How Many At-Bats for the Kids this Year? (Pt. 1)

Last summer I wrote about the 06-07 season and said “the total number of rookies (15) and their minutes is extremely unlikely to be duplicated again this season just because it was a perfect storm of injuries pretty much throughout the roster.

Okay.

In 2006-07 the Oilers did in fact devote a tremendous number of minutes to de facto NHL rookies.

Here’s the list:

2006-07 Defense
  1. Ladislav Smid (1481)
  2. Jan Hedja (795)
  3. Danny Syvret (295)
  4. Tom Gilbert (241)
  5. Mathieu Roy (226)
  6. Bryan Young (151)
  7. Sebastian Bisaillon (28)

That’s 3,217 minutes overall and we didn’t include Matt Greene. The NHL doesn’t count Hejda as a rookie but despite his age (and ability) he was certainly new to the league.

2006-07 Forwards

  1. Patrick Thoresen (776)
  2. Marc Pouliot (600)
  3. Brad Winchester (476)
  4. JFJ Jacques (293)
  5. Zack Stortini (276)
  6. Kyle Brodziak (103)
  7. Rob Schremp (14)
  8. Alexei Mikhnov (14)

The total is 2,522 minutes overall. Let’s compare these numbers to this past season:

2007-08 Defense

  1. Tom Gilbert (1820)
  2. Mathieu Roy (135)
  3. Theo Peckham (13)
  4. Bryan Young (4)

1,972 minutes for the D, although it was pretty much just one guy. A helluva lot fewer than the year before, though. Here’s the F’s:

2007-08 Forwards

  1. Sam Gagner (1238)
  2. Andrew Cogliano (1120)
  3. Kyle Brodziak (1033)
  4. Rob Schremp (14)
  5. Liam Reddox (6)

3,411 overall minutes, given to three quality rookies (the NHL doesn’t consider Brodziak a rookie but it’s a silly rule). More minutes than 06-07 but a huge spike in quality easily explains it.

Here are the numbers by season since MacTavish took over:

Defense

  1. 00-01: 7 (Chris Hajt only rookie)
  2. 01-02: 30 (Pisa only rookie)
  3. 02-03: 991 (Semenov top rookie)
  4. 03-04: 973 (Bergeron top rookie)
  5. 05-06: 439 (Greene top rookie)
  6. 06-07: 3,217 (Smid top rookie)
  7. 07-08: 1,972 (Gilbert top rookie)

Forwards

  1. 00-01: 1,726 (Dominic Pittis top rookie)
  2. 01-02: 126 (Brian Swanson top rookie)
  3. 02-03: 1,943 (Ales Hemsky top rookie)
  4. 03-04: 1,269 (Jarret Stoll top rookie)
  5. 05-06: 341 (Winchester top rookie)
  6. 06-07: 2,552 (Thoresen top rookie)
  7. 07-08: 3,411 (Gagner top rookie)

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12 Responses to "How Many At-Bats for the Kids this Year? (Pt. 1)"

  1. Paper Designer says:

    Considering the number of spots taken up by veterans, and the roles possibly available for kids (a fourth line spot and a few press box roles) this could be a career low for rookie minutes for MacTavish.

    But of course, injuries, underperformance, etc. can change, but we shall see.

  2. Lowetide says:

    paper designer: Well, part 2 of this thing is going to basically be “with 6,000 minutes devoted to rookie forwards over the last two seasons, surely to goodness the Oilers can ice a team of guys with some experience.”

  3. Coach pb9617 says:

    The ONLY inexperienced forward the Oil will field will be the backup catcher – POO LEE OUGHT.

  4. Scott says:

    Hey LT, are you going to be counting Pouliot, Roy and Jacques as rookies for the upcoming season? If not, I could imagine that it’s possible we could see zero minutes devoted to rookies this year, although Peckham and Schremp might have something to say about that come training camp. Where would you put the over-under? I’d say 1000 minutes.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Pouliot is definitely not a rookie and Roy has played 30 games now over three years.

    In my “reasonable expectations” posts I have JDD playing 10 games and no other rookies represented. Clearly that’s not accurate, injuries will mean guys like Peckham, Schremp, Reddox and maybe even Chorney will get some playing time.

  6. Schitzo says:

    Scott – I’d take “over” on that bet. If JDD gets his 10 starts, there’s 600+ minutes.

    That’s one area that really skews (if you both counting it). Hell, thanks to Price they’ll be in the 5000+ minute range in Habville

  7. Dennis says:

    I’m just gonna cut to the chase — will this club make the playoffs despite still being so young — and say that the sky for this club will be a quasi-Cuntreal ’08 faith where we’re young but we’re scoring and we win the first round before losing in five games in the second round.

    That’s sorta one of those deals where you win one of your home games but you’re never really in the series; for the old-school among us, think Oil/Avs in ’97.

    And that would honestly be good enough for me.

  8. Bruce says:

    That’s sorta one of those deals where you win one of your home games but you’re never really in the series; for the old-school among us, think Oil/Avs in ’97.

    Dennis: You want Old School? Think Oilers/Houston Aeros in ’77, or Oilers/New England WHA-lers in ’78.

  9. PDO says:

    Bruce…

    You’re not old school, just old :-).

  10. Doogie2K says:

    Hell, thanks to Price they’ll be in the 5000+ minute range in Habville

    I assume you mean for last season, since Price is not rookie eligible this year (41 NHL GP, 10 AHL GP).

    @Dennis/Bruce: As one of the younger readers in here, I wouldn’t really consider ’97 Oilers/Avs old-school, simply because I actually remember watching it. ;) On the other hand, might another appropriate old-school example be ’81 Oilers/Isles?

  11. Dennis says:

    Well, that playoff series is nearly 12 years old so, yeah, considering that timeframe and the fact we’ve got contributers 25 years and younger, I think that’s old-school:)

    BTW, I didn’t see that ’81 series but the Oilers did win two games in that one so they seemed like they might be pretty close. And, in fact, I saw G6 of that series on the NHL Network a couple of months back and the Oilers were holding their own chances wise.

  12. Doogie2K says:

    BTW, I didn’t see that ’81 series but the Oilers did win two games in that one so they seemed like they might be pretty close. And, in fact, I saw G6 of that series on the NHL Network a couple of months back and the Oilers were holding their own chances wise.

    It’s obviously before my time, but based on the Gzowski book, it sounds like they held their own pretty well, and that there was some controversy over the overtime in Game…4?, something to do with an offside goal one way or the other. It’s been a while since I read it, though.

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