There’s some excitement building among Oiler fans when it comes to prospects on the blueline. UND’s Taylor Chorney has the best draft pedigree and Jeff Petry appears to have the most offensive potential.
Cody Wild is a guy the organization is high on and he’s already seen some AHL action (13gp, 1-2-3 for Springfield at the end of the season). The Oilers just signed European defender Josef Hrabel who is older and may be closer to NHL ready than any of these guys.
I believe they’re all behind Theo Peckham on the depth chart. In fact, when it comes to young defenders who could force their way onto the big league roster in the next 12 months one could argue that it’s a contest between Peckham (who won’t turn 21 until the season begins) and Hrabel (coming up on 23).
Last fall, just as his pro career was getting underway (at age 19), the New England Hockey Journal had this quote from an NHL scout about Peckham: “I think he’s solid positionally and has improved his transition game,” said the scout. “From the standpoint of size, he’s ready for the NHL. But he needs to work on his skating and his speed. Sure, he takes a lot of penalties but he seldom takes a dumb penalty and is good at picking his spots. Like they say in baseball, he stays within himself.”
If we’re making a depth chart on D for the fall, Peckham would have to rank just behind the 7 roster players (Pitkanen, Staios, Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Souray, Greene, Smid) and Mathieu Roy who is the organization’s “Pierre Bouchard callup” when he’s healthy. I’d put Hrabel in the range with Peckham too.
After that, there’s the players who haven’t played much in the AHL (Wild, Bisaillon) and Bryan Young. Petry and Chorney have yet to sign pro contracts. Danny Syvret and TJ Kemp are RFA’s and may or may not be back.
A quick try at the organization depth chart on D:
- Joni Pitkanen
- Steve Staios
- Denis Grebeshkov
- Tom Gilbert
- Sheldon Souray
- Matt Greene
- Ladislav Smid
- Mathieu Roy
- Theo Peckham
- Josef Hrabel
- Bryan Young
- Sebastian Bisaillon
- Cody Wild
- TJ Kemp (unsigned RFA)
- Danny Syvret (unsigned RFA)
- Taylor Chorney (college)
- Jeff Petry (college)
In looking at this list, there are two additional thoughts that come to mind:
- The Falcons are going to be extremely young on defense.
- Peckham may push Greene or Smid as soon as the fall.