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.