In a post below, speeds said “They need a ‘Paul Stastny’” in response to my saying that Slava Trukhno might be the next Patrick Thoresen (defined as a guy who comes to camp and shows enough to make the roster as a 4th liner/press box guy).
I don’t think the Oilers are likely to have a Paul Stastny this fall for three reasons: there are no prospects who have a clear edge over the rest of the pack, the organization has a tremendous number of options on the prospect tree right now and finally coach MacT doesn’t hand out playing time to rookies in a way that makes them strong Calder candidates.
If we needed a fourth reason, injuries to Rob Schremp and Ryan O’Marra further cloud the issue in regard to those prospects.
If the Oilers were to have a Paul Stastny, he’d need to play a similar number of minutes in order to have a shot at putting up numbers that get noticed (Stastny played 1490 minutes in his rookie season).
Here’s a list of minutes played in rookie season by Oilers’ kids since MacT took over (forwards only):
- Jarret Stoll (03-04) 945:18
- Patrick Thoresen (06-07) 776:33
- Ales Hemsky (02-03) 712:12
- Jason Chimera (02-03) 710:06
- Marc Pouliot (06-07) 600:12
- Dom Pittis (00-01) 506:13
- Brad Winchester (06-07) 476:18
- Mike Comrie (00-01) 466:54
- Shawn Horcoff (00-01) 452:12
- Fernando Pisani (02-03) 375:18
- Jean Francois Jacques (06-07) 292:44
- Zach Stortini (06-07) 207:27
- Brian Swanson (00-01) 174:38
- Mike Bishai (03-04) 128:18
- Tony Salmlelainen (03-04) 125:27
- Michel Riesen (00-01) 118:53
- Jani Rita (02-03) 114:26
- Kyle Brodziak (05-06) 110:20
I can’t find Rita’s 05-06 season broken down (before the trade) so I used 02-03. I have no idea when he stopped being a rookie (he probably qualified in the “cup of coffee” division).
MacTavish may have to play more young players than usual this fall, but I don’t see a rookie getting 1500 minutes. Even a guy like Nilsson is likely to be in and out of the lineup (and on and off a scoring line) as the season rolls out. A strong start for a Rob Schremp or Andrew Cogliano might mean they receive a callup and Nilsson hits the bench.
Stastny got 300 minutes on the powerplay. Ales Hemsky got half that, Comrie got 85 minutes in 41 games.
I don’t think the Oilers have a Paul Stastny ready to step in, and I don’t think the Oilers would insert him in the lineup and watch what he could do from the get-go. In his first game with the Avs last season, Stastny got 14:50 total icetime and 4 minutes on the powerplay (and was -2).
No Oiler rookie is likely to get that kind of welcome to the NHL this fall. This despite some of the Oilers prospects having similar qualifications. In his final NCAA season, Stastny scored 53 points in 39 games (1.36ppg). In his final NCAA season, Andrew Cogliano scored 50 points in 38 games (1.32ppg).
Stastny played against mid-level competition (365/676) and his linemates most often were Hejduk and McLean (all info courtesy Desdjardins Behind the Net). Could Andrew Cogliano put up 78 points given a similar opportunity?
Well, we don’t know that he would and we can’t say he wouldn’t. What we can say is that we’re not about to find out based on coach MacT’s own track record.