I’m going to be tracking the Oilers young defensemen this season, likely once a week and maybe a bigger post mid-season and at the end of the year. I think it might be beneficial to go back in time and see about progress with previous AHL defensemen. I am using Eric Rodgers’ numbers, impossible to thank him enough.
BAKERSFIELD CONDORS 2014-15
- These are the final nine games of Klefbom’s career outside the NHL and scream NHL-ready. Incredible really, he was about one point per game and a little over +1 EV GF-GA per game to match.At age 21, he was absolutely ready to move up. In the previous season, Klefbom was 48, 1-9-10 and -8, most of the club had negative numbers. I’ll probably refer to that 20-year old season a lot as we move through this year.
- There were a bunch of 21-year old kids on this team, plus Jordan Oesterle who was 22.
- Aside from Klefbom, the best GF-GA defender was Brandon Davidson (also +10). Dillon Simpson, +4, is also worthy of note.
- Offensively, Klefbom, Hunt and Oesterle all rank as bona fide NHL prospects.
BAKERSFIELD CONDORS 2015-16
- Brad Hunt, who is having some success in Vegas, showed well in Bakersfield during the year. His offense and the EV GF-GA show progress year over year.
- Jordan Oesterle remains a player of promise offensively and improves slightly in GF-GA EV. He is matriculating toward being NHL-ready at this point.
- Dillon Simpson continues to show solid results GF-GA and even improves offensively.
- Darnell Nurse played just nine games but showed well compared to other prospects in the system.
BAKERSFIELD CONDORS 2016-17
- Dillon Simpson continued his progress year over year, he’s impressive in his consistency.
- Griffin Reinhart had good numbers, not a big offensive profile but held his own otherwise.
- Ben Betker and David Musil had similar totals and are similar players.
- Jordan Oesterle became the class of the group offensively with Brad Hunt’s exit.
BAKERSFIELD CONDORS 17-18
- Ethan Bear is the early star in the group and it’s interesting to see how few players were regulars at age 20. It’s a long road ahead, but a nice start for Bear.
- Dillon Simpson continues his march toward improving every season. He’s basically Borg.
- Keegan Lowe is a new hire we’ll have to track him to see how he compares to Simpson.
- Mantha, Paigin and Jones are in the red in GF-GA but these are early days.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
It’s early days, but Ethan Bear’s numbers show him in a good light. I’m interested in seeing his progress and that of Caleb Jones, Ryan Mantha and Ziyat Paigin over this season. At 20, Oscar Klefbom was minus eight but there were other blue with even poorer numbers (here). We are just five games into the season, but will monitor these numbers closely over the winter and return to them at least a couple of times for updates. Once again, my sincere thanks to Eric Rodgers for his fine work.