Starting Point

One area this hockey club needs to improve in the next 24 months is actual NHL players. During the MacT era a plethora of young men graduated and have become solid major leaguers and the odds are that this group will have a bunch who make the grade too.

But there are some kids who are in trouble and that has a pretty big impact on overall depth. We’re also at a point where a player like Ales Hemsky needs to step forward and have that long awaited breakout season.

Let’s compare this group to the bunch who ended up providing fans with excitement in the late 1990′s. They all arrived within 48 months and by 1995-96 this was the list of Oiler forwards 25 and under:

  1. Doug Weight (24) 82gp, 25-79-104
  2. Zdeno Ciger (25) 78gp, 31-39-70
  3. Jason Arnott (20) 64gp, 28-31-59
  4. David Oliver (24) 80gp, 20-19-39
  5. Todd Marchant (22) 81gp, 19-19-38
  6. Miro Satan (20) 62gp, 18-17-35
  7. Dean McAmmond (22) 53gp, 15-15-30
  8. Marius Czerkawski (23) 37gp, 12-17-29
  9. Scott Thornton (24) 77gp, 9-9-18
  10. Ryan Smyth (19) 48gp, 2-9-11
  11. Kent Manderville (24) 37gp, 3-5-8
  12. Louie DeBrusk (24) 38gp, 1-3-4
  13. Ralph Intranuovo (21) 13gp, 1-2-3
  14. Jason Bonsignore (19) 20gp, 0-2-2
  15. Tyler Wright (22) 23gp, 1-0-1
  16. Dennis Bonvie (22) 8gp, 0-0-0

And now this past season:

  1. Ales Hemsky (25) 72gp, 23-43-66
  2. Patrick O’Sullivan (23) 81gp, 16-27-43
  3. Sam Gagner (19) 76gp, 16-25-41
  4. Andrew Cogliano (20) 82gp, 18-20-38
  5. Dustin Penner (25) 78gp, 17-20-37
  6. Robert Nilsson (23) 64gp, 9-20-29
  7. Kyle Brodziak (24) 79gp, 11-16-27
  8. Marc Pouliot (23) 63gp, 8-12-20
  9. Lisam Reddox (22) 46gp, 5-7-12
  10. Zack Stortini (22) 52gp, 6-5-11
  11. Gilbert Brule (21) 11gp, 2-1-3
  12. Rob Schremp (22) 4gp, 0-3-3
  13. Ryan Potulny (23) 8gp, 0-3-3
  14. JF Jacques (23) 7gp, 1-0-1
  15. Tim Sestito (24) 1gp, 0-0-0

The 1995-96 team played in a league that averaged 258 goals per team (Oilers scored 240) and this year’s club played in a league that averaged 239 goals per team (Oilers scored 234).

Based on these numbers:

  1. Which cluster would you prefer?
  2. Where would Hemsky rank on the 95-96 list?
  3. What about Gagner on the 95-96 list?
  4. Is there anyone close to Weight on this year’s list?
  5. Did Arnott and Satan have better future’s than Gagner and Cogliano do?
  6. Who is the Todd Marchant in this group?

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