With the injury to Fernando Pisani, the Oilers situation at right wing is pretty thin (it was actually poor before the Fernando injury).
Below is a guess as to the Oilers depth chart entering camp next week, and a brief update on each player.
Although players like Pouliot and O’Marra will be listed as centers at camp, they are also in the running for spots on the wing so I’ll list them here (and at center).
- Ales Hemsky- 06-07 numbers were ES Points-per-60mins: 2.09, PP Points-per-60mins: 5.45, you’d think both numbers will improve. I think this is the year he blossoms to something like 90 points and moves up the chart among the Rick Middleton family of skill NHL right wingers.
- Robert Nilsson- 05-06 numbers were EV points-per-60mins: 1.56, PP points-per-60mins: 3.37. MacT and Lowe have stated that he’s pencilled in on the 2line and they’re hoping he runs with it. My own guess is that he doesn’t hold the job for 82 games.
- Patrick Thoresen- 06-07 numbers were ES Points-per-60mins: 1.15, PP Points-per-60mins: 3.26. He’s a very good young player who makes clever plays, works hard and plays an intelligent game. He might get some 2line minutes this season.
- Marc Pouliot- 06-07 numbers were ES points-per-60mins: 1.17, PP points-per-60mins: 1.11. I think he might end up being the 3rd line RW if Reasoner is healthy this fall. Pouliot has enough skill to chip in on a checking line with Reasoner and say Moreau, and he’s already shown he can help out without the puck.
- Geoff Sanderson- 06-07 numbers were ES points-per-60mins: 2.06, PP points-per-60mins: 2.45. Sanderson’s importance to this roster was increased imo by the Pisani injury, and with Nilsson likely to struggle at points in the season Sanderson should get plenty of top 9 minutes no matter which wing he plays.
- Kyle Brodziak- 23 years old and I think he has an excellent chance to be an end of the roster player out of camp for the Oilers. He looks like this decade’s Rem Murray, and KP thinks he might benefit heavily from Pisani’s injury.
- Ryan O’Marra- He’s healthy and that’s a pretty big deal. Plays a physical style and could win a job as a crash and bang type winger at the end of the roster.
- Zack Stortini- 06-07 numbers were ES Points-per-60mins: .31, PP Points-per-60mins: 0. Kid impressed the coach last year, he’s a guy who might grab the last F roster spot.
- Colin McDonald- Fresh out of college and a guy whose age (23 this month) suggests he’ll last a little longer in camp than some of the other new pro’s.
- David Rohlfs- Also 23 and coming out of college, Rohlfs has an interesting resume (he’s played defense quite a bit in college) and could surprise.
- Troy Bodie- Any of these kids after Stortini could be better than the other, I’m just slotting them based on my own bias. Famous junior, got into 14 AHL games last season.
- Stephane Goulet- Scored 15 goals in the ECHL this season, he should play most of the season in the AHL.
My pre-camp guess at the RW depth chart opening night:
- Ales Hemsky
- Robert Nilsson
- Marc Pouliot
- Geoff Sanderson
- (PB) Kyle Brodziak
I also think Sanderson and Nilsson may end up flip flopping quite a bit.