Trukhno to the Front Row?

Slava Trukhno is having a very nice camp, so much so that he is being talked about as a strong option for the top line and big PP minutes in Springfield.

Could there be more?

In the thread below, speeds says “I am of course quite biased, but he just thinks the game so well I won’t be surprised if MacT keeps him. Reads the ice so well. It’s a shame he’s not a better skater, hopefully it can improve a bit over the next few years.”

speeds was one of just a few commenters on this blog who suggested Gagner had a chance one year ago (before TC).

Can Trukhno pass one or two of Schremp, Brule or Pouliot? Would it be better to send him down for a month to rip the cover off the ball? Should they keep him on the farm until sorting out the goalie situation?

He’s a helluva players, I’ve liked him since his draft day because he has a wide range of skills. He’s currently rated #8 but he’s been as high as #2 on my top 20 (summer 2007).

For those not too familiar with him, this was his draft day resume:

  • Team leader, plays with an edge.
  • Competes both ways.
  • Dangerous off the rush, loves to cut to the middle.
  • Can pass and shoot on the fly.
  • Adjusted extremely well to North American game.
  • One of the Rockets best players.
  • Slightly deficient skater, bit of a wide tracker.
  • Makes up for it with strength, hockey sense, puck control.
  • He was 6-1, 195 and 18 years and 4 months on draft day.
  • His stats were 64gp, 25-34-59, 57pims his draft year in the QMJHL.

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28 Responses to "Trukhno to the Front Row?"

  1. Black Dog says:

    Sounds like Brodziak is bumping up to the Pisani line.

    In this case we’re looking at Moreau and Stortini flanking, who, Pouliot?

    That would be my guess.

    I think Trukhno has passed Schremp but if he is going to be in the PB then I say send him down and call him up when someone gets hurt.

    What makes me happy about his development is with Moreau being brittle and Cole a possible one and done guy we need a young winger to step in there. I think he is the guy.

    Drafting by the Oilers has really been terrific

  2. Satisfied_to_Ignore says:

    I think we are getting ahead of ourselves here. Trukhno is having a good camp, but it is not his time. Send him down, if he is NHL ready he will rip it up down there and the Oil will be forced to bring him up, otherwise let him have a solid year there while we sort out Pouliot, Schremp and Brule and there will be room for him next year.

  3. HBomb says:

    This is a three way race for one forward spot (I think Pouliot’s got the 12th spot sewn up behind Lowetide’s “group of eleven”). That’s ALL that the last three preseason games are about.

    Brule. Schremp. Trukhno.

    Slava has been impressive, but he’s still the longshot. I think Brule brings what they need the most to the picture. Schremp may be in trouble as an Edmonton Oiler. Could we see him dealt for a couple draft picks prior to October 12th?

  4. namflashback says:

    It’s been so long that the Oilers have had a pipeline of actual skill that we don’t know how to deal with it.

    I think we can take our time with Slava. Biggest thing with Moreau is that he is rusty. As we would expect for someone who has played so little in the past two (three!) seasons.

    I haven’t seen any of the games — but combine two players out of position with one who is rusty and you get some adverse results.

    Scrap the damn experiment already.


    Moreau is going to get his ice time as a result of PK. This alignment has natural PK pairings with 51-34 and 18-78.

    I don’t think 18-78-46 would be a really porous line anyway.

    Biggest reason to line three vets up would be to throw them at the wolves and let 26-10-83 get some breathing room against the power.

    I say go PvP and then that 27-51-34 line won’t have too much to handle.

    BTW — hidden behind all the comp for the 12 and 13F spots — Brodziak is having an excellent camp.

  5. Schitzo says:

    I wouldn’t have said Potulny had totally played himself out of the running, but I might be the only one.

  6. Jonathan says:

    Two things I’d like to mention here:

    1) I suggested to Jason Gregor over at ON that Trukhno might be a candidate for a job; Gregor said Trukhno’s not being considered. I’m not sure if that was personal opinion or based on what he’d heard; I’d assume it was opinion shaped on what he’d heard.

    2) Guillaume Lefebvre is probably not being considered, but MacTavish said some nice things about him the other day, and I’d argue that it isn’t inconceivable that he gets a spot as the “tough guy”, or that somebody not currently on the radar gets a spot for the same reason.

  7. Bruce says:

    I agree with those who say let Trukhno feast on Triple A pitching for awhile. He’s a nice option to have later in the season, key word being “option”; as I understand it he’s free to move out without waiver implications, unlike some of the other guys in the mix.

    I don’t think 18-78-46 would be a really porous line anyway.

    Pouliot 2.84
    Moreau 2.63
    Stortini 2.04

    … ranking all three in the top ~half of the 2007-08 Oilers. In 2006-07, among players with 20+ GP, Pouliot led the team in this category with an impressive 1.96. Last year he was much more solid defensively after his recall; it’s his horrible start which dragged his GA up and which seems to be the aberration. Moreau is a veteran of the checking line/PK unit, while Zack just seems to “get it” on the defensive side of the puck. So yeah, I think they could hold their own, especially compared with (and frequently playing head to head against) the other fourth lines.

  8. therealdeal says:

    I respect the opinion but I would be shocked beyond belief if Trukhno makes the team straight out of TC. If he makes the team I’d bet it’ll be as a callup.

  9. toqueboy says:

    if trukhno makes this team, peckham should make this team too and rs should have made it two years ago…he looked okay last night against other ahl players that florida fielded…he is still well behind brule, pou and rs imho. not even close although it’s fun watching lt get all giddy about his horses.

    buut the reality is that if we’re icing st, we’re not a playoff team…and more like those brutal millenium era teams…truks is a longway from being that vteran centre man everyone was foaming for like 4 days ago before camp opened

  10. Vic Ferrari says:

    I just saw the last period plus OT/SO and the Oilers were terrible last night during the third, much better in OT though. Ferraro seemed to imply they had played better earlier on, but for the most part they were dominated by the FLA prospects in the third.

    They were playing very assertively as well, probably too much, they were not sitting back.

    Overall the only Oilers on the ice that looked like real NHLers were Staios and Gagner. It’s a shame that the Oilers don’t have a better option as a defensive Dman, because I was reminded how effective Staios can be in the offensive end of the rink at keeping the play alive.

    Goulet, Trukhno and Pouliot at least won the occasional puck battle. And Nilson got the puck out of his own end well a couple of times. But that’s faint praise. Just one period I know, then again the whole preseason is maybe an hour of ice time for these guys.

    It’s not like any of these contenders for the last roster spot(s) have been in Europe, juniors or college … they’ve been in plain sight, NHL or AHL, for a while. They have a track record. I would hope to hell that the Oilers don’t base any decisions on who plays best in the last game or period of the preseason.

    I can see how they would want to reward Schremp for hard work in the off season. But beyond that the choice of Pouliot is too obvious to ignore. He seems like a quirky guy, runs hot and cold, starts slow every year so far, and inexplicably he plays better against quality opposition than he does against the schleps. But you know what you’re getting, and it’s better than the rest imo.

  11. Vic Ferrari says:


    Yeah, the need for a veteran centre, and MacTavish’s recognition of that fact … that’s been the story of this fall’s training camp to me.

    I thought they were content to run with the kids in alternating fashion (Brodziak and Pouliot) and live with the pain, all in the name of player development. Clearly MacTavish isn’t down with that, as evidenced by thinking aloud about Penner at centre and experimenting with Pisani in the gig.

    I would bet that if MacTavish were the GM he would have another veteran centre on his roster. In fact probably two of them (a RH and LH shot).

  12. namflashback says:


    Oh yeah — I totally agree with you on Pouliot. I’m certain he has that 12F slot locked in. Even if they give Schremp or Brule the 13F — I’m uncertain when you can play schoolhouse with either of those 2. 17/25 games on the road to start the season.

    They can’t add more risk to the lineup than they have to if they want to get enough points in that early stretch.

  13. Bruce says:

    NFB: Right you are that the early stretch is huge. Last year Oilers were dead and buried in October and never could make up quite enough ground.

    Given the current line-up it’s critical that Pouliot and Brodziak pick up where they left off last March when Oilers’ 3rd and 4th lines played some pretty effective hockey. The good news is there will be three veteran wingers on the “bottom six” in Pisani, Moreau and Penner/Cole who should provide lots of support for the young pivots.

  14. namflashback says:


    And last year had a relatively balanced home/away schedule. So far I’ve seen too many comments by the players and coaches about being “productive” rather than staunching the bloody flow of goals against.

    MacT has typically run his first 20 games pretty loose and plays alot of development during that time. I don’t think he has that leeway this year and with this schedule.

    They’ve got to lock-in with some strong system play early. It’s too easy to think that the “Vaunt” will cover up for the sins in their own zone.

  15. toqueboy says:

    if we’re accepting that pouliot is the 12F, then how about sending all of potulny, brule and RS and just keeping strudwick as the 13F and roy as the 7d

    once we figure out the goalie situation, whoever has played the best in the AHL will get the call up?

  16. toqueboy says:

    or deem that we need a “proper” C for the tough minutes and we trade for one (hopefully during the great goalie clearance of 2008)…and then the kids all rot in the A until injuries roll in.

  17. R-Gib says:

    Toqueboy: I like the idea of keeping Strudwick and Roy up… makes us a lot stronger up front, and it would be a shame to send Matty Roy to the A – I like the way this guy plays.

    Agreed we need a vet 3C who can handle pk, own zone draws, etc. I’m big on Scott Nichol, and would love to ship Sugartits off for him.
    (Shameless plug) I talk about it a bit more here:

  18. B.C.B. says:

    hbomb: why do you want to see schremp trade for a couple picks. These picks won’t be higher then schremp at low 20′s overall. Plus we have put in the development time (and he has improved). The oilers need a useful body to make the playoffs (or get past the first round: depending how you see it), not two more long term projects with less upside.

    I’d put Schremp in the AHL (have him put up some nice points) bring him up for a cup of coffee (to impress other NHL scouts) and trade him between Jan 1 and the trade deadline. OR we could just keep him in the AHL till injury strikes the first two lines and use him like we have developed him.

    Please K-Lowe/Tambo please don’t trade schremp for picks- only for a vet center or defensive vet D-man

  19. HBomb says:

    hbomb: why do you want to see schremp trade for a couple picks.

    Never said I wanted to see it. Just wondering that if, rather than see Schremp’s trade value go down due to another demotion, that the Oilers don’t pre-emptively strike and deal him prior to cut-down day.

    Personally, I think what you’re proposing (hang onto him as injury insurance and a possible “chip” if Lowe/Tambellini decide to load up at the deadline for a playof run) makes the most sense. Just don’t know if it plays out that way…

  20. ClaytonMagnet says:

    I’m with the crowd that really saw Trukhno good in Vancouver the other night. I just think that the much anticipated ‘quantity for quality’ deal we were all hoping for this summer would solve so much of the log jam, and at the same time provide the team with something none of the kids can – NHL experience. Here’s to hoping Tambellini can sort it out.

  21. Lord Bob says:

    Trukhno proved to my satisfaction in the second half of last season that he could hit AAA pitching. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of dispute about that, so why would we keep him down now that he’s showing flashes against the big boys?

    If Trukhno struggles, sure, send him back down. But it wouldn’t kill him to give him five games: the kid’s head is clearly screwed on straight and if he blows his brains out (as he did early in the AHL) then he seems more apt to work on it than sulk about it. Compare this to Pouliot, who only seems to get his ass in gear when he realises that his job depends on it.

  22. Dennis says:

    Vic: I know what you’re saying about 78 because I always say the same thing and his GA/60 was great last year after his late season recall.

    But he’s saddled with being a part of that draft class and if he’s not bringing offense then I think he’s a candidate to get moved. Granted, I think keeping the GA down is valuable because we’ve got lots of other guys to depend on for offense but I don’t know if that’s how MacT feels.

    As for Truk, he’s more noticeable than Schmrep and he’s more well-rounded so I’d say he has an Oiler career before Robbie.

    It doesn’t matter what Rob’s done: he has to play in the 12-89-13 slots and those guys aren’t going anywhere soon.

    I’d say Truk maybe takes Moreau’s spot for 2010 because given that the Oilers can kill penalties no matter what — or that’s been the case the last two season with all kinds of established PK guys either being moved or being injured at other times — it will be time to move Moreau after this season.

    Or at least it should be.

  23. Coach pb9617 says:

    Biggest reason to line three vets up would be to throw them at the wolves and let 26-10-83 get some breathing room against the power.

    Penner is going to be on that line. He fits so much better there and Cole works so much better with Pisani and Brods.

    Re: Staios
    As for a defensive dman, our boy Ladi-dadi is picking up steam in that department, maybe not this year, but next year, he’s going to be a demon.

    Re: Scremp
    I’d like to see Schremp traded for picks myself. He’s not an asset for the team right now. He’s an organizational asset, but with Slava playing so well, he is the same asset. Good asset management dictates that you don’t keep duplicates in inventory if you don’t need them and right now, this team doesn’t need them. Trade Schremp for some picks and develop Slava.

    More bothersome is that if you keep Schremp in the A, he’s going to be taking first-line minutes from Slava. We’ve seen the apex of the Schremp arc, we’re just now seeing the upswing of Slava’s arc. Schremp, interestingly enough, would be blocking the development of a better asset.

  24. speeds says:

    Personally, I agree with the general consensus that it’s better to send Trukhno down unless there is some clear reason not to, which to me would either be that they plan on playing him regularly, or they think they can improve the weaknesses in his game better in the pressbox and occasionally playing in EDM, with the NHL coaching and facilities, vs. playing regular top 6 minutes and top PP unit in the AHL.

    I don’t think Trukhno would be out of place on the 4th line, in fact I think he might well be a reliable guy in such a role. His skating still needs work, and whether he’s in EDM or SPR I think they should have him spend some time during or aftere practice every now and then with a skating instructor, in case they can do anything to improve it.

    From what I’ve seen of him, he’s already an NHL player in terms or thinking the game; if his skating improves he probably has a brighter future than many might imagine.

    I’m not sure I see the spot for him, myself I think that, at this point, a lineup something like:


    makes sense for the forwards, and I don’t dislike toqueboy’s suggestion of sending all of Brule, Schremp and Trukhno to the minors and making a decision if/once someone forces a call-up or injuries occur.

    Bruce: None of Brule, Schremp, or Trukhno have waiver issues, they can all be sent to the minors without having to clear waivers (though Brule only has that status for something like 15-20 more games, after which he would have to clear waivers).

    As for trading Schremp for picks, I don’t see any reason to make that move until waivers become an issue, and that doesn’t happen this season. By that point, I would imagine that even if Schremp is in the minors most of the year, EDM will either move him, or give him a one way offer for next season.

  25. speeds says:


    I’m not sure that sending both Schremp and Trukhno harms the development of either.

    Even if both of those guys, and Brule, are sent to the minors, you’d have a list of notable forwards in the AHL something like:


    And given the way trukhno’s played in camp I think he makes that top 6 pretty easily, especially since (if Trukhno’s in the AHL, and even more so if there are NHL level injuries – knock on wood) one of Schremp, Brule, Reddox or Potulny are likely to be in the NHL anyways.

  26. B.C.B. says:

    Ok hbomb. I guess I misunderstood. I see we agree

  27. Lord Bob says:

    It seems that I’m the only guy who wants Trukhno in the NHL. You guys are making me feel very small and alone over here. :P

  28. Black Dog says:

    oh, l.b., come here and give us a hug!

    Big fan of Trukhno and one reason is I think he is a guy who may be able to play a myriad of roles – we don’t know yet what he may be.

    But is he a better choice then Moreau right now? Or Pouliot? I don’t think so and I don’t want him in the PB.

    Send him down and as soon as Moreau or someone goes down, bring him up and play him on the 4th line if he is going to get decent minutes.

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