Among the group of prospects who make up the Oilers top 20 list, the gap between Jeff Petry at #7 and the player at #17 is not great in my opinion. You could flip flop the whole 7-17 and have a better ranking 5 years from now.
The one player I’d bet on among this group is Bryan Lerg. 5 months older than Rob Schremp but a new pro as of this fall, Lerg has a rare skill: scoring goals.
He’s been a home run hitter wherever he’s played and that includes NCAA which is a pretty tough league. He scored 68 goals in 169 games in his 4 seasons with Michigan State (that’s 33 goals every 82 college games) and continues to drive in runs in pro:
- AHL: 14gp, 6-4-10
- ECHL: 7gp, 2-8-10
Lerg is scoring in the AHL about as often (per game) as he did in college and is getting some nice reviews from management. Gabriel Desjardins NHL equivalencies suggest he’d score about 16 goals in a full NHL season.
Springfield coach Jeff Truitt: “Brian has been very co-operative, doing everything we’ve asked of him, and he has earned his way back here. He’s a skilled player, skates very well and has the ability to make good reads on the ice. He’s a reliable guy with the puck, and a guy who can finish (by putting it in the net).” Truitt was talking about Lerg’s trips to the ECHL, which the player himself described this way: “I got a lot of ice time there, and that was good for my confidence. Stockton has been a positive experience for me.”
Lerg was signed by the Edmonton Oilers this summer and impressed during training camp with his skill and ability to compete despite a lack of pro experience and being undersized. He signed for two seasons that will pay him $568,500 if he plays at the major league level. He’s about the same size as Liam Reddox with good speed and some hands.
Those skills may get him to the show. He isn’t among the group you’d absolutely count on to emerge from the group, but he does have a pretty nice resume in some important areas.