ROOKIE CAMP NHLE’S

The Edmonton Oilers should be releasing their Penticton rookie camp rosters any day now and we’re getting drips and draps here and there about the incoming kids. If we just include draft picks and a few prospects from the Orientation Camp this summer, we can probably fill in the holes on the rest of the invites just based on roster holes. Let’s start with what we know.

OILERS PROSPECTS IN PENTICTON

  • Kailer Yamamoto is the big name among forwards, and Tyler Benson should get a lot of attention if he plays.
  • Joe Gambardella should dominate Penticton and could push for some NHL time by April.
  • The heart of the prospect base in Penticton will be defense and goalies.
  • Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, Ziyat Paigin and Ryan Mantha represent the organization’s best hopes among prospect blue at this time. All begin their AHL careers at the same time.
  • I’m not sure all four goalies will be in Penticton but they’re all eligible. Certainly the junior goalies should be locks for the competition.

AHL CONTRACTS AND INVITES IN PENTICTON

  • Polei, Butcher and Gust are AHL prospects. The rest are either confirmed invites (Schioler, Fix-Wolansky) or expected invites based rumor and orientation attendance.
  • Evan Polei is intriguing, Brandon Saigeon has a nice range and Trey Fix-Wolansky is a fun player to watch.
  • If I had to pick one player who could get the Braden Christoffer treatment it would be Sahvan Khaira. He’s a righty, has a physical element and appeared to turn a corner in 2017. He is draft eligible in 2018 but my understanding is that he can be signed.

WHAT DO THEY NEED?

For Penticton purposes, I think the goalie position and defense are probably covered. I’d be looking for centers and left wingers based on my projected group above. Tyler Benson may not play and Ostap Safin is coming over from Europe so if forced to pick a position of great need, it would be left wing.

Any player here on an invite will want to perform at a high level, because the potential payoff could be very large. In the fall of 2015, Peter Chiarelli’s first as general manager, Braden Christoffer won an NHL deal based on exceptional play during the early weeks of training camp. Here’s a report from this blog summing up Christoffer’s Penticton games.

  1. L Braden Christoffer, 3GP, 3-1-4. The one player this camp who came out of nowhere to shine brightly and I bet he gets a long look during the rest of his camp. He’s a rugged bugger and has skill, is 21 and is slightly undersized for pro hockey. Impressive. Source

The players with contracts are going to want to show well and those four defensemen ticketed for Bakersfield really want to stand out. Chances are the die is cast, for this fall anyway. The two rookies most likely to break camp with the big team? Joe Gambardella and Kailer Yamamoto. Both very unlikely but the door is ajar.

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17 Responses to "ROOKIE CAMP NHLE’S"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    I hope the fan base doesn’t freak out when Yamamoto doesn’t dominate rookie camp. I expect him to show well and produce but I wouldn’t expect some thing like 3G and 4A in the two games he’ll likely play.

    He’s 5 years younger than some of the others that will be on the ice.

    Can’t wait for the tournament – feels like a long time coming.

    I really hope Benson plays although I don’t think he will – Le sigh!

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    Very much looking forward to how Safin and Maksimov perform (not just in the rookie tournament but in the CHL this year – looking for some nice boxcars from these two recent draft picks).

  3. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Very much looking forward to how Safin and Maksimov perform (not just in the rookie tournament but in the CHL this year – looking for some nice boxcars from these two recent draft picks).

    If they can push their junior numbers this year, we could have two very legitimate forwards in the system. That’s huge.

    I’m very optimistic. The oilers drafting record the last few years has been sparkling imo

  4. Lowetide says:

    stush18: If they can push their junior numbers this year, we could have two very legitimate forwards in the system. That’s huge.

    I’m very optimistic. The oilers drafting record the last few years has been sparkling imo

    Agreed. The key is their potential. On the day Edmonton drafted Boyd Devereaux, we all thought he would be a big time player. Looking back with the knowledge we now possess, it was fairly obvious he was going to be shy offensively. If these two men fall short, it won’t be due to lack of skill. Trying to hit a home run with every pick is a great damned idea.

  5. Westchester Oil says:

    LT – can I trouble you for where I can find your preferred source for NHLE conversion factors by league?

    My fantasy hockey team thanks you.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Westchester Oil: I use Rob Vollman’s:

    More
    Updated translation factors
    .74 KHL
    .58 SHL
    .47 AHL
    .43 SM-Liiga, Swiss NLA, NCHC
    .38 H-East
    .33 Big 10
    .30 OHL
    .29 WHL
    .25 QMJHL
    .23 ECAC

  7. McNulty says:

    Lowetide: Agreed. The key is their potential. On the day Edmonton drafted Boyd Devereaux, we all thought he would be a big time player. Looking back with the knowledge we now possess, it was fairly obvious he was going to be shy offensively. If these two men fall short, it won’t be due to lack of skill. Trying to hit a home run with every pick is a great damned idea.

    While this is very true, hindsight actually looks pretty favorably on the Devereaux pick, I’d say. That was a horrendous draft year. The best forward picked in the first round was pretty clearly Danny Briere, and he lasted to the end of the first due to size bias. In fact, I don’t think there’s amy way Briere was close to his listed 5’10” which, given the era he was drafted in, really underscores just how incredible he was as a junior player. Remarkable he was chosen in the first round at all.

    The next best pick was probably Dainius Zubrus. A fine player, but if that’s the second best forward taken in the first round of a draft, well, that’s a forward class lacking in star power to be sure.

  8. Westchester Oil says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks. Interesting how there is wide dispersion between NCAA leagues.

  9. stush18 says:

    Lowetide: Agreed. The key is their potential. On the day Edmonton drafted Boyd Devereaux, we all thought he would be a big time player. Looking back with the knowledge we now possess, it was fairly obvious he was going to be shy offensively. If these two men fall short, it won’t be due to lack of skill. Trying to hit a home run with every pick is a great damned idea.

    Honestly I feel chiarelligreen can keep digging up gems like we’ve found in these later rounds, then acquiring help with our first rounder is much more palatable.

    I wouldn’t in this upcoming draft, but the following years, swing away

  10. VOR says:

    I want to see if I can explain why I hate NHLE as a tool for talking about prospects. They are limited by definition. They only try to tell you what the player will do in the NHL the next year based on what they did the past year in lesser league. Nothing more. Unfortunately it sometimes is used for more than that. They are mistakenly seen as more widely predictive when they aren’t.

    To understand why this is a problem consider the example of Player X who is as good an example of NHLE being predictive of the transition to the NHL as you will ever encounter. X had a stellar college career in the ECAC which was then and is now the weakest of the US College conferences. A lot of teams tried to sign him as a free agent even though his NHLE said he should only score 20 points the next year in the NHL. X scored exactly 20 points the next year in the NHL. The math said he would be short of offence and he was.

    X got sent to the AHL where he was good to great. Still his NHLE coming out of the AHL was only 47. Guess what, the next year in the NHL he has 47 points. Sure looks like NHLE was doing its job, right? And it was, but it hardly told the entire tale.

    Player X went on to play 1337 games in the NHL score 341 goals add 1079 assists for 1420 points. Obviously Adam Oates didn’t remain short of offence. But the NHLE didn’t predict the superstar to be, that isn’t their job. Their job is just to predict the transition year from League X to the NHL and with Adam Oates they did exactly that, twice. The NHLE found him lacking and he was until he blossomed into one of the greatest scorers in NHL history.

    So even when NHLEs are spot on the money (which is not a given) they often convey a very mistaken impression of the player in question. Oates is just one of hundreds of examples of stars who more or less match their NHLE numbers in their first year in the NHL only to go super nova after they have found their footing.

  11. stush18 says:

    VOR,

    I think it’s a good guiding tool, another tool in the belt as they say. My issue is the prospects are rarely placed in the same position that got them there, like PP time or top six minutes.

    I think looking at Oates, the drastic climb in NHLE should have maybe been a hint. I think it’s a good way to track progression of prospects.

    For example, I’m hoping safin and maksimov can push their own NHLEs up to ~30. They clearly have talent. If they do that, we’re looking at legitimate prospects.

    It’s one of the reasons I’m so high on caguilla. Lots of people saying he should start on the fourth. His NHLE was around 45 pts I believe, and watching him I think it’s clearly evident he has skill.

    Perhaps we’re looking at the next Oates? 😜

  12. digger50 says:

    stush18:
    VOR,

    I think it’s a good guiding tool, another tool in the belt as they say. My issue is the prospects are rarely placed in the same position that got them there, like PP time or top six minutes.

    I think looking at Oates, the drastic climb in NHLE should have maybe been a hint. I think it’s a good way to track progression of prospects.

    For example, I’m hoping safin and maksimov can push their own NHLEs up to ~30. They clearly have talent. If they do that, we’re looking at legitimate prospects.

    It’s one of the reasons I’m so high on caguilla. Lots of people saying he should start on the fourth. His NHLE was around 45 pts I believe, and watching him I think it’s clearly evident he has skill.

    Perhaps we’re looking at the next Oates?

    I’m a believer in the Drake as well. He has shown speed and tenacity but has not been able to cash on so many opportunities.

    Have him ahead of JJ. Sleppy, Strome, Iiro, Jessie P. Believe Jessie P will catch him next year.

  13. VOR says:

    stush,

    I think you might find these two articles interesting.

    https://www.arcticicehockey.com/2015/1/8/7510367/prospect-tracker-player-development-in-nhl-adjusted-points-per-game

    http://thehockeywriters.com/exploring-nhl-equivalencies-with-the-washington-capitals-veterans/

    I don’t agree with the methodology but it still makes very interesting reading, including the rant about not playing prospects enough in the AHL (and what that does to NHLE) in the article about the caps.

  14. Thinker says:

    stush18:
    VOR,

    I think it’s a good guiding tool, another tool in the belt as they say. My issue is the prospects are rarely placed in the same position that got them there, like PP time or top six minutes.

    I think looking at Oates, the drastic climb in NHLE should have maybe been a hint. I think it’s a good way to track progression of prospects.

    For example, I’m hoping safin and maksimov can push their own NHLEs up to ~30. They clearly have talent. If they do that, we’re looking at legitimate prospects.

    It’s one of the reasons I’m so high on caguilla. Lots of people saying he should start on the fourth. His NHLE was around 45 pts I believe, and watching him I think it’s clearly evident he has skill.

    Perhaps we’re looking at the next Oates?

    This comes up again and again, but NHLe would reflect powerplay time, etc if the regression was actually set amongst their peers. Especially in leagues that are two steps or more from the NHL for most players, players like Platzer have their numbered buoyed by extreme outliers like McDavid. It’s pretty easy to fix if someone wants to break the NHLe into bins to separate elite junior players from just good ones.

  15. digger50 says:

    Everybody falls in love with potential. The new guy. The untapped cieling. This blog is so good at discussing these up and comers.

    The reality is proven records are usually better than potential. So out of our own present roster, who is a known factor and who are we betting on?

    Marroon. Connor. Drai
    Lucic. RNH. ?
    ? ? ?
    ? Letestu. Kassian

    Strome is unknown but a good bet
    Jokinen – there are reasons he can succeed but reasons he was moved on from another org as well so not a sure thing.
    JJ Khaira mostly known quantity at this point, not a difference maker
    Iiro – same thing
    Drake – got bet but unproven
    Sleppy – good bet but unproven
    Jessie P – good bet but not even sure he holds his spot on the roster

    I hear the point of “give these guys a chance” But I would prefer another Veteran in the group. Three of the ” proven” players are also pretty young.

    Given all this, I think Iginla this year may be the right move. He was one of the best Kings last year for thier push. I think he can add without getting in the way, and he can be played sparingly until playoffs come.

  16. digger50 says:

    Actually, instead of Iggy, I wonder how thinks are going with Detroit and that Athanasiou fellow?

    That would be worth spending some picks and prospects on.

  17. jp says:

    VOR,

    I’m not aware of it being done, but I wonder if an NHLE 5 years out might be more accurate/predictive of peak performance (at least for junior players). Maybe 5 yrs would add to the noise, but there shouldn’t be any issues with sample size of players to include.

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