FARM WORKERS 17-18 (CONDORS EDITION)

This is Caleb Jones. His performance in Penticton and main training camp has Oilers fans and observers wondering about time lines and expectations. Is he that rare two-way defender who can bring something that resembles a complete skill set? Wildly unfair question of course, but Jones’ story is one of the marquee items on this winter’s Bakersfield watch.

Each year, I do a plodding post (it may have value only to me) about the AHL and how it compares to the 1966 edition of the league. The last edition of the post is here, from the spring. Today, on the occasion of the opening game for the Bakersfield club, thought it might be useful to set the stage for the coming year through the lens of the 10 questions asked every spring.

  1. Men who are over 30 and come out of the minors to establish (or re-establish) themselves are pretty much a thing of the past. The Condors have only Ryan Hamilton and Mark Fayne born 1987 or earlier and two or three players in this age range has been fairly typical in recent seasons. Fayne is the most likely to receive a recall to the NHL, I believe he is qualified for the job.
  2. Pretty much everyone who is in the AHL past (say) 21 has some issues and is going to do some meandering. A fantastic recent example of this came two years ago when Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse made the opening night roster. Not for long of course and I think that’s absolutely the rule. Miro Satan spent some time in the AHL but not a long time, Ryan Smyth, too. I think we will look back and put Jesse Puljujarvi in this Smyth-Satan category. The young man is not yet 20.
  3. If you haven’t established yourself as a prospect of interest by 22 you are in troubleThe players who have graduated to useful NHL careers have at least played some NHL games by the end of their entry level deals. Jujhar Khaira and Anton Slepyshev are good recent examples of players who had been able to hurdle this bar by 22, Greg Chase and Kyle Platzer were unable. It will be fascinating to discuss the four new blue two years down the line.
  4. Exceptions are college menPlaying 4 NCAA seasons means turning pro at 22, meaning a “late start” for some quality prospects. We’ve seen all manner of examples recently, Matt Benning and Drake Caggiula a year ago and I think Nick Ellis belongs in this class as well. He hasn’t emerged as an NHL option yet but there’s a nice resume building.
  5. A large group of players on the current team could be described in the “tweener” division. Yep. Every year. I used to list the tweeners on this blog and we’d get into arguments about specific players. Seems the separation has been clearer in recent years, perhaps we’ve informed ourselves better over the years. Anton Lander was a tweener, due to foot speed. He had many other elements to his game that were bona fide in my opinion but the boots the boots the boots.
  6. If we make a list of the minor league RFA’s each summer, we can probably as a group pick the cuts and be fairly close. The 50-man list gets a haircut every year and it will again. I will guess the keeper list at the minor league level next summer to be: Nick Ellis, Anton Slepyshev, Joey Laleggia, Dillon Simpson, Keegan Lowe and Ty Rattie. I’ll guess the Oilers pass on Kyle Platzer, Greg Chase, Braden Christoffer, Ben Betker. Patrick Russell and Grayson Downing are less certain, we’ll see.
  7.  Daniel Cleary, Fernando Pisani and Jason Chimera became productive players in the toughest league on the planet. THEY are the stars in this study. This is my favorite part of this post because it reminds us about the true value of the AHL. Miro Satan, Ryan Smyth, Jesse Puljujarvi, they played in the AHL but don’t really belong, not really. The value of the AHL is to turn a fractured first-round pick like Daniel Cleary into an NHL player at age 22, to give a Jason Chimera a chance to prove himself NHL-ready at 23, to allow management to discover the unique skills of a Fernando Pisani. You can call them role players, complementary players, but these men can help a team win. Is Jujhar Khaira such a player?
  8. Pure offensive players can succeed after prolonged AHL time but it’s rarely with their drafting team. Martin St. Louis is the poster boy for this category, Mike Walton was too from the Brian Conacher era (Conacher’s book is the inspiration for this post). Rob Schremp is a recent Oilers example, although he fell short of an NHL career.
  9. The future NHL players on tonight’s roster are: I’ll say Jesse Puljujarvi, Anton Slepyshev, Caleb Jones, Nick Ellis. There may be more and that’s a reflection of an improved procurement staff.

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61 Responses to "FARM WORKERS 17-18 (CONDORS EDITION)"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Malone is the center between LaLeggia and Puljijarvi.

    Slep is actually the 3RW (Rattie at 2RW) plyaing with Hamilton and Currie – this is probably a function of now wanting to mess with Rattie’s proposed regular linemates.

    I do like the D-pairings.

    Lowe/Bear
    Jones/Fayne
    Simpson/Mantha

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    9. The future NHL players on tonight’s roster are: I’ll say Jesse Puljujarvi, Anton Slepyshev, Caleb Jones, Nick Ellis. There may be more and that’s a reflection of an improved procurement staff.

    It would be nice to bat 50% on the “Fab Four” – is it realistic. Ethan Bear would be the guy I hope makes it because, if he does make it, its likely there is a very material offensive player there. 50 – 50 on 100 NHL games for Bear or is that too high.

    I’d like to add one more to your list – I’m not sure who but I’ll go with Joe G.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Speaking of prospects, and future Condors, Safin has 1G/1A half way through his game tonight.

    Maksimov did get a 2-game suspension for his slew-foot and won’t play tonight.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Tonight’s opening lineup:

    Joey Laleggia—Brad Malone—Jesse Puljujarvi
    Mitch Callahan—Grayson Downing—Ty Rattie
    Ryan Hamilton—Josh Currie—Anton Slepyshev
    Braden Christoffer—Chad Butcher—Patrick Russell
    Keegan Lowe—Ethan Bear
    Caleb Jones—Mark Fayne
    Dillon Simpson—Ryan Mantha
    Nick Ellis (Edward Pasquale)

  5. dessert1111 says:

    Bad news for Gambardella, Paigin, Chase and others who didn’t make the lineup. Would rather see Puljujarvi with a skill centre like Butcher – and good on him for cracking the opening night lineup.

  6. jonrmcleod says:

    Is there a stream available for the game? I don’t see it listed on onhockey.tv.

  7. russ99 says:

    Wow, what are the Golden Knights doing?

    I can’t believe they’d keep Shipachyov in the AHL for their opener, and barely got 12 forwards on the roster.

    Looks like McPhee is playing a game of defenseman chicken.

  8. Richard S.S. says:

    The Oilers are only playing with 22? Is this a longer term thing? I can see keeping a spot for Anton Slepyshev, but when Kailer Yamamoto goes down does anyone come up? Do they go back to 22 until someone else is ready?

  9. russ99 says:

    Richard S.S.:
    The Oilers are only playing with 22?Is this a longer term thing?I can see keeping a spot for Anton Slepyshev, but when Kailer Yamamoto goes down does anyone come up?Do they go back to 22 until someone else is ready?

    Probably not for long. I think they did it to hedge Kailer possibly getting past his 9th game.

    If Kailer goes back to Spokane and Slepyshev comes back up, they probably move someone off 50 man and sign Kelly as a pressbox assistant coach/injury replacement.

  10. kgo says:

    Lowetide,

    Where does this put Paigin on the org depth chart? 15+

  11. hunter1909 says:

    Eberle just made a gutsy play. Bumped off of the puck like always.

    Blue Jackets 5-0

    lol

  12. Munny says:

    10 questions? Shouldn’t there be another?

  13. hunter1909 says:

    “We’re rich, Jordan. So take it easy. You don’t want to get injured.” Mrs Eberle

  14. Lowetide says:

    kgo:
    Lowetide,

    Where does this put Paigin on the org depth chart? 15+

    Yeah, surprise he isn’t playing. It’ll all work itself out but I imagine the coach dressed the six guys he considers the best available. If Paigin isn’t one, with his experience that’s a story for sure.

  15. Lowetide says:

    Munny:
    10 questions?Shouldn’t there be another?

    Yes. I deleted it and can’t count. 🙂

  16. Munny says:

    hunter1909:
    Eberle just made a gutsy play. Bumped off of the puck like always.

    Blue Jackets 5-0

    lol

    Dubois with this first tonight too.

  17. Munny says:

    Lowetide,

    I thought maybe you were testing whether we actually read the articles again lol. Which always makes for a good out.

  18. OriginalPouzar says:

    Richard S.S.:
    The Oilers are only playing with 22?Is this a longer term thing?I can see keeping a spot for Anton Slepyshev, but when Kailer Yamamoto goes down does anyone come up?Do they go back to 22 until someone else is ready?

    I believe its a short term thing as they don’t plan on being without Slep for long.

    It doesn’t hurt to save a little on the cap but not really needed this year and this management has no history of not going with a 23 man roster.

    Slep will fill the roster and then someone else will likely come up when Yamamoto is moved – it may be the D-man we are all hoping for. I sure hope its not that ex-Senator that’s hanging around the team.

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: Yeah, surprise he isn’t playing. It’ll all work itself out but I imagine the coach dressed the six guys he considers the best available. If Paigin isn’t one, with his experience that’s a story for sure.

    I think they want a veteran player with each of the 3 rookies.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    Safin finishes with 2G and an assist in a 4-0 win – 7 shots on net including 4 high danger shots.

    Wells is up 2-0 through two.

  21. Munny says:

    Panarin can play on my team any day.

  22. Pescador says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    9. The future NHL players on tonight’s roster are: I’ll say Jesse Puljujarvi, Anton Slepyshev, Caleb Jones, Nick Ellis. There may be more and that’s a reflection of an improved procurement staff.

    It would be nice to bat 50% on the “Fab Four” – is it realistic. Ethan Bear would be the guy I hope makes it because, if he does make it, its likely there is a very material offensive player there. 50 – 50 on 100 NHL games for Bear or is that too high.

    I’d like to add one more to your list – I’m not sure who but I’ll go with Joe G.

    I would place a small wager on Laleggia to play NHL games, if not this season then next.
    He has the speed, just needs to improve his decision making with the puck. If he added a little grit to his game & he could be a Middle-class mans’ Caggiula.
    It interesting that Simpson is 3rd pairing when he could end up being the first call up

  23. Real_Hockey_Fan says:

    hunter1909:
    Eberle just made a gutsy play. Bumped off of the puck like always.

    Blue Jackets 5-0

    lol

    How many points does Eberle have? Let me guess…ZERO!!!

  24. Pescador says:

    Real_Hockey_Fan: How many points does Eberle have? Let me guess…ZERO!!!

    Now we’re cheering for Eberle to fail?
    For what reason?
    He got traded to save cap space & wasn’t the right fit for the current roster,
    So ya, fuck that guy

  25. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Richard S.S.,

    russ99,

    OriginalPouzar,

    OriginalPouzar,

    Re: 22 men on the roster.

    Yamamoto counts as one of the 22.

    If he goes down and Sleppy comes up, they are still at 22 (and the 50 man drops by one)

    There are actually 23 on the roster, but Sekera is on the IR.

    He’s not on the LTIR so he counts against the cap and is considered on the active roster.

    My guess is that they are leaving the spot open for 2 options:

    1) Signing Kelly (please Gord no)
    2) Trading futures for a Dman (RH NHL 2nd pair ability please)

    If they make that trade/signing the they’ll put Sekera on LTIR to open up the spot.

    If they move Yamomoto down and bring up Sleppy nothing will change in terms of number of players on the active roster.

    They could even bring Sleppy up and PB Yamomoto and put Sekera on LTIR.

  26. jm363561 says:

    Reinhart a healthy scratch. Joins the same club as Marincin and Davidson.

  27. jm363561 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Richard S.S.,

    russ99,

    OriginalPouzar,

    OriginalPouzar,

    Re: 22 men on the roster.

    Yamamoto counts as one of the 22.

    If he goes down and Sleppy comes up, they are still at 22 (and the 50 man drops by one)

    There are actually 23 on the roster, but Sekera is on the IWhat

    My guess is that they are leaving the spot open for 2 options:

    1) Signing Kelly (please Gord no)
    2) Trading futures for a Dman (RH NHL 2nd pair ability please)

    If they make that trade/signing the they’ll put Sekera on LTIR to open up the spot.

    What do you mean by “trading futures”? (Apologies if that is a dumb question).

  28. Ryan says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    The Kelly signing is a fait accomplis sadly.

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Richard S.S.,

    russ99,

    OriginalPouzar,

    OriginalPouzar,

    Re: 22 men on the roster.

    Yamamoto counts as one of the 22.

    If he goes down and Sleppy comes up, they are still at 22 (and the 50 man drops by one)

    There are actually 23 on the roster, but Sekera is on the IR.

    He’s not on the LTIR so he counts against the cap and is considered on the active roster.

    My guess is that they are leaving the spot open for 2 options:

    1) Signing Kelly (please Gord no)
    2) Trading futures for a Dman (RH NHL 2nd pair ability please)

    If they make that trade/signing the they’ll put Sekera on LTIR to open up the spot.

    If they move Yamomoto down and bring up Sleppy nothing will change in terms of number of players on the active roster.

    They could even bring Sleppy up and PB Yamomoto and put Sekera on LTIR.

    This is essentially want I already said in this thread:

    – they have an open spot now
    – Slep will fill that spot
    – there will be another open spot when Yamamoto is assigned to Spokane
    – they may fill that spot with a D acquisition (hopefully)
    – they may fill that spot with Kelly (terrible)

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    jm363561: What do you mean by “trading futures”? (Apologies if that is a dumb question).

    Prospects/Picks

  31. OriginalPouzar says:

    Shots on goal are 8-1 for the Barons early and they had to kill the sole penalty.

  32. Professor Q says:

    I think that should have been a good goal for Vegas.

  33. Pescador says:

    I like James Neal even more now after that steamroll job on Seguin.
    Colin Miller looks impressive, price went up after tonight.
    Pitlick looks like he is still recovering from that surgery

  34. Lowetide says:

    Condors outshot Heat 19-4 in the first, 0-0 tie. Laleggia, Malone, Slepyshev three shots each, two from a bunch of guys.

  35. deankb says:

    Shots 19-4 after one for the Condors. That’s a dominating period..

  36. jm363561 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Prospects/Picks

    Thank you for the clarification. A bit of a head scratcher.

    I agree with Woodguy that a 2RD is currently a need (we have any number of 3RDs). However, assuming Sekera comes back, one of Russell, Nurse, Benning or the new guy becomes 7RD when all are healthy.

    Kelly does not seem to fit any obvious need. PK? Really?

    Maybe Sekera is gone for longer than we hoped. Are there really any 2RDs with no more than a year on their contract available?

    If Sekera is expected back reasonably soon my money is on Chia springing a surprise and a RW comes in.

  37. kgo says:

    jm363561,

    First world problems…that’s a great problem to have…good insurance….if no one is hurt and everyone is playing well just rotate through the bottom 3/4. This helps keep guys fresh through the long grind etc…They’ve pushed Gryba off the roster before.

  38. Pescador says:

    J.Neal scored

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    Wow – Condors outshooting Heat 22-5 but no scorer.

  40. Lowetide says:

    Heat score, up 1-0. Condors dominating everywhere but the score.

  41. Lowetide says:

    Neal scored, 2-1 late. This crazy team!

  42. Pescador says:

    Lowetide:
    Neal scored, 2-1 late. This crazy team!

    Crazy goal too, they’re going to win this!!

  43. Lowetide says:

    Bear scores, from Puljujarvi. 1-1

  44. Nailer Yakumoto says:

    Golden Knights already better than the Flames.

  45. The Trade Guy says:

    That was a great 3rd period. Fleury and Neal show.

  46. Pescador says:

    VEGAS WINS BABY
    Hahahaha,
    Looks good in both threads

  47. Rake 2.0 says:

    Question for the group, are there currently any Kodi add ons that have AHL streams? Last year I was using made in Canada but I believe it got shut down and the new version doesn’t have AHL games. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

  48. Lowetide says:

    Condors down 3-1 to Stockton late, despite outshooting the Heat 41-21.

  49. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I believe its a short term thing as they don’t plan on being without Slep for long.

    It doesn’t hurt to save a little on the cap but not really needed this year and this management has no history of not going with a 23 man roster.

    Slep will fill the roster and then someone else will likely come up when Yamamoto is moved – it may be the D-man we are all hoping for.I sure hope its not that ex-Senator that’s hanging around the team.

    Every penny is needed this year because LTIR is not available because of McDavid’s bonuses, and the OIlers cannot risk have a penny of bonus overage rolling into next year. The OIlers will have to use regular cap space to replace any injured player via trade.

    I would not be surprised if the OIlers only ran with 22 guys for extended periods.

  50. OmJo says:

    “With his speed, in this game right now where you cannot hold and grab… wow, it’s very dangerous. Probably Wayne (Gretzky) and Mario (Lemieux) were the same, but you could grab them and hold them with the stick. These rules are just perfect for [McDavid]. I wouldn’t be surprised if someday he scored 100 goals and broke the record. It is possible.”

    Late to the party but that’s quite the praise by Jagr RE McDavid. 100 would be otherworldly. Not even sure how I’d react. Maybe somebody spiked the Koolaid but the odds of him getting 100+ breakaways over 82 games… I wonder if there’s any data on how many he had last season? Probably not. But his speed is also otherworldly. So… I don’t know.

  51. OriginalPouzar says:

    Game Day!

    How exciting.

  52. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    jm363561: What do you mean by “trading futures”? (Apologies if that is a dumb question).

    Not dumb at all. Communication is all about speaking the same language and a shared knowledge of what certain words mean.

    When use “futures” I mean someone or thing not on the NHL roster. Could be prospect in Junior/Europe/AHL or future draft pick.

  53. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar: This is essentially want I already said in this thread:

    – they have an open spot now
    – Slep will fill that spot
    – there will be another open spot when Yamamoto is assigned to Spokane
    – they may fill that spot with a D acquisition (hopefully)
    – they may fill that spot with Kelly (terrible)

    I didn’t mean to demean you if you took it that way. I really don’t try to be a dink (most of the time) but am told that my “matter of fact” style comes across condescendingly.

    I saw you 4 discussing it so tagged you all with no ill intent.

    There was a theme that Sleppy could come up when Yama went out, but he could come up now if they put Rej on LTIR.

    Just wanted to clarify Rej’s status and how it affects the situation.

  54. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    jm363561: Thank you for the clarification. A bit of a head scratcher.

    I agree with Woodguy that a 2RD is currently a need (we have any number of 3RDs). However, assuming Sekera comes back, one of Russell, Nurse, Benning or the new guy becomes 7RD when all are healthy.

    Kelly does not seem to fit any obvious need. PK? Really?

    Maybe Sekera is gone for longer than we hoped. Are there really any 2RDs with no more than a year on their contract available?

    If Sekera is expected back reasonably soon my money is on Chia springing a surprise and a RW comes in.

    That assumes all the D is healthy as well.

    I like bottom of the roster competition, but agree that young players need to play.

  55. russ99 says:

    I wanted to give Fleming 10 or so games before I rip his play/sit and line combination decisions.

    But it we’re going to lose we should play the kids, not the AHL vets who have a small chance of ever impacting an NHL roster again.

  56. Melvis says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I really don’t try to be a dink (most of the time) but am told that my “matter of fact” style comes across condescendingly.

    These two dinks walk into a bar…

  57. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Probably too late to be answered in this thread: but that clip with McD going 40kms/hour: it doens’t provide context. Relative to another skater, how much faster is he? The acceleration: everyone gushes over it, but how much better is it?

  58. The Concept JDî says:

    Melvis: These two dinks walk into a bar…

    But the bouncer says, “Sorry fellas – no bags allowed.”

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I didn’t mean to demean you if you took it that way.I really don’t try to be a dink (most of the time) but am told that my “matter of fact” style comes across condescendingly.

    I saw you 4 discussing it so tagged you all with no ill intent.

    There was a theme that Sleppy could come up when Yama went out, but he could come up now if they put Rej on LTIR.

    Just wanted to clarify Rej’s status and how it affects the situation.

    No worries!

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    russ99:
    I wanted to give Fleming 10 or so games before I rip his play/sit and line combination decisions.

    But it we’re going to lose we should play the kids, not the AHL vets who have a small chance of ever impacting an NHL roster again.

    Yes, they should play the kids and Fleming has received that message from management.

    At the same time, there needs to be some vet cover in the AHL – it can’t be all rookies – hence each rookie d-man playing with a more veteran partner.

  61. Abbeef says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Or they expect Sekera to be ready in November!

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