Before the season began, I suggested that we should give each player a “line in the sand” in terms of reasonable expectations. That post is here.
If you make a group of bets on players to begin a season, there are four possible outcomes: covering the bet, failing to cover the bet while still delivering something useful, epic fail and injury. When I used to spend thousands of hours on rotoball it was always the same: the pitcher I bought for $1 would win 20 and the OF I purchased for $54 would pull a groin in April.
The surprising thing about this edition of the Springfield Falcons is that so many kids appear to be covering the bet and those that are not at least contribute on some level. Let’s take a quick look at a “starting lineup”:
- G Devan Dubnyk: We agreed that a .915SP for the season would be a solid year for the big man. Currently, after a blazing first half of November, DD sits at .925 and safely in the top 10 overall. He’s facing 31.7 shots per 60 minutes and has a winning record (7-5-1) despite playing in front of a young blueline.
- D Theo Peckham: He is one of 3 players that I believe has a legit claim to being the organization’s best prospect (Nash, Eberle) and he’s delivering a nice season. Reasonable expectations were pegged before the season as “a more prominent role in the AHL with a better plus minus number and perhaps some powerplay time.” He’s been all that, his numbers are 12gp, 2-5-7 +2 which compares to 12gp, 3-2-5 -1 a year ago. Peckham has also increased his shot total (20-12 year over year) while still playing a very physical style (PIMs are 31-29 year over year). He was the first D called up this year.
- D Taylor Chorney: The most prominent of the AHL rookies Springfield features this season, Chorney has been high event (-6) in 08-09. His first month in pro hockey (8gp, 0-3-3, -5) was a struggle but in November the numbers show improvement (6gp, 0-2-2, -1). Before the season, the reasonable expectations were “a full, healthy season in the AHL, with a plus minus in the middle of the D pack and enough offense to justify his draft number.” His plus minus is easily the worst on the team and he ranks 2nd among D in points. He has 3EV points and 2 on the PP.
- C Gilbert Brule: He’s having a very nice start to the season despite the injury. His line in the sand before the season began was “a full AHL season in multiple roles, perhaps 10 games in the NHL.” He may not spend time in the NHL because of his waiver situation, but his numbers in Springfield (9gp, 5-2-7 +5) are going to attract a lot of attention if he has some sustain.
- LW Slava Trukhno: After a terrific start (8gp, 1-6-7 +3) he’s fallen off badly in November (6gp, 0-0-0 E) and I wonder about his icetime. With Brule back from injury, Trukhno seems to have been demoted to a lesser role. Before the season began, I suggested we should expect that he would “establish himself on the top 2lines and as a viable option on the 1st powerplay.” I’d say he did in October, not so much in November.
- RW Colin McDonald: The Oilers keep talking offense in regard to McDonald, so I suggested that “if he gets to play with skilled men all season and a lot of PP time then 15-20 goals is reasonable. This is his time, though. If he struggles the Oilers have all kinds of options available.” He started fairly well (2-2-4 in his first 10 games) but overall numbers (14g[. 2-2-4 -2) suggest he is what what thought he was and that Prendergast’s scouts made a bad bet in 2003 on this guy.
One final item: shots. Some of these Oilers prospects appear to have a weird idea about why they’re on the ice offensively. Below is a list of the top 10 Falcons scorers, their GP number and their shot total (and then by game). Swing the bat, kids!!!
- Ryan Potulny 45 shots/14 games (3.21)
- Liam Reddox 34 shots/12 games (2.83)
- Gilbert Brule 25 shots/9 games (2.78)
- Theo Peckham 20 shots/13 games (1.54)
- Colin McDonald 20 shots/14 games (1.43)
- Slava Trukhno 19 shots/14 games (1.36)
- Rob Schremp 16 shots/12 games (1.33)
- Carl Corazzini 17 shots/14 games (1.21)
- Tyler Spurgeon 15 shots/14 games (1.07)
- Taylor Chorney 12 shots/14 games (0.86)