TOP 20 PROSPECTS 21-40 (2017 EDITION)

This is our annual midway stop between the Winter Top 20 and its summer edition. A chance to update each prospect on the top 20 (and the rest), while also counting errors. In our first installment (here), we found out about some rough and rocky traveling for Jesse Puljujarvi (but he appears to be finding his way), a splendid performance by Matt Benning, and real injury worries for Tyler Benson. Here are the final 21.

  • No. 21 RHD John Marino, Harvard (26, 2-7-9). He is playing well in College. Alex Thomas over at the Oilers Rig has had kind things to say about him, and he is 15, 1-5-6 since I wrote about him in December. There is some evidence that, despite having good puck skills, he isn’t getting prime power-play minutes. That may mean his boxcars are shy in terms of reflecting actual offensive talent.
  • No. 22 G Miroslav Svoboda, Dukla Jihlava (25, 1.60 .944). I parked him here because it was a fairly safe spot, but in all honesty it is impossible to properly rank him. If these numbers are an actual reflection of talent, he belongs in the top 10 prospects. If the league he plays in is terrible, then he should rank at the bottom of the prospect list. Get thee to a higher league, young man.
  • No. 23 LD David Musil, Bakersfield Condors (42, 3-9-12). He is as he has always been: A strong defensive defender at the AHL level hoping for a chance at the NHL level. Musil is the No. 7 LHD prospect on my list, meaning 30 percent of the top 23 names are lefty blue. Add Andrej Sekera, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse and Brandon Davidson, and Musil is the eleventh player of his type on the depth chart. It must be suffocating.
  • No. 24 LD Matt Cairns, Powell River Kings (17, 2-13-15) and Fargo Force (17, 0-4-4). He plays in leagues we don’t see, but we are building his resume. A smart hockey man told me that Edmonton taking Cairns where they did (No. 84) was an intelligent move, because by that number the top CHL kids are gone and higher ceilings may be available in lesser leagues. His BCHL numbers give us an NHLE (82gp, 9 points) do not indicate we should count him as an offensive defenseman. Next season we will find out more about him.
  • No. 25 LD Jordan Oesterle, Edmonton Oilers (2, 0-0-0) and Bakersfield Condors (26, 3-15-18). Fleet puck mover has impressed since arriving in pro hockey in 2014. Blocked six ways to Sunday, I ranked him low for defensive issues—but he looked better in his recent NHL time. CapFriendly has him as a UFA this summer, Edmonton may decide to walk him in efforts to cull the Leftorium. I hope he stays, although he is not yet a proven NHL player.
  • No. 26 LC Bogdan Yakimov, Neftekhimik (50, 3-8-11). He was 32, 3-5-8 when I ranked him in December and went 18, 0-3-3 afterward. I have no idea what happens from here, only that he did not post a strong bullet point on his resume in terms of boxcars. Suspect he would have been better off in Bakersfield.
  • No. 27 RC Kyle Platzer, Bakersfield Condors (43, 1-6-7). He went 48, 6-11-17 as an AHL rookie one year ago, but he has either regressed badly or is not getting any playing time. The Oilers took him No. 96 in 2013, so odds were against him, but I can’t help feeling he should have gotten more playing time.
  • No. 28 L Mitch Moroz Bakersfield Condors (17, 1-2-3) and Tuscon Roadrunners (4, 0-1-1). Former Oil King was sent down the line for Henrik Samuelsson in a minor-league deal at the beginning of the month. Neither man is lighting it up in his new town.
  • No. 29 L Aidan Muir, Western Michigan (17, 2-8-10). He missed a great deal of time this season, and was 9, 1-6-7 when I ranked him in December. Since returning, the big forward is 8, 1-2-3. He is 6.04, 212 and has one more year of college eligibility. Edmonton needs forwards, so it is possible Muir signs a pro contract this spring, but I think Tyler Vesel is a more likely candidate.
  • No. 30 L Graham McPhee, Boston College (33, 1-7-8). One of the more intriguing Oilers prospects, he has some two-way abilities and he started 20, 0-4-4 this year. Since then, he is 13, 1-3-4, and beyond that it is difficult to know how much progress he is making. He is the No. 10 scorer among forwards at Boston College, meaning he is likely getting bottom 6F minutes. That is typical of college freshmen, and we should expect progress in the coming seasons.
  • No. 31 LD Ben Betker, Bakersfield Condors (15, 1-2-3). He was showing good progress early in the year, but has not played since the rankings.
  • No. 32 L Joey Laleggia, Bakersfield Condors (45, 11-8-19). A position change (permanent this time) has resulted in a spike in goals (he is 23, 9-3-12) and possibly a renewal as a prospect. Always a long shot for the NHL, the Oilers are not flush with wingers capable of scoring 20+ goals in the AHL.
  • No. 33 R Greg Chase, Bakersfield Condors (32, 1-5-6). Began the year 13, 1-1-2 and has gone 19, 0-4-4 since. As is the case with Kyle Platzer, it seems the Oilers have moved on from him in spirit if not in fact.
  • No. 34 G Zack Nagelvoort, Michigan (10, 3.39 .902). His best season in college got him drafted in 2014, but each season afterward has been a struggle. There are three goalies on his team, none of them has been able to grab the top job.
  • No. 35 C Jere Sallinen, Bakersfield Condors (43, 4-3-7). Very poor production for a KHL and Sm-Liiga veteran with some offensive success, but we know the AHL is a tough league in its own right. He was 21, 2-0-2 when I wrote about him in December, he is 22, 2-3-5 since.
  • No. 36 R Patrick Russell, Bakersfield Condors (46, 4-6-10). Russell has come on some since December (he was 22, 0-4-4 when I ranked him here). In his last 24 AHL games, Russell is 4-2-6 and has moved up the depth chart a little. Among the college signings last spring and summer (Caggiula, Benning, Ellis, Russell), he has struggled with the speed of the pro game.
  • No. 37 RD Vincent Desharnais, Providence College (26, 2-1-3). He is 14, 1-1-2 since I ranked him for the Winter Top 20 and we have seen a few positive reports about his play. He is 20, and so we should expect him to emerge fairly soon as a real prospect (if it is going to happen).
  • No. 38 L Joey Benik, Bakersfield Condors (21, 4-1-5) and Norfolk Admirals (17, 7-8-15). AHL only deal, I included him because of promising offense. He is not yet Josh Winquist let alone Mark Arcobello, but the offense is there. His ECHL NHL is 16 points.
  • No. 39 L Braden Christoffer, Bakersfield Condors (37, 1-2-3). As is the case with Kyle Platzer and Greg Chase, Christoffer has been passed by names like Scott Allen. The Condors have played him in 37 games and he has three points. No matter his agitation abilities, a prospect has to score at least a little in order to make that next step.
  • No. 40 L Evan Campbell, UMass Lowell River Rats (29, 1-3-4). His final college season has been disappointing. He has played 12 games since December, scoring zero points.
  • No. 41 G Eetu Laurikainen, Norfolk Admirals (11, 3.77 .881). Admirals have employed five goalies this season, Laurikainen has not played in some time.

GRADUATIONS & EXITS

From last year’s (2015) Winter List:

  • No. 1 C Connor McDavid, graduated to the NHL.
  • No. 2 C Leon Draisaitl, graduated to the NHL.
  • No. 3 D Darnell Nurse, graduated to the NHL.
  • No. 7 G Anders Nilsson, graduated to the NHL.
  • No. 8 D Brandon Davidson, graduated to the NHL.
  • No. 10 R Iiro Pakarinen, graduated to the NHL.
  • No. 24 L Kale Kessy, Oilers did not retain him.
  • No. 26 C Andrew Miller, he moved on to the Carolina Hurricanes organization.
  • No. 29 L Josh Winquist, he moved on to the Islanders organization.
  • No. 30 C Alexis Loiseau, AHL contract the Oilers set free.
  • No. 33 D Brad Hunt, went unsigned by the Oilers.
  • No. 36 G Keven Bouchard, Oilers did not sign him, he went back to junior.
  • No. 38 D Martin Gernat, Oilers dealt him to Anaheim in the Patrick Maroon deal.
  • No. 40 G Ty Rimmer. He was not on the 50-man list and was not signed by Bakersfield.
  • No. 40 C Marco Roy. Unsigned by the Oilers, now playing in the AHL.

From this year’s (2016) Winter List:

  • No. 10 R Tyler Pitlick, graduated to the NHL.
  • No. 28 L Mitch Moroz, traded to Arizona Coyotes organization.

That 2015 list is a crushing group, Peter Chiarelli arrived to a watershed of prospects—much as he did when taking over the Boston Bruins a decade ago. The 2016 list will eventually graduate Matt Benning, Drake Caggiula, Anton Slepyshev and others. Jesse Puljujarvi will likely graduate during the 2017-18 season.

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21 Responses to "TOP 20 PROSPECTS 21-40 (2017 EDITION)"

  1. Ducey says:

    Was wondering how Roy was doing.

    20 pts in 45 games last year with Bakersfield

    Is 15 1 4 5 this year with Utica in the AHL.

    Those Oilers second rounders.

  2. Ducey says:

    And ol’ LT favourite Josh Winquist is 30 9 8 17 in his new uni after putting up 30 points in 35 games last year.

  3. Todd Macallan says:

    In other prospect news, nice to see Aapeli Rasanen commit to Boston College for next season, joining current teammate and potential 2017 top 10 pick Eeli Tolvanen and our very own Graham Mcphee.

  4. Jethro Tull says:

    Todd Macallan:
    In other prospect news, nice to see Aapeli Rasanen commit to Boston College for next season, joining current teammate and potential 2017 top 10 pick Eeli Tolvanen and our very own Graham Mcphee.

    Wicked smaht move.

  5. Ryder says:

    Who says no?

    Russell to whoever for 2nd + 3rd
    RNH + Davidson for Faulk + Ryan (rumour is he’s being shopped)
    2nd for Filppula with $1.5 M retained (he’s playing better than Nuge this year and similar QoC)

    Overall, the salaries balance and you have a more balanced team for this year and next. One major worry is that it forces you to go 4 + 4 for protection.

  6. adamjames says:

    Ryder,

    Hard pass from me. Removing 3 players means an adjustment period/lack of chemistry from the replacements. Faulk is a nice player but I would prefer Davidson and Russell for playoffs. For no other reason than there being 2 of them. You need at least 8 d to make a legit playoff push

  7. Diablo says:

    Ryder,

    Carolina is not trading Faulk – they would have no top 4 RHD if they did. He’s on a nice contract for a budget team – I just see no reason at all for them to move Faulk. If they move a D-man, it will be Hanifen for Duchene/Landeskog.

    Adam James is right – you need 8 legit NHL D-men for the playoffs.

  8. Diablo says:

    Isles win again – nice to see Doug Weight having some success as head coach. With how hot they are, I wonder if they don’t just stand pat at the deadline.

  9. stush18 says:

    Diablo:
    Ryder,

    Carolina is not trading Faulk – they would have no top 4 RHD if they did. He’s on a nice contract for a budget team – I just see no reason at all for them to move Faulk. If they move a D-man, it will be Hanifen for Duchene/Landeskog.

    Adam James is right – you need 8 legit NHL D-men for the playoffs.

    They have been unhappy with this year though.

    And their dcorps consist of pesce, slavin, Murphy on the team, with bean, fleury, and mckowen looking to crack the squad.

    They might have the best up and coming dmen in the league next to philly. And philly drafted everyone out of the leftorium they could, so they’re worse off then Edmonton in that regard

  10. Ryan says:

    Diablo:
    Ryder,

    Carolina is not trading Faulk – they would have no top 4 RHD if they did. He’s on a nice contract for a budget team – I just see no reason at all for them to move Faulk. If they move a D-man, it will be Hanifen for Duchene/Landeskog.

    Adam James is right – you need 8 legit NHL D-men for the playoffs.

    Faulk has a back loaded contract, so it’s not actually that great of a contract for a budget team. The cap hit, however, is team friendly.

  11. megahurts says:

    Jesse Puljujarvi will likely graduate during the 2016-17 season.

    So will JP be up here for playoffs?

  12. OF17 says:

    Justin Faulk 15/16:

    46% vs elites: 48.40 CF% (+1.8% RelComp) 42.1% DFF% (-0.80% RelComp)
    31% vs muddle: 51.2% CF% (-0.90% RelComp) 49.6 DFF% (-1.70% RelComp)
    23% vs dregs: 60.50% CF% (+3.50% Rel Comp) 59.00% DFF% (+3.10% RelComp)

    According to WoodMoney, he’s kind of the anti Russell. Better CF% metrics than DFF% metrics across the board. Does pretty well against elites, not so hot against the muddle (weird combo), and kills the dregs. Those elite/muddle splits are very weird to me. What makes someone better at defending elites relative to teammates but worse at defending middle opposition? That’s a doozy. But it’s clear he makes his hay against soft opponents. I bet the McLellan split, given Klefbom-Larsson, would be less steep than the one in Carolina. More time against dregs, less time against greater opposition. Could lead to a better use of his skills.

    He’s a substantial player. Doesn’t get eaten by elites, saws off muddle, buries dregs. Would definitely work in a McLellan-style top-4 usage. Double Dreamy gives Sekera-Faulk coverage against the elites, and Nurse-Benning can bite off more than your average 3rd pair. Gives you more time against the dregs. You could also run it with more specialized roles. Sekera-Larsson take on the lion share of elites, Klefbom-Faulk get as many favorable matchups with McDavid/Draisaitl as possible, and Nurse-Benning fill in in between. I don’t expect McLellan to run that, but Faulk fits with either scenario. Scores anywhere between 35 and 50 points a season. 3 years left at less than $5M. He’d likely work better in Edmonton than in Carolina.

    I’d probably trade Nuge for him and look at Hanzal and Berglund as replacements.

  13. Ryan says:

    OF17,

    Ron Francis recently said something about wanting a young top six centre. They have tons of depth on d.

    Nuge for Faulk wouldn’t be a crazy idea.

    Over the past few years, Faulk has mostly played with the aged Ron Hainsy.

  14. Diablo says:

    Ryan:
    OF17,

    Ron Francis recently said something about wantinga young top six centre. They have tons of depth on d.

    Nuge for Faulk wouldn’t be a crazy idea.

    Over the past few years, Faulk has mostly played with the aged Ron Hainsy.

    I’m not saying I don’t like the idea of flipping Nuge for Faulk – I just don’t see Francis making that move.
    RHD are the most valuable commodity in the league. He’s got Faulk and Pesce in place already, why would he move either of them. And please – don’t bring up Ryan Murphy – he is hanging on by his fingernails to an NHL job – in no universe does he replace Faulk.

    Their top two D prospects are Fleury and Bean – both lefties – that’s where they have depth. And it lines up nicely with what Colorado is looking for – a young LHD in the NHL already to pair with Johnson/Barrie.

    Plus – I’m not sure that other teams would think that Nuge is any better than Staal, Rask or Lindholm.
    Duchene on the other hand is a clear upgrade for them.

    It’s nice to dream, but I don’t see it happening, unless we offer more than Nuge.

  15. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Diablo,

    Agree. There was some chatter of Faulk being available last summer, too.

    I think if all it took was Nuge to get Faulk that deal would have happened instead of Hall for Larsson.

    I think Faulk is floated because Duchene is out there, not Nuge. Nuge just doesn’t have the value to land Faulk.

    It would likely take a + that would hurt a lot to make that deal happen.

    Though it would be a really nice D group for sure. A Cup worthy one. We would continue to lose depth on offense but we would bank on UFAs signing here on short term deals for cheap to fill in the gaps.

    It would also be another nail in the coffin of the Lowebellini rebuild. And maybe that is a good thing for everyone involved.

  16. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Damn, Kings lose, Bolts lose. This sucks.

  17. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    The East race is becoming less interesting.
    Carolina
    Detroit
    Jersey
    Tampa
    Buffalo
    Philly

    Falling back. Likely all will be sellers. Prices should come down.

  18. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Holy smokes!
    This has to be why the asking price has reportedly dropped. Pure rental only for Shattenkirk after his “veto”

    http://www.thescore.com/news/1238840

  19. spoiler says:

    Mr Zissou, my posts keep getting sent to spamville. Tried without any quote links and still happened. LT might free them but most likely he’s dreaming McDavid dreams right now.

  20. spoiler says:

    spoiler:
    Mr Zissou, my posts keep getting sent to spamville.Tried without any quote links and still happened.LT might free them but most likely he’s dreaming McDavid dreams right now.

    OK, shite, finally. Got it posted in the last thread, but it’s in 4 pieces.

  21. spoiler says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    The East race is becoming less interesting.
    Carolina
    Detroit
    Jersey
    Tampa
    Buffalo
    Philly

    Falling back. Likely all will be sellers. Prices should come down.

    Yup yup yup.

    Shattenkirk is interesting but I don’t think Chia will go there unless he thinks there’s good hope of a signing. I’m guessing the trade nix from the Shatty camp means he wants to see what FA looks like no matter what. So I’m thinking no Shatty comin.

    If he gets offered a pick for Hendricks, I think he’ll take it. I think he’d say “No” on a 2nd for Davey Crockett. Pouls is a tougher call. Better deals should be available in the off-season.

    I would be very surprised if a Lee Majors goes… gotta think there’s a better market in the summer and that it’s worth the risk to see what they can do in the playoffs before making a decision.

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