Oilers Training Camp LW Depth Chart

This is Patrick Thoresen, who is a very valuable young player. His pricetag is very reasonable, he can play multiple positions and he has already played an NHL season (with good results).

I have him listed at both wings, but will guess he plays a lot on LW for the 07-08 Edmonton Oilers.

Here’s a list of the left wingers looking for playing time with the big club this season.

  1. Dustin Penner- 06-07 numbers were ES points-per-60 mins: 1.92, PP points-per-60-mins: 4.01. His numbers are well back of Hemsky, similar but inferior to Stoll and he scores about as often as Raffi Torres at EV. His numbers are solid, not spectacular. Penner will likely play with Horcoff and Hemsky and get mammoth PP time.
  2. Raffi Torres- 06-07 numbers were ES points-per-60mins: 1.94, PP points-per-60mins: 0.40. If I were defending Kevin Lowe’s moves this summer (which is exactly as difficult as jumping Snake River Canyon), I’d probably start with Torres’ oddly impressive stats. The numbers say he’s a good hockey player at EVs, according to Desjardins he played the second toughest minutes among Oilers forwards last season (Pisani the toughest). His EV scoring results trailed only Stoll and Hemsky among returning Oiler forwards.
  3. Patrick Thoresen- 06-07 numbers were ES Points-per-60mins: 1.15, PP Points-per-60mins: 3.26. I have a feeling that Thoresen is going to blossom and end up playing top 6 minutes at EVs this season. With all the excitement over the kids, there seems to be a tendency to overlook a guy who played multiple roles last season, passed every test and ripped up the lesser league when demoted briefly. One night in October when Nilsson is the suck and Sanderson’s hands make him look 50, the coach is going to look down that bench and spot Patrick Thoresen.
  4. Ethan Moreau- 06-07 numbers were EV points-per-60mins: 1.10, PP points-per-60mins: 3.85 in limited action. Moreau is a key player on this team, even moreso with the Pisani injury. He is not Pisani’s equal without the puck, and he still takes some dumb penalties, but he’ll be relied on heavily by MacT in all sorts of roles, including his usual mentor role for young 2-way forwards.
  5. Geoff Sanderson- 06-07 numbers were EV points-per-60mins: 2.06, PP points-per-60mins: 2.45. I think they’ll use him at RW on a 2-4 (which I’ll be buying daily) rotation with Robert Nilsson until he either settles in or they go for another option.
  6. Robert Nilsson- 05-06 numbers were EV points-per-60mins: 1.56, PP points-per-60mins: 3.37. It may seem like I’m down on the guy, but it isn’t really about him at all. Listen, Robert Nilsson is skilled. However, there’s just not enough clearance between him and a bunch of other kids on this roster for him to have any leeway at all. Maybe the Gods smile on him and he pops 5 goals in October, or maybe he gets a hat-trick opening night and then rolls. However, he’s not really a top drawer prospect (as some seem to be hyping him this fall) like Gagner, Cogliano and (I believe) Slava Trukhno. He’s a guy who can have a career if everything breaks right.
  7. Jean Francois Jacques- Going into camp the tea leaves look like he’ll be heading to Pennsylvania. Jacques made the team last season but didn’t do enough to get into the lineup (just like Mikhnov) and unlike Thoresen never really did prove he belonged in the NHL. He has an advantage in that (unlike Nilsson) he does have some unique qualities that make his inclusion on the big roster attractive, but he’s likely headed to the AHL with the hope that he sets it on fire.
  8. Slava Trukhno- Has a wide range of skills, including size, skill and grit. We don’t know if he’ll get a good shot or even if he’ll take advantage should it come his way, but the resume is pretty impressive. The most overlooked prospect by the fanbase, you’ll often see HFboards descriptions of him as “one dimensional” or that he “scored points in an inferior league.” Knowing the limitations of junior scoring numbers, imo Trukhno is a legit high end prospect.
  9. Ryan Flinn- Derek Boogaard he isn’t, but Flinn is likely to play some games at the NHL level this winter. Oilers did suffer during several NW matchups because they had no answer for the opposition ruffian. If only Brad Winchester could have filled the role.
  10. Liam Reddox- Spent much of the season in the ECHL last year, would have to be considered out of the running before the parade to the post.
  11. Tim Sestito- Looks like an AHL role player to me, but he’s 23 and could surprise.
  12. Geoff Paukovich- I put him here because center is so crowded. I imagine he’ll (like McDonald and Rohlfs) impress because of size but end up being sent down to the AHL to learn his trade.

I’m going to predict Edmonton breaks camp with only 13 forwards, so there are 4 left wingers.

  1. Dustin Penner
  2. Raffi Torres
  3. Ethan Moreau
  4. Patrick Thoresen*

*Thoresen is listed 4th here, but I think he’ll get a lot of minutes at the other wing too. Craig MacTavish gave Thoresen more playing minutes than every rookie save one since he arrived in Edmonton (Stoll).

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10 Responses to "Oilers Training Camp LW Depth Chart"

  1. Mr DeBakey says:

    Robert Nilsson,
    a young Nils Eckman.

    So as of this morning we have:
    Penner Horcoff Hemsky
    Torres Stoll Nilsson
    Moreau Reasoner Pouliot
    Thoresen Cogliano Sanderson

    No room for Johnson there!

    That looks likely, though it wouldn’t surprise me to see Pouliot on Stoll’s RW, with Thoreson or Sanderson beside Reasoner.

  2. RiversQ says:

    Personally, I’d play Torres with Horcoff and Hemsky and play them against the best. If Pisani was still around you could keep 14-16-34 together, but since he is out, that’s probably the only legit line that can be created.

    Penner can play with Stoll and Nilsson against junk and hopefully rack up some points. Surely the Oilers won’t ask another young former Duck winger recently signed to an obscene contract to actually do something again will they?

    From a PR standpoint and a team standpoint (they need to kill some bottom sixers this year) it makes little sense to force Penner to tread water. And playing him Horcoff and Hemsky doesn’t seem right either given the dearth of solid EV players on this team.

  3. godot10 says:

    Young players occasionally improve. Ales Hemsky is a far better player than Corey Perry. Horcoff is one of the most underrated players in the league. Whose to say exactly how well or poorly Penner will play with them?

    Hemsky is an outstanding talent. Penner has the potential to be a dominant power forward. Horcoff is one of the smartest players in the league. If the chemistry is right, it has the look of Lafleur-Lemaire-Shutt-lite.

  4. RiversQ says:

    godot10 said…
    Young players occasionally improve.

    I’ll go you one further – young players always improve barring fitness or injury issues.

    I don’t think they go from being suspect performers to playing on the top line versus top opposition in the span of one offseason though.

    I have hopes for Penner, and I’m certainly giving him a chance, but it’s pretty obvious that the bar has to be set a little lower by many Oiler fans. A lot lower.

    The chances are very slim that Penner justifies his salary this year. Hopefully he earns his keep by Year 2.

  5. Chris says:

    I’ll be happy if Penner can score approximately the same number of goals he did last year although against stronger competition albiet with the benifet of more powerplay time.

    While the prognosis isn’t good at this point, I do think its worth pointing out that good things could still happen. Young players do emerge, past performance can change, Roloson might have a Vesina performance in those old bones of his assuming he gets more rest than last year. I do find the chorous of “the end is near, abandon all hope” a bit tiresome.

  6. Bank Shot says:

    I was watching a replay of Game 6 Anaheim vs. Edmonton 2006 last night.

    Strangest thing happened. Peca went to pummel Lupul into the boards, Lupul took the check, then slipped out around Peca, skated himself into the slot and let go a fine looking wrist shot. He actually looked like a hockey player. Where’d that Lupul go?

    Lets hope Penner has more mental toughness. You’d think so given his strange journey to the bigs.

    Left wing actually looks alright in comparison to the other dog’s breakfasts going on at RW and C.

  7. Black Dog says:

    I think Penner is going to be fine but I also think it may be a year before that salary looks reasonable. His odd pedigree and story make me think that he will be fine – no silver spoon here.

    As for Thoresen I think he will be a key guy on this team. Hopefully lots of work on the PK and I think he can be a useful guy in the top 9 for this club.

  8. Dennis says:

    Not a bad idea from Riv, at least that gives us three guys who’ve carried the mail before and it allows Penner-Stoll with a chance to feast on the soft min. Not sure if Nilsson fits in there or not but maybe Sanderson could give us one last hurrah. That leaves Moreau-MP-Thor on the third line and playing the second toughest min and I don’t know if they’re quite ready for that yet but it wouldn’t surprise me if they did OK in that role.

    Thor works his fucking ass off and that’s something that you can never teach. If he’s a coachable lad, the MacT should be able to point him in the right direction and we should have a top nine outscorer on our hands.

  9. PunjabiOil says:

    Penner certainly showed good skating skills and soft hands at Clare Drake this past week.

    Was pleasantly surprised, and for better or worse, he’ll be playing on the 1st line.

    Production jumps or spikes are difficult to predict for young guys. Nobody anticipated Hemsky or Stoll’s numbers in 2005-2006. Perhaps Penner will take the next step and hit the 30-30 plateau without being killed on ES.

  10. RiversQ says:

    PunjabiOil said…

    Production jumps or spikes are difficult to predict for young guys. Nobody anticipated Hemsky or Stoll’s numbers in 2005-2006. Perhaps Penner will take the next step and hit the 30-30 plateau without being killed on ES.

    First off, it was obvious that Hemsky had it coming, wasn’t it? I think it was pretty clear he had PPG production in his future. I think the writing was on the wall ever since he played with Smyth and Marchant for a spell. (The level of competition was always a concern mind you.)

    Secondly, if you go back and check linemates and opposition, you can usually suss out those “production jumps or spikes.” The Selke trophy winners are particularly fun to look at.

    Anyway, it’s not really the production I’m worried about – more like will Penner get whipped playing against decent competition?

    That’s because I can’t see this team winning many games if Horcoff and Hemsky are playing soft minutes with Penner. There just aren’t enough players left over to carry the load if that happens. That line would have to go absolutely ballistic in order to have a chance at a positive endgame out of the whole thing. I have plenty of confidence in those two players, but that’s a tall order and it’s the rest of them I worry about.

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