June’s 20 Top? How Are they Doing? (11-20)

11. Denis Grebeshkov. In June’s Top 20 I wrote “there’s no real way to see if he’s progressed until training camp in the fall. He’s a physical player who can move the puck and would have to be considered a favorite to make the big club this fall (perhaps over Gilbert who I think is a better prospect).” As it turns out he probably didn’t warrant number 11 on the prospects list but it’s still early. Grebeshkov’s play is so chaotic that the price tag (MA Bergeron) seems both ridiculous and cruel. Add in the draft pick (3rd rder in 2008) and all that pick inspired and it’s like a bad dream. STATUS: I’ll drop him from the December list, he’s a graduated prospect.

12. JF Jacques: At this point I’m sticking with him until he retires or becomes an NHL regular. This kid is just so unique that patience is the only rational response to his insane NHL career so far. He’s the modern Eddie Shack, who disappointed the New York Rangers before running over people in the 1960s for the Toronto Maple Leafs. STATUS: He’ll move down the list a little but I’m still on board.

13. Riley Nash: Redline liked him a ton, had him as a first rounder. He’ll play his first college game sometime before Christmas (was in a 0-0 exhibition game on the weekend) and we should have something to report on. STATUS: His resume reads like poetry to MacT one would bet, so Nash is going to be on my list for a long time.

14. Jeff Petry: 3 games so far and an assist for Michigan State. I haven’t read much about him so far this season. GoSpartans.net has this quote from him: “I’m more of an offensive player,” Petry said. “I think one of my key attributes is my shot. Just trying to get the shot through on net is one of the big points of my game.” How soon can he start? STATUS: Since he’s an offensive player it’ll be interesting to see how close his numbers get to Chorney’s.

15. Kyle Brodziak: Had a beauty camp and blew the lid off the RW competition. Pisani’s illness gave someone a chance but Brodziak sealed that deal early in camp. A much better player than he was a year ago, one suspects he’ll stick. STATUS: Brodziak has graduated from prospect status.

16. Theo Peckham: Scored a goal in two AHL games so far this season and was assigned to the ECHL. I don’t think he’s played for Stockton yet. STATUS: He doesn’t turn 20 until November, so it’s somewhat curious that they didn’t send him back to junior. This is the route the team went with Bryan Young a year ago. STATUS: Peckham is a player who might take a few years to develop but for a DD he gets excellent press.

17. Cody Wild: He didn’t play for the Providence team this weekend, no word if he was injured or just a healthy scratch (do they do that in college?) but he has zero points in 3gp after putting up 21 and 14 in the two previous seasons. The team is horrible again (0-4) and are averaging 1.75 goals per game. Lordy their coach must hate offense. STATUS: Wild will probably slip down the December list.

18. Mathieu Roy: A good tc was ruined by an injury. Roy is just off the DL and with Pitkanen hurt will probably play a couple of games with the Oilers this week. STATUS: Roy is a good hockey player and will move up the December list.

19. Milan Kytnar: I included him on the summer 20 just after the draft based on nice words from ISS. 1 point in 7 WHL games is a pretty slow start. STATUS: He’ll fall off the December top 20 unless he can kick start his season.

20. Bryan Young: A regular with the Springfield team, Young is still a very young pro. He’s dressed in 8 games and is minus 3 in that time (worst among Springfield defenders). AHL teams usually employ veterans like Rourke or Rick Berry in the most difficult roles, so that number probably reflects some struggles for Young. STATUS: He’ll be on the top 20 in December.

21. Alexei Mikhnov: Oh come on you knew I wouldn’t give up completely on my old favorites. He could end up being this generation’s David Vyborny or maybe he’ll just fade away, but his RSL numbers (19gp, 7-11-18) are impressive. STATUS: He’s a candidate to be back on the top 20 in December, but at 25 his prospect status is nearing an end.

22. Jonas Almtorp. I thought he’d have a much bigger impact at tc and certainly in the AHL. However after not impressing in three AHL games this fall he was sent to the ECHL where he is scoreless in two games. STATUS: He’s far enough down the depth chart to miss the December list.

23. Zack Stortini. I never thought much of him as a prospect, he’s not a magnet for a numbers fan like me. However, MacT likes him and he most certainly has a better hold on NHL employment than many more skilled players in the Oilers system. STATUS: He’ll be on the top 20, but I don’t see what the fuss is about to be honest with you.

24. Colin McDonald. He’s played pretty well in the AHL (6gp, 0-4-4) from all reports and one can see him getting a cup of coffee with the big club in the fall. Can you imagine if he ends up being a player and Pouliot doesn’t? His college numbers mean zero so far in the pro’s, as he had a total of 34 assists in 135 games. STATUS: Strong consideration for December top 20.

25. Jeff Deslauriers. He’s off to a nice start in the AHL, but we’ve seen this act before. A full AHL season with a SP well above .920 would be required for him to be considered a valued prospect. Currently he sits at .916SP, which is his best AHL number (.908 last year) in this his 4th AHL season. STATUS: He’s unlikely to make the December top 20.

Other candidates for the December list include Sebastien Bisaillon, Troy Bodie, Liam Reddox, Fredrik Johansson, Tyler Spurgeon, Danny Syvret, Chris Vande Velde, Linus Omark, William Quist, Mikhail Zhoukov, Bryan Pitton. There are some nice emerging players in that group.

The Edmonton Oilers procurement department is doing a nice job.

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12 Responses to "June’s 20 Top? How Are they Doing? (11-20)"

  1. Bruce says:

    Hey LT, I’m a numbers guy too, and so far I don’t see numbers suggesting Grebeshkov should fall right off your list. He’s here, he’s playing some (3 GP, 16:55 per), and he’s not putting up too many negative stats. I am frankly shocked to see zero giveaways (all other D on the team have at least 4), which is surely not the hallmark of a chaotic player. Small-number statistics to be sure, but on Saturday night he played 25 shifts and 19:26, inc. 2:20 on a PK unit that gave up 3 goals in 10 minutes of work, and he wasn’t on for a goal-against. One takeaway, one blocked shot, but no giveaways, no penalties, nothing negative whatsoever on a night the night the Oil got thumped 4-1.

    Yes I see the unpredictability but there might be some upside to that as well. Maybe he’ll play his way off the team but it’s a little harsh to say he’s a complete non-prospect on the basis of three games.

  2. Lowetide says:

    bruce: Those are interesting numbers. When I wrote that he would miss the December list it was with the idea that he was close to 50 career NHL games. However, he’s still only at 36 so he’ll get consideration for December.

    He’s also likely to get more PT in the next five weeks so we’ll get a good long look at him.

  3. Ryan Budney says:

    In college hockey they have something like a “healthy scratch”. I remember at Cornell there was a varsity team, and there was a secondary team, I think they called it the “club team” or something like that. Players who were more or less over their injuries but not ready to play on the varsity team would sometimes play a few games with the club team. Players that used to play on the varsity team but for whatever reason couldn’t play on it that year, they’d sometimes play on the club team.

  4. Doogie says:

    Well, their amateur procurement department, anyway. Professional procurement is a bit of a weak spot in recent times, it seems.

  5. PunjabiOil says:

    Hey LT, just wanted to mention I love the phrase you have used in recent blog entries. “Saw him good.”

  6. Lowetide says:

    PunjabiOil: “saw him good” is one of my favorite phrases too. It’s an old baseball phrase and it’s imbedded in my brain because of an old Baseball America article about a 90 year old scout who was commenting on Dmitri Young. He was a Cards’ scout and lordy he “saw him good.”

    They drafted him 3rd overall or something. It was an excellent article, the Cardinals filled out a bunch of recipe cards and ranked the players 1-500 or something. Baseball’s draft is just miles and miles and miles of picks.

  7. PunjabiOil says:

    Ah, thanks for the story. Learn something new everytime.

    This blog is exceptional. The only blog I make sure to check out daily.

    Maybe you should inquire about writing for one of the the daily newspapers as a guest writer? Your writing style and vocabulary sure as hell beats the Edmonton Sun’s.

  8. Devin says:

    I feel compelled to put this on record: I think Grebs has looked better every game out. He was getting pyloned in the preseason, but I’m finding it harder and harder to find flaws in what he does (or doesn’t do) with each passing period. I think maybe, just maybe, this guy is a player after all. We’ll see how he holds up with 10 more GP, but like Bruce I’m cautiously optimistic. Gilbert is another guy that just isn’t doing anything wrong out there, to my eye anyway.

    There’s one play that Greene does once or twice a game (resulting in a GA at least 50% of the time) that drives me nuts. He’ll lose body position on a player on the cycle and instead of aggressively challenging his low man OR (red alert!) peeling off and tying up the man in front of the net at all costs, he stands on the goal line in no man’s land. His man invariably sends a soft pass RIGHT THROUGH Greene to a guy standing in front of the net for a tap-in, and Matt stands there in the middle of nowhere. I’d sit him down in front of video of (say) Mark Eaton- that guy is phenomenal at not leaving himself in those soft spots. Grebs, fwiw, hasn’t done this once that I’ve seen, and that has to be taken as a positive. Note: an eg. of this is on Iginla’s goal (but it was Pitkanen left standing around with no stick pressure, I believe)

  9. Pleasure Motors says:

    with Pitkanen hurt will probably play a couple of games with the Oilers this week

    What? When did this happen? Please tell me you meant to type Souray.

  10. Bank Shot says:

    I haven’t seen much of Spurgeon at all, but I’m right on that bandwagon.

    He’s been able to bring some offence to the AHL, and he’s apparently a tireless worker.

    Anytime I find a quote by a former coach, it is nothing but effusive praise.

    Oh, and Peckham reeks. He must have relatives in the press or something. I’m not sure what kind of D-man he is because he has really looked quite bad at defense to me and has never really put up a pile of points either.

    I think Allan Rourke could be a bg time riser. Lowe liked him enough to give up a second for him. ;p

  11. Oiler Mag says:

    I don’t feel the same love for MAB over Grebs as you do. Bergeron can’t get in the line-up for the Isles at the mo, and is -3 from 5 games on a team doing well. Grebs obviously has a lot of talent, but we might have to give a season or two of grace before the chaos reduces.

  12. love4hockey says:

    Just a note on Peckham. One game in the ECHL had 2 assists and a fight. For his 3 pro games he has 3 points. He is not a hot shot just a steady player that keeps improving when given the chance and the puck. (in OHL his numbers plummetted when Ryan and Sanguinetti stopped passing to him – his numbers were higher) Too bad he gets so little ice time.

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