They are here and here. It’s always fun to go back and see who is ahead of the curve, and less fun to see just how devastating injuries and ineffectiveness can be when it’s the players your team counted on at the beginning of the season.
I know that the word “reasonable” gets overused on this site, and what I really mean is “taking out the bias.” Re-stating bias becomes old quickly and makes it difficult to learn anything. Plus it’s tedious.
In the orginal posts above, I had every Tom, Dick and Harry at each position, really anyone who might qualify at a specific position. So, you could have had one player mentioned three times (C, LW, RW).
For this update, the players will appear in their most often played position instead of where I slotted them in the summer. All numbers in 82gp.
- Ales Hemsky: July prediction: 26-62-88, current numbers projected: 26-36-62. His EV performance is similar to last season’s (2.15 vs. 2.09) but his PP performance is way off (3.63 vs. 5.45). He started slowly and is getting better, and I think he cracks 80 points even on this team.
- Fernando Pisani: July prediction: 17-20-37, current numbers projected: INJ-DNP. Pisani’s medical situation (added to other injuries) put tremendous pressure on the organization’s depth chart. This season’s darkest days surrounded Pisani, and his arrival in the lineup may give the players, fans and organization a tremendous boost.
- Robert Nilsson: July prediction: 11-18-29, current numbers projected: 4-18-22. He hasn’t been horrible, and in fact his two veteran linemates (Stoll, Torres) have at times hurt his chances. However, Nilsson has been unable to follow up good games with more good games and eventually the Oilers will replace him if he can’t become more consistent.
- Marc Pouliot: July prediction: 10-12-22, current numbers projected: 0-0-0. A bitter disappointment this season, Pouliot should have long stepped into the gap created by Pisani’s injury and the inconsistency of Nilsson. And yet he remains in the AHL. For prospects fans like me, he is the most disappointing player in the system this season.
- Zack Stortini: July prediction: 4-2-6, current numbers projected: 0-5-5. I also posted in July that “he’s a guy coach MacT has some confidence in for those 6-10 4line minutes per night” and that’s pretty much where he is (he’s at 7:09 a night).
- Kyle Brodziak: July prediction: Another quality run in the AHL and plenty of time in the show, current numbers projected: 13-17-30. He’s been so good we don’t really even consider him a new face in this season’s lineup. Not considered a rookie because of the NHL’s insane rookie requirement system, Kyle Brodziak is nonetheless have an outstanding debut season in the big leagues.
- Colin McDonald: July prediction: A strong work ethic and an idea about how to play the game, plus a full 650 plate appearances in the AHL. Currently: He’s been better than that, in fact Louise posted below that coach Buchberger told Jason Gregor recently that he is one of the biggest surprises this year. Pluses include a great shot, he’s a good skater too.
- Troy Bodie: July prediction: He should be able to grab a fulltime AHL job. He’s done exactly that, getting some recognition. Had a nice run early November.
- Stephane Goulet: July prediction: Spending the entire season in the AHL and showing offense similar to his ECHL season. He was sent down from the AHL recently, back to the ECHL.
- David Rohlfs: July prediction: At least half the season in the AHL. So far, he’s 5-4-9 in 18gp in the ECHL, his -8 second-worst among forwards on the team.
That’s RW so far this season. Hemsky slightly out of the range due to PP, which you would expect to be his strength. Brodziak steps into the void left by Pisani’s injury and Robert Nilsson is trailing slightly what I’d call reasonable expectation. Stortini performing at par. Among minor leaguers, Colin McDonald is a pleasant surprise and that’s about it.
Special mention of Marc Pouliot’s step into the elevator shaft.