Current Rank: 19
Summer 2007: Unranked
This is not a guy who I expected to be ranking, but his numbers and the words we read about him warrant it. Sebastien Bisaillon has zero draft pedigree and clearly has work to do but the results so far this season in the AHL are pretty good. His scouting report says “Is a very good puck-mover from the back end, and also owns plenty of offensive potential. Has a hard, accurate shot from the point. Needs a lot of work on his defensive-zone coverage in order to eventually see regular minutes at the NHL level. Is a little undersized.”
Since he’s a flat out rookie in the AHL (a very good league) and just turned 21 you would expect the kid to be a healthy scratch often (he has been in the ECHL too this year) and to play easier minutes than veterans like Kemp and Rourke (I’m certain that’s true even without seeing a game by the Falcons this season).
With those things understood, it’s interesting then that despite playing only 15 games (and some in the ECHL), he’s third among defenders in scoring (2-6-8). Also, his plus minus (+2) is tied for 3rd among defenders who have played 10 or more games. Here, I’ll post the list:
- Danny Syvret +4 (assume easy minutes)
- TJ Reynolds +4 (tough)
- TJ Kemp +2 (tough)
- Rick Berry +2 (tough)
- Sebastien Bisaillon +2 (easy)
- Allan Rourke -2 (tough)
- Theo Peckham -2 (apparently fairly tough minutes)
- Mathieu Roy -4 (tough)
- Bryan Young -12 (it doesn’t matter)
Just so you don’t think I’m crazy, allow me to explain some of these conclusions. Some of these guys are older and or have played several seasons in the AHL. These would typically be players who an AHL coach would rely on and the names TJ Reynolds, TJ Kemp, Rick Berry and Allan Rourke are the ones I’ve picked. I’ve also included Roy in the tough minutes since he’s in the NHL ‘fringe player’ category. On the other hand, Danny Syvret has been loaned out for the Spengler Cup and you don’t lend your tough minutes defender in the middle of the season. The rest are easy minutes and they go to the kids, although Peckham has been used on the top pairing often according to the Falcons site reports. Make sense?
There’s every chance Bisaillon is getting butter minutes but even with that he’s delivering when in the lineup. At the point we’re at in the Oilers prospect group we’re looking at Euro’s having average seasons for a club that rarely brings them over, role players in the AHL and college kids who don’t have any points. Bisaillon is one guy remaining who looks like he might be building on what he did before this season.
Bisaillon’s biggest strength is his shot. “That’s my strength, but I still have things I’m working on every day, like how to play in my own end, how to make a good first pass and how to play one-on-one. It’s a big step for me, up from junior (Quebec Major junior Hockey League), and I hope to learn from being around our veteran guys.”