Kevin Prendergast gives an interesting interview on the Oilers site and updates us on the kids down on the farm. KP has been known to gush about prospects in the system so we sometimes need to factor that in with his words.
The player in photo is young Bumagin. The young Russian is one of very few Oilers prospects playing in Europe (not counting the Kenta Nilsson Swedish All-Stars).
I’m not going to quote him too closely, but here’s a small overview of items:
- “We feel we have a lot of good young prospects, we have to give them time to develop in the National Hockey League.” I’ve always felt you need to give 500 at-bats to prospects in order to see what they’re going to be able to accomplish, but it’s been a long time since a team I follow closely has had so many players getting their ab’s in the same season.
- Schremp: “We feel Robby’s skating at center is going to hurt him in the NHL. He just doesn’t possess that second gear.” KP said some nice things about his skill level and that they feel he’s going in the right direction. Nothing earth shattering but nice to know they’ve noticed what appears to be a step forward. Remember Schremp entered the season injured so this is a very positive thing.
- Nash: “Got off to a very good start. Riley’s playing very well for Cornell this year, we feel he’s a blue chip prospect for the organization.” I wonder if the Oilers will consider turning him pro at age 20 to get him more playing time. He pointed out Cornell’s schedule as being a concern.
- O’Marra: “Ryan started the year in Stockton for us, we called him up to Springfield three weeks ago. He’s fallen into the role we want him to be which is a third line, shutdown center. We feel Ryan has big time potential.” It looks like injuries have taken a big gulp out of his career and may have contributed to his being available from the NYI. This was a pretty high pick and a famous junior.
- “Deslauriers is one of the top goaltenders in the AHL. You talk to different player personnel people from other teams and one of them told me the other night he thought Deslauriers was the best goaltender in the American Hockey League.” Seems to be a stretch when viewed over his entire career but he is certainly playing well this season. A strong second half may mean he gets a legit NHL shot as a backup during the 08-09 season.
- Pouliot: “We’ve moved Marc back to center he’s the #1 center down there now. Currently he’s playing with a bad shoulder at this point and still contributing. Kelly Buchberger has been working with him on things that coach MacTavish felt he had to work on. He has great hockey sense and an ability to make things happen.” I keep pulling for him but his career course has ‘role player’ written all over it.
- Jacques: “He got confused as to whether he should be an offensive player or a physical player. From our standpoint is we want him to be a physical player. We had a long talk a couple of weeks ago, and told him in order to make the NHL the physical play has to come back in there.” He’s also been injured, plastic surgery, bad elbow and back. Lordy.
- KP said it did take some time to convince both MP and JFJ that they weren’t trying to bury them which is a very interesting comment. From my point of view it does look like the organization has given up on them at least a little, guess we’ll see as this rolls out.
- He mentioned Bumagin as a great offensive talent and they believe he has a future in the organization. Also mentioned Omark is similar to Gagner. Bumagin is in the RSL and Omark in the SEL.
That’s probably not half of the interview. Lots of info for prospects fans.