHL (SWE), Liiga – FIN (lost reputation a little bit after Jokerit moved to KHL), NLA – SUI.
    Segment 3 – Czech Extraliga, German DEL, EBEL (mostly Austrian teams),
    Segment 4 – Norway, Denmark
    Segment 5 – France, Slovakia, Italy, England… and here belongs also CzeII in my opinion. But it is only my opinion…

    Golman Svoboda mentioned in his last interview month ago he would stay in US but the last camp in summer with Oilers wasnt his best…I would mention his teammate in Dukla Jihlava – 16 years old golman Jakub Skarek. This kid will be seriously GOOD.

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