Number of Potential Rookie Minutes for 07-08 Dwindling

Last season the Edmonton Oilers had a very high number of minutes devoted to rookies. The total number of rookies (14) and their minutes (listed below) is extremely unlikely to be duplicated again this season just because it was a perfect storm of injuries pretty much throughout the roster.

The blueline especially will have a much reduced TOI total, and I don’t think there will be two rookies who get the total minutes Thoresen and Pouliot got up front either.

Add in the fact that some of the newcomers, while not established in the NHL are not rookies, and the Oilers are going to be sending the Schremp’s and the Cogliano’s and the Trukhno’s to the farm until injuries hit.

Here’s a list, by position, of minutes played 06-07 with rookies in bold:

Defense
  1. Jason Smith (1733)
  2. Ladislav Smid (1481)
  3. Matt Greene (1373)
  4. Steve Staios (1240)
  5. MA Bergeron (939-est)
  6. Daniel Tjarnqvist (840)
  7. Jan Hedja (795)
  8. Danny Syvret (295)
  9. Tom Gilbert (241)
  10. Mathieu Roy (226)
  11. Bryan Young (151)
  12. Sebastian Bisaillon (28)

That’s 3,217 minutes devoted to rookies, and let’s be honest Matt Greene barely missed the rookie qualification a year ago. Here’s the trend under MacT:

  • 00-01: 7 (Chris Hajt only rookie)
  • 01-02: 30 (Pisa only rookie)
  • 02-03: 991 (Semenov top rookie)
  • 03-04: 973 (Bergeron top rookie)
  • 05-06: 439 (Greene top rookie)
  • 06-07: 3,217 (Smid top rookie)

Tom Gilbert would be the obvious option for minutes, but he’s behind at least 7 guys as we speak. Unlikely (unless there’s a trade or an early season ending injury) any rookie defender gets more playing time than 500 minutes in 07-08.

Center

  1. Shawn Horcoff (1666)
  2. Marty Reasoner (999)
  3. Jarret Stoll (928)
  4. Marc Pouliot (600)
  5. Petr Nedved (591)
  6. Kyle Brodziak (103)
  7. Rob Schremp (14)

Left Wing

  1. Petr Sykora (1366)
  2. Raffi Torres (1174)
  3. Ryan Smyth (1068-est)
  4. Patrick Thoresen (776)
  5. JFJ Jacques (293)
  6. Ethan Moreau (106)
  7. Robert Nilsson (69)
  8. Alexei Mikhnov (14)

Right Wing

  1. Fernando Pisani (1301)
  2. Joffrey Lupul (1263)
  3. Ales Hemsky (1087)
  4. Toby Petersen (875)
  5. Brad Winchester (476)
  6. Zack Stortini (276)

Thoresen, Pouliot and Winchester were the guys who got significant minutes, but Jacques and Stortini also got extended looks this past season. Here’s the year-by-year under MacT:

  • 00-01: 1,726 (Dominic Pittis top rookie)
  • 01-02: 126 (Brian Swanson top rookie)
  • 02-03: 1,943 (Ales Hemsky top rookie)
  • 03-04: 1,269 (Jarret Stoll top rookie)
  • 05-06: 341 (Winchester top rookie)
  • 06-07: 2,552 (Thoresen top rookie)

With the top 12 forwards close to wrapped up (Horcoff, Stoll, Reasoner, Pouliot at center, Penner, Torres, Moreau and Nilsson at LW, and then Hemsky, Pisani, Thoresen and Sanderson on right wing) there’s room for a Brodziak type and then they’ll probably bring in a Petersen/Pittis/Swanson type for the 14F slot.

Oilers have a bunch of rookie forwards knocking at the door. These kids will have to push out ineffective veterans (Reasoner, Sanderson), count on injuries (they always happen but not to the degree of a year ago), shoot lights out in camp (Thoresen did exactly that a year ago) or rip up the AHL and get an early recall.

The road blocks being created for Oiler rookies is encouraging. The Oilers need to have as many NHL players as possible from the beginning of the year with this roster. Rob Schremp may be an NHL player, but breaking him in with this bunch might be impossible to watch.

4:36pm NOTE: Did the math on this just now (I forgot MA Bergeron on D) and the Oilers had a tremendous number of minutes devoted to rookies. I’m counting Hejda as a rookie even though he falls through the cracks, but then again Greene was basically a rookie too.

Either way, rookie D played 3,217 of the 9,342 minutes (estimated) Oilers defenders played this season. That’s 34%. Incredible.

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10 Responses to "Number of Potential Rookie Minutes for 07-08 Dwindling"

  1. jon says:

    The difference between last year and this year in rookie minutes alloted is enough to confidently predict that this is not a lottery team. Even with the absurd numbers for rookie minutes last season this team finished 6th worse in the league, the worst since 1994. 2700 minutes for rookie D, unbelievable. There is simply no way that this team can be a lottery team short of another terrible spell of critical injuries. Playoff bubble team however is another argument entirely.

  2. Lowetide says:

    jon: I disagree. The Oilers don’t have enough outscorers and have too many defenders with the same malady.

    Defense.

  3. Whitewoody says:

    They have no elite scorers. Plus they have lost ryan smyth a big contributer last year. If they don’t have scoring they don’t have a chance. Even with Penner the best they will do next yr is 9th last. That is the absolute best. Instead of trying to be an avg team wait for next summer when no teams have the money. I am having conflicting views on Penner. I like Penner.
    Im just not sure if this is right move.

  4. Asiaoil says:

    LT – where are you getting the not enough outscorer stuff – I count 2/3 of the top line at present (Horcoff, Hemsky) plus Torres took some good steps in this area last year in an otherwise down season. The entire 2nd line of say Pisani, Stoll and Penner if he’s signed qualifies, add a 3rd line of Moreau, MAP and one more good vet like Johnson and the top nine is solid if not spectacular. I like Torres on the Hemsky line to start and see if he can evolve into the 30 goal guy who can play tougher minutes type of player.

    As for the defense – it’s a bit scattered but light years better in terms of mobility and passing than last year. You want to bet that Huddy can’t make these guys into players? If so then you are betting against a pretty solid track record of success. I bet that Pitkanen and Souray play better in EDM than anywhere else to date – this staff makes ordinary dmen look good and anyone with actual talent look excellent if they are at all coachable.

    Goaltending is super solid and the injury bug is unlikely to hit two years in a row.

    So give me Penner and one more RW with a clue like Johnson for the 3rd line and I can make just a good a case for optimism as your recent into Dennis’ basement of gloom.

  5. Mr DeBakey says:

    “don’t have enough outscorers”

    Player___ESTOI GFWOI GAWOI +/-
    SAPRYKIN_758:52__39__ 30__ 9
    ALEXEEV __ 878:00__ 37__ 28 __ 9
    O’NEILL ___ 778:49__ 41__ 33__ 8
    STEFAN ___ 427:15__ 16__ 11 __ 5
    ASHAM ___ 708:23__ 27__ 24 __ 3
    JOHNSON _ 962:24__ 34__ 33 __ 1

    Plus two who’d like to be:
    VIGIER 564:33 16 18 -2
    BEECH 585:05 23 28 -5

  6. voxel says:

    Some of Toby’s minutes need to be counted on defense – only show how desperate the Oilers were for bodies then.

    Not having our own AHL team with some AHL vet D that could play a game or two in the bigs really hurt last year.

  7. momentai says:

    Asiaoil said:
    LT – where are you getting the not enough outscorer stuff – I count 2/3 of the top line at present (Horcoff, Hemsky) plus Torres took some good steps in this area last year in an otherwise down season. The entire 2nd line of say Pisani, Stoll and Penner if he’s signed qualifies, add a 3rd line of Moreau, MAP and one more good vet like Johnson and the top nine is solid if not spectacular. I like Torres on the Hemsky line to start and see if he can evolve into the 30 goal guy who can play tougher minutes type of player.

    Horcoff is one. But Hemsky is not at this point in his career. At least not proven at ES. Pegging him as a sure bet to produce at ES and outscore is a stretch to say the least for our top line. If we’re talking pp, there’s enough track record for Hemsky that I’d agree. But not at ES.

    With that second line, I don’t know if Penner has really played anything difficult. And we know that Stoll doesn’t have a long track record in that department either. One good stretch after a struggling start last season does not make Stoll a proven outscorer by any means against opposition.

    I like Moreau as well. But he’s played the babysitter so many times in the last few seasons, it’s difficult to know if he can still keep us afloat at ES.

    See how many questions there are at forward? You’re expecting EVERYTHING to break right. And we all know that it’s unlikely that they will.

    Optimism is all well and good. But I wouldn’t fault a person for expecting a less than stellar season.

  8. godot10 says:

    //That is the absolute best. Instead of trying to be an avg team wait for next summer when no teams have the money. I am having conflicting views on Penner. I like Penner.//

    You can only get one RFA per year, because the draft picks are gone.

    So you get one this year, and one next year.

    If the loonie keeps a-rising, the Oilers will be able to sign another one next year, if they don’t add Hossa or Mike C. this year.

  9. oilerdiehard says:

    Momentai – I think we will be decent at ES and let’s not forget our PP should be much improved. I think Punjabi at HF pointed out Montreal were worse than we were at ES last year and they rode a decent PK and a great PP to one win or so from a playoff spot.

    With Stoll I think he is there and this was the same thing we were saying defensively of Torres. Well he only did it in the playoffs but he did continue to make strides this year. I think Stoll will be just fine in this area too.

  10. momentai says:

    Oilerdiehard:

    I think we could come out alright at ES if MacT told the forwards to play it safe out there instead of taking chances. However, with Montreal, I think they can boast a better pp unit last season than we could at least at forward.

    Aside from Hemsky, we don’t really have a lot of players left the fills the forward role down low. Stoll’s mainly been the bomb from the point and MacT has always saved Horcoff for the pk and ES.

    I hope you’re right about Stoll and that he’s already turned the corner. But the sample size is just too small to count on here. Even with that, I have no idea how we’re going to pay him with Penner coming on board and Pitkanen/Pouliot/Grebeshkov/Nilsson needing raises.

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