Summer 2009 Top 20 Prospects

The Edmonton Oilers added some real quality to their prospect list during the 2009 entry draft. The way they went about it was a tad unusual, but looking at other quality drafting teams (see St. Louis and Jarmo Kekalainen) it was a year for “going off the board” and many fans were left begging Mr. Google for information yesterday. The Oilers nailed their first rounder (with some luck) and followed it up with a reach pick in the second round. They spent the third round devoting precious selections to area scouts (MacGregor seems to put a lot of weight into the opinions of men like Mike Peluso and Bob Brown) and their strong arguments for specific players.

The Oilers then selected some quality in later rounds and that is reflected in the new top 20. Just a quick note here: The slotting of the new hires has nothing to do with draft number. It’s a guess based on their range of skills, their pedigree and the chances of them ever seeing the light of day in an NHL arena.

  1. L Magnus Pääjärvi-Svensson. The selection of Magnum PS at #10 represents the highest European pick in franchise history. The Oilers got a break and took advantage of it, getting a player Redline report says has “blazing speed and is the best pure skater in the entire draft. He’s also got good size and strength, and has been competing against men in the Swedish Elite League all year, so he may be ready to step in and play in the NHL right away.” Beauty prospect. Winter 2008: Not ranked.
  2. D Theo Peckham: A hard-nosed defender who can fight, he can also hit and block shots. He’s risen to the top of the Falcons blue and although it’s a terrible team that’s a tough league and Peckham played the toughest available opposition and survived (-7). Quinn should see a lot of himself in this fellow and I suspect graduation day will come in 09-10. He has made steady progress while making predictable progress through the system, and in this way resembles Detroit Red Wing-style prospect development. Winter rank: #3.
  3. C Riley Nash: Improved nicely season over season, and that combined with a wide range of skills makes him next on the list. Concerns over size (he’s tall enough but resembles a pencil) and the short season the brainiacs at Cornell play keep him out of top spot this time around. Winter rank: #1.
  4. R Jordan Eberle: The most famous prospect in the system courtesy a spectacular (and timely) goal at the World Juniors. Eberle stalled after the WJC’s and even though we can make allowances for team etc, the numbers serve as warning in terms of expectations. We shouldn’t expect him to have a big training camp and make the big club in the fall, even with a pretty strong AHL debut this spring. Winter rank: #2.
  5. D Alexandre Plante: He lost much of 07-08 to injury, but recovered this past year and had a quality season on a very good club. His skating is going to be an issue, but the things that got him drafted in the first round (size, skill, reach) are still there. The Oilers would do well to review Peckham’s development and set a similar path for Plante. Winter rank: #5.
  6. C Chris Vande Velde: The big man had a fine season. He managed a 56% faceoff percentage, scored well (18-17-35 in 43 games) and was +10 on a team with only two players in double black digits. He’ll play another season in college in 09-10 and the possibility exists that he’ll have a brief minor league career ala Shawn Horcoff once he turns pro next summer. Winter rank: #8.
  7. C Teemu Hartikainen: A big jump for the Big Finn but he had a beauty season at a very young age. Hartikainen’s season at 18 (51gp, 17-6-23) is even more impressive when split (he went 10-5-15 in his final 20 games). He has size, skill and gumption, with foot speed keeping him from the upper echelon. Winter rank: #18.
  8. R Toni Rajala: Stu MacGregor: “We had him on a good spot on our list. He led the under-18 world championships in scoring. He’s a real competitive guy, maybe size is an issue a little bit, but he plays in the hard areas. He’s a kid with really good speed and hockey sense. I don’t know why he dropped back that far, but we’re pretty happy to get him.” I’m not sure about the “hard areas” comment, as Redline report offers this on him: Toni Rajala may be both tiny and mostly a perimeter player, but his ultra-high skill level and goal scoring prowess simply can’t be ignored. I think he might be a more skilled version of Tony Salmelainen and that’s a pretty good player. 19 points in 6 games at the U18 WJC’s gets him to this number. Not ranked in winter.
  9. C Linus Omark: He took a huge step forward this season and would rank higher save for the birth certificate. Omark’s monster season came at 21, and it’s important to remember that he’s 4 months older than Cogliano. He’s 7 months younger than Rob Schremp. I can see him being a late bloomer and am all for bringing him over to see what he can do, but the idea that the Oilers should part the waves for him is a non-starter based on his age when the light went on. Winter rank: #10.
  10. C Anton Lander: A wide range of skills lands him in my top 10. Lander’s scouting report shoud appeal to the blogosphere as it screams “responsible” and “smart”. Here’s Elite prospects: “A very smart two-way player with excellent hockey sense. Lander reads the game well and makes mature decisions with and without the puck. Plays with some intensity, but his skating needs some improvement.” I wanted to rank him higher based on range of skills, but this is the right slot. Not ranked in winter.
  11. C Milan Kytnar: He turned 20 the other day and celebrated with a contract not long after. I like his size, skill set and the splits (35gp, 9-16-25 early and 30gp, 18-21-39 later on) and most of all the fact that he has a wide range of skills. Winter rank: #20.
  12. G Devan Dubnyk: I placed him here because the big kid actually improved his number on a terrible team. Not by a lot (.904 to .906) but that Falcon team was awful and the coach overworked Dubnyk for much of the season. It’s important to get some support for the real prospects in the minors and Dubnyk is surely one of them. Winter rank: 15th.
  13. L Philippe Cornet: He had a terrific season. He started 31gp, 11-24-35 and ended 32gp, 18-24-42. Let’s not get too carried away (he’s still a small forward) but there are things to like and he’s certainly a prospect of interest moving forward. Winter rank: #19.
  14. D Taylor Chorney: Man he had a period of adjustment. In his first 34 games he looked as bad as bad can be: 34gp, 2-7-9 -21. In the second half things settled down (34gp, 3-9-12 -8) to the point where I’d guess the Oilers can count on him to have a good season in the AHL if they don’t run him out there against the angry men in that league. However, he is not close to NHL ready based on 08-09. Winter rank: #11.
  15. G Jeff Deslauriers: He spent most of the season with the Oilers, but incredibly played only 540 minutes. He’s still nowhere near a proven talent, but the organization clearly believes he can play at the NHL level (or has earned the right to play and prove himself). I’ve been presented with strong evidence that goalies with similar resumes don’t often become stars in the NHL, but he’ll get a chance to show us all in 09-10. Winter rank: #12.
  16. D Johan Motin: He moves up not just because of the fact he played in the SEL at age 18, but also because the scouting report looked good the day he was taken. He’s got an edge to his game, and he’s got enough size to be considered an NHL option. Winter rank: #17.
  17. G Olivier Roy: More from MacGregor: “Well we thought he would go a lot higher than that. He’s been a No. 1 goaltender since he was 16 years old. He’s one of those guys that has a lot of potential. He left Canada’s camp for goaltenders in June and they were extremely happy with his play there. He’s a guy who is going to have a chance to play at the world junior level in the next couple of years. We’ll look to him to be a real good prospect.” He’s aggressive, a competitor and has quickness. Not ranked in winter.
  18. D Cody Wild: He had a weird year. Wild was a healthy scratch fairly often and he spent time in the ECHL, but based on Jonathan’s quality of competition numbers he played some pretty tough veteran opposition (especially early). I think we’re going to get one good defensemen from the college trio of Chorney, Wild and Petry, and haven’t a freaking clue which one it’ll be at this point. Winter rank: #9.
  19. D Jeff Petry: I don’t know if people are still touting him as the team’s top prospect but for his sake I hope the hype ends soon. Wow what a bad season. Petry started the year by going 18gp, 1-6-7 -11 and capped it off with a tidy 20gp, 1-6-7 -20. Winter rank: #7.
  20. C Rob Schremp: I swear something happened to this guy during the season. In December, he was showing some nice growth as a minor league EV scorer, a column that is important for any prospect. As of December 4, 2008 Schremp was 18gp, 1-12-13 .722 EV points-per-game and that was easily a career high for him. After that date, he went 51gp, 2-4-6 .112 at even strength. That’s an elevator shaft. Winter rank: #4.

Some final notes: I borrowed some quotes above (Stu MacGregor’s) from Don Brennan’s fine article in the Sun. This was a wonderful article and here’s hoping Mr. Brennan finds more opportunities to write about the Edmonton Oilers.

Also, several players from the draft yesterday are not on the top 20. The reason they aren’t here is that I have no real way to quantify them. I believe the Oilers have a solid group of scouts so if they say that Hesketh and Bigos are players that has some weight. However, the level they’re playing doesn’t really lend itself to projection and we’re just going to have to wait on them. We should get a much clearer picture by Christmastime.

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63 Responses to "Summer 2009 Top 20 Prospects"

  1. PunjabiOil says:

    No Riley Nash?

  2. Lowetide says:

    He's there now. A slight glitch had a few players on the list and others not on the list. It's all good now.

  3. rickibear says:

    Motin and Stone tied for 15?????

    Do you think stone may be the center option for line #4.

  4. Mr DeBakey says:

    Last week

    Stauffer: "Give me one where"there's one we nailed"

    Prenderast: "I think the one we nailed was Jeff Petry…We think he's the tip of the iceberg. he certainly has all the tools to be a star in the NHL."

  5. Lowetide says:

    rickibear: I had a slight glitch when posting originally. Motin is at #16 and Stone is not on the list this time.

    Also gone from winter are Liam Reddox (graduated), Slava Trukhno (poor season), Bryan Lerg (poor season), Sebastien Bisaillon (I thought he played well but he may not be back for another season with the organization).

  6. dawgbone says:

    Wow… I didn't realize how bad Petry's season was. I know Michigan had a bit of a bad year, but damn.

    Chorney's biggest step is learning how to use his skillset against bigger players. You don't need to beat them up in the corner, but you do need to know how to use your feet to out-position them. Seems like he struggled a lot with that early and turned it around a bit.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Mr DeBakey: Well the follow up would be "can you tell me what happened to him this season?"

  8. Lord Bob says:

    So Slava Trukhno's miserable year kicks him off the list and Rob Schremp's miserable year keeps him hanging around at #20? Wow, LT, I know you're a huge Schremp fanatic but let's keep things in perspective here!

  9. Lowetide says:

    Lord Bob: I'm still stubbornly in his court. Actually, I think Schremp might surprise us after that disaster to end the season.

    Here are his splits for 08-09:

    25gp, 2-20-22 Even
    23gp, 5-9-14 -9
    21gp, 0-6-6 -17

  10. B.C.B. says:

    I am looking forward to the 2012-13 third line of
    Hartikainen – Vande Velde – Kytnar
    Skill, hard nose play, grit, and size.

  11. Bluedog says:

    Lowetide, you've kept me very well informed and interested all week. Beautiful stuff.

  12. PunjabiOil says:

    I'm not all that high on Petry or Chorney. If these guys were as good as they're pumped to be, they ieither:

    a) Be playing in the NHL
    b) Dominating in their respective leagues.

    Riley Nash will likely end up being a solid 3rd line centre down the road – it would be nice if he can sign with the organization and make his transition into the NHL quickly. He's 20 now, and after this year, the Oilers will control his rights for another 6 years.

    Eberle showed some good things in the AHL last year, which raises his stock.

  13. Boondock says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4bC2My2Shw

    Off topic, but I found the Bigos goal at the RBC final that was mentioned in a couple interviews about him. At about 3:30 in the clip above.

  14. Lowetide says:

    PJ Oil: I think Chorney and Petry hit a wall this season. The disconcerting thing for Petry is that it was in college and not the AHL.

    I don't even know what to say about it. Injury or an awful, awful team (goaltending included) are possible but it's also possible he's just not that good.

  15. Bruce says:

    "Not that good" is an understatement when you see -20 in 20 GP. The guy got eaten alive.

  16. hunter1909 says:

    Prospects 1 and 2 on your outstanding list impress me, injuries notwithstanding, the rest ho hum been burned hoping about these dolts one too many times before.

  17. jon k says:

    I'll put it on record now that Petry will surprise when he turns pro.

    He played on an epically bad team this year. They lost 4 of their top 6 forwards between seasons, and went from scoring a decent 135 goals to scoring 62.

    When you have one defenseman who is logging 30 minutes per game on a team that doesn't score, do you figure that might affect his plus minus?

    Frankly though, he had a poor season. I think if you took the gears to Prendergast even he'd admit that.

    There's a lot of important context there though, and I think he remains he our best defensive prospect outside of Theo Peckham.

  18. jon k says:

    I think the team might be considering moving Riley Nash in the near future.

    The rumours are that he hasn't gained substantial weight or strength in the past two years, and apparently his family is pushing him to stay another year after this to finish his degree.

    All of it would seem to foreshadow difficulty in getting him signed when he faces the likely prospect of another year in the AHL, which is something he has turned his nose up at.

    Other than that the list is solid and I think the Oilers have a few good players waiting in the wings, moreso than in recent years. MacGregor be praised.

  19. Lowetide says:

    jon k: I agree on Nash, think he'll get dealt. Like him a ton as a prospect, though.

  20. Gerta Rauss says:

    Quote(s) from Florida's GM regarding the Jay-Bo deal.

    I think Edmonton fans can move on now,and we can expect an annoucement out of Calgary very shortly.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Florida-GM-talks-candidly-about-drama-behind-Bou?urn=nhl,173246#remaining-content

  21. Gerta Rauss says:

    Nash + for Halak.

    I seem to recall Gainey wanting Nash when we drafted him.

  22. ian says:

    Sorry to be off topic but other than Kulikov I can't seem to find any Russian selections?
    I know there is a big worry over the KHL league but what about using a 7th round pick to take a chance on a top Russian?

  23. Lowetide says:

    Mirtle is all over the Russian thing, zip over if you can. This is stolen from his site:

    Canada 102 48.6%
    United States 55 26.2%
    Sweden 24 11.4%
    Finland 10 4.8%
    Russia 7 3.3%
    Slovakia 5 2.4%
    Czech Republic 3 1.4%
    Other 4 1.9%
    210

    Basically, Russia had 7 picks and one suspects a few of them were playing in NA.

  24. ian says:

    Heading over to Myrtle just now, but i am really curious about Springfield.
    What does the Lowetide Springfield Falcons team look like for this season? and how will it compare with last season?
    I know I am feeding you work here but I love your stuff. [man love only]

  25. Schitzo says:

    More slovaks than czechs? That's a new one.

  26. Lowetide says:

    ian: The Falcons will have more AHL veterans. Oilers have a lot of kids to qualify too and some of them won't be back.

    It's a guess at this point.

  27. PDO says:

    Love these.

    Not to derail, but with Vadermeer being dropped for Prust, I think it's pretty clear a guy like Staios, at worst, could be dumped with no salary coming back the other way.

    And that character who I know LT's not a fan of, but has certainly had some decent success with signings, is saying Bouwmeester is done @ 6.3/year.

  28. quain says:

    I don't even know what to say about it. Injury or an awful, awful team (goaltending included) are possible but it's also possible he's just not that good.

    I wouldn't rule out the not-that-good possibility, but he was on a team that was outscored 62-115. He put up 14 points, which was still 22.6% of team offense, which I imagine isn't horrible for a defenseman. Last season? 17.8% on a team that was 135-93.

    Again, maybe he's not that good, but if you were ranking him 7th in the winter I don't really see reason to drop him all the way to 19th.

  29. HBomb says:

    PDO: Why the hell would Bouwmeester take that low a cap hit unless it was on a 10+ year deal?

    Phaneuf makes 6.5 million and only gave up 2 UFA years. J-Bo is flat out a better defenseman.

    If he takes 6.3 million from the Flames, he's selling himself short if the deal is six years in length or shorter.

  30. HBomb says:

    I just saw where the 6.3 million cap hit figure is coming from related to J-Bo.

    In short, odds are it's complete and utter bullshit.

  31. PDO says:

    Likely is H, but it's a very, very, scary proposition.

    Especially if the plan is to deal Phaneuf and sign Jay-Bouw to his money.

  32. knighttown says:

    LT, this is an excellent list. Sometimes the guys that make these tend to outthink themselves and put a pet prospect way to high just for the sake of being different. You've done a nice job of taking draft pedigree as the key factor and adding or subtracting depending on whether or not the player has built upon their draft year.

    Magnum PS and Roy were excellent picks, the knuckle dragger was a bad pick and the two big kids and Lander look decent to solid. But by far the most interesting pick was Toni Rajala. I don't think they wanted him but got to the point where he just fell too far.

    The undersized Scandanavian or Russian forward with excellent offensive talent is looking like a no-win for a team like Edmonton who plays two scoring lines.

    Linus Omark, drafted late because of size issues develops enough to dominate the SEL at 23. However, what this does is make him very attractive to the KHL or SEL. This in turn removes the AHL option which is what the NHL club wants…a sort of "prove it on the small ice" mentality. At that point the NHL team has to decide whether the kid can play top 6 minutes because paying him 1.5 million on a one-way to sit in the press box will not do at all.

    I see the same sort of issue with Rajala. Best case scenario is that he develops to the point he dominates the Finish elite league and forces the Oilers to give him a one-way worth big bucks. If he doesn't do that he'd be more than wiling to play in the AHL but then you've got a soft, 5'8" kid who's not good enough to score in Finland so do you even want him over here?

    In the end the Oilers don't trust the Desjardins number for the SEL which is neither good or bad, it just IS. IF Omark puts up 0.8-1 P/G in the KHL will that be enough to offer that type of a contract?

  33. HBomb says:

    PDO: I'd be more scared of them builing their team around a J-Bo/Phaneuf combo, under the assumption that Brent Sutter is the guy to help the latter remove his head from his ass and realize he's not a Norris calibre defenseman the way he currently plays the game.

    If they traded Phaneuf for assets and signed Bouwmeester, I'd still be pissed, but I'd have to tip my hat to them and say "see Tambellini and Katz, that's the way you should have done it to get the guy here" – deal Souray at peak value to LA for something, then give his money to Bouwmeester over a 10+ year term.

    There's still time. What a week this is going to be.

  34. Coach pb9617 says:

    Anyone have Eberle's SOG data for the Pats this season?

  35. PDO says:

    H:

    I think his head is permanently shoved up his own ass. That ego's been ridiculous since he was in junior high…. now he's got the girl next door, $6,500,000 a season, and a Norris Nomination…

    "The biggest thing Dion Phaneuf needs to realize is that Dion Phaneuf isn't as good as Dion Phaneuf thinks he is" – Jim Playfair.

    I want Caglary to hold onto that contract. It's an ugly one, and I don't think he'll ever come anywhere near matching it. If they went to deal him right now, there are still a few teams that would give up just about anything to get their hands on him…. it'd give Calgary a huge upgrade on D, plus whatever they got from dealing Dion, which is likely a lot.

    Gah. Living my nightmare…

  36. dstaples says:

    Excellent work, as always, LT.

    I agree with you on Omark. Generally speaking, it's the age when the prospect blossoms that is crucial.

  37. Lowetide says:

    I'll probably end up writing a post on this, but the Flames signing JayBo is likely a good thing for the Oilers fans.

    Why?

    It'll force the Oilers to stay the course. They CAN'T get in a pissing contest with the Flames because the center-cluster of Calgary's roster is more experienced than Edmonton's.

    So, going out an getting Heatley is all well and good, but the club is a couple of years (the Gagner learning curve years) away from being able to compete.

    AND if they just grab a bunch of actual NHL role players they might beat Calgary anyway depending on injuries.

    Either way, I like the move for Calgary. They're adding an impact player just as Iginla begins what will probably be a slow fade.

    It's a fine decision, folks.

  38. Baroque says:

    Another note on Petry -

    Michigan State was not only a bad, bad team this past year, and Petry didn't have a good year, bu tpart of it was that he was expected to have more of a leadership role as the Spartans lost quite a few players – in particular, Abdelkader left for Grand Rapids and he was a major component of the MSU leadership group the three years he was there. Leading on a horrid team is much tougher than leading on a team doing well.

    That probably also accounted for some of the bad stats – he was trying to do too much because he felt that was what a leader was supposed to do.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Coach: I don't think the WHL site has that info, maybe try the Regina Pats site. Worse comes to worse, I believe they do publish shots on the gamesheets.

  40. kris says:

    LT,

    That's just way too positive.

    Remember Bouwm. turns 26 in September. He fits with our young guys perfectly, especially in that D like Grebs, Gilbert, and Bouwm, tend to ripen a little earlier than forwards like Cogs, Gagner.

    If we miss Bouwmeester it makes it much less likely we'll dominate our own division during the Gilbert-Grebs-Gagner-Cogs years.

    If it happens it's an unmitigiated disaster.

  41. kris says:

    I mean ripen at a later age of course.

  42. Lowetide says:

    kris: I don't think Edmonton is in the running for Bouwmeester. Tambellini said as much and Bouwmeester was quoted in today's EJ as saying he'd heard it was pretty tough for locals when they played here (Comrie, Lupul, etc).

  43. gogliano says:

    It isn't a disaster.

    JayBo would be a great pick up but whoever gets him will be UFA price for him. If it is Calgary they have the Kipper contract to worry about, and the Phaneuf contract might start looking worrisome awfully quick. It makes them better but he is not a free pick up.

    As for the rumor of 6.3 million? I'd be surprised. Mackenzie said, off the cuff, that he'd imagine Calgary doesn't go higher than Phaneuf money for JayBo. My guess is the fraud heard this, and WHAM JayBo has signed with Calgary for 6.3 million. If the cap hit is that low it'll be a very long term, I'd imagine, which isn't a bad thing. We'll see.

  44. kris says:

    And LT,

    Following up on ian's question, do you know which of our prospects are likely headed to the A next season.

    Let's forget about all of the AHL vets and just focus on prospects.

    The following are prospects who seemed to play well enough for a return gig, some of whom have waiver problems. (Don't tell Gregor.)

    6 Returning Forwards:

    Brule, Potulny, Schremp, Stone, Spurgeon, MacDonald.

    3 Returning D:

    Chorney, Wild, Young

    2 Returning Goalies
    Dubnyk
    Fischer

    Then there's lots of guys coming in. Which of the following do you think will need AHL spots:

    6 Forwards:
    Eberle, Nash, Vande Velde, Hartikainen, Kytnar, Cornet

    3 Defense:
    Plante, Motin, Petry

    Add that all up and you get 20 players, all of them pretty young. If we play even most of them, we'll suck.

    Of course, we've also got lots of suspect prospects: Lerg, Trukhno, who should be pushed out.

  45. godot10 says:

    //If they traded Phaneuf for assets and signed Bouwmeester, I'd still be pissed, but I'd have to tip my hat to them and say "see Tambellini and Katz, that's the way you should have done it to get the guy here" – deal Souray at peak value to LA for something, then give his money to Bouwmeester over a 10+ year term.//

    If an unrestricted free agent doens't want to come to your city, there is nothing a GM or owner can do about it.

    If a star player with a long term expensive contract with a no movement clause demands a trade, there is not much a GM or owner can do about it.

    Edmonton fans aren't making it easier to attract star players to Edmonton. Wealthy people want privacy.

  46. William says:

    Here's the Matheson article that LT refers to. Sure makes it sound like we're not in line for either Hossa or J-Bo.

    I'm fine passing on Hossa if he's looking for big $. Kinda bummed about J-Bo not sounding thrilled about Edmonton, but also would prefer the Oilers didn't throw their entire lineup and salary structure out of whack to try and sign him, especially since our main needs are at C and LW. What I'm really concerned about now is Katz itching to make a big splash, we end up blowing our lineup and salary structure anyways on someone else.

  47. Lowetide says:

    Kris,

    Let's see if I can make an educated guess on this AHL thing.

    Brule- I think he'll make the Oilers as an extra man.

    Potulny- Has a chance to make the big club, if not he'll be in AHL.

    Schremp-It's 50/50 imo. They'll probably sign him to a 2-way deal but if he balks I don't think they can retain him.

    Stone- I think he's ticketed for Springfield. Could surprise.

    Spurgeon- On the bubble. Might not be back.

    MacDonald- I think he showed enough to stay in Springfield another year.

    Chorney- He'll be back, and get another cup of coffee in the show.

    Wild- I don't know. Honestly. Maybe.

    Young- AHL veterans have value. He'll be back.

    Dubnyk- The starter

    Fischer- Gone

    6 Forwards:

    Eberle-back to junior
    Nash- stays in college
    Vande Velde-stays in college
    Hartikainen-stays in Finland
    Kytnar- AHL
    Cornet-back to junior

    3 Defense

    Plante- AHL regular, spotted like Peckham was as a rookie

    Motin- Same as Plante

    Petry- stays in college

    Lerg, Trukhno: Haven't a clue. Trukhno has the better chance to stay.

  48. Coach pb9617 says:

    Wealthy people want privacy.

    99.95% of people want privacy. The rest live in Los Angeles.

  49. Coach pb9617 says:

    Spurgeon- On the bubble. Might not be back.

    If it's an open competition and the Renney has input, Spurgeon has a real shot at making the show.

  50. speeds says:

    I think it'll be interesting to see just what the Oilers do with their AHL team this year. How exactly will they balance improving the AHL club for next season with developing as many prospects as possible.

    Also, I finally completed my draft review. Better a bit late than never, I suppose.

  51. rickibear says:

    At that point the NHL team has to decide whether the kid can play top 6 minutes because paying him 1.5 million on a one-way to sit in the press box will not do at all.

    But!
    But!
    But!

    I thought Katz did not care about money for this team. we could just sign him and pay omark the money in the minors.

    Cause katz is our savior!

    BAh HA HA HA HA HA HA!

  52. Lowetide says:

    rickibear: Plus there's the cap issue.

    speeds: Good review, I always like the way you look back at the choices available.

    coach: Spurgeon is too far below the Mendoza line to take a regular NHL shift.

  53. Schitzo says:

    I thought Katz did not care about money for this team. we could just sign him and pay omark the money in the minors.

    Yeah, but if you had the choice between a million bucks a year to ride the bus in the AHL, or similar money to play in Europe, what would you choose?

  54. godot10 says:

    //I thought Katz did not care about money for this team. we could just sign him and pay omark the money in the minors.//

    The CBA requires that Omark's contract be a two-way contract, which is why he is guaranteeing his financial security for life in Russia first.

  55. kris says:

    LT,

    That sounds right.

    We'll see if, as speeds wonders, the org. can surround the serious prospects in Springfield with some real veterans instead of 2nd rate suspects, a la Sestito.

  56. uni says:

    Omark made comments before about not minding some time in the AHL if it came to that, since his goal was to play in the NHL someday.

    None of us have any idea what the real story was with Omark heading to the KHL.

    Right now I'm going to hope for the positive, that him and his buddy wanted to head over to the KHL for a new experience, some more challenge, and to rake in some money before burying themselves in the AHL. They're giving themselves options, and something of a nestegg first before coming over to NA.

    After all it would utterly suck to come over to the more physical NA game on the smaller ice and have your head concussed or your knee blown out and end your career for 50K taxed heavily when you could have had 1 million essentially tax free for a 8 month stint in Russia first.

  57. ian says:

    Thanks for getting into the Springfield thing a bit everyone.I think Rob Daum will have some good talent to develop it would be great to watch a few AHL games to see how they are progressing

  58. Jonathan Willis says:

    RE: Schremp

    The nice thing with this guy is that he's now bottomed out. I can't see him getting any worse; it will be interesting to see how far he rebounds.

  59. linnaeus says:

    I would guess nobody is reading here anymore but I thought I would at least try to explain what happened to Jeff Petry's season since I saw some of it unfold in real time. I saw four of the five Michigan-Michigan State games. I gather they were pretty much typical.

    First, none of Petry's forwards has ever even heard of backchecking, never mind figured out how to do it. For a team that almost never managed to score they sure spent an awful lot of time in the other teams end. So right off the bat anybody playing defence for the Spartans was going to be in trouble.

    Petry was in the most trouble because he kept getting put out against the other teams top line and became trapped there against the other teams energy or soft minutes lines because his centers were all structurally weak and didn't support the puck coming out of their own end. In the Michigan games he ended up playing tired against this little spark plug Matt Rust, think Esa Tikkanen. Rust made him look like a big pylon. Otherwise he played reasonably well in all four games.

    The Spartans were also weak, no, let me be accurate, dreadful on line changes. This was because they had trouble dumping it deep enough and supporting on the forecheck so the puck would be headed back towards the Spartan end of the ice almost instantly. They were scrambling like mad to change out and Michigan exploited that weakness.

    As far as I could tell Petry can really skate, has good size, a great shot, and a mean streak. None of that has changed from the scouting reports when we took him. He just played a lot of minutes for a very bad team against very good competition.

    I'd also like to pass on a little insight into the Oilers pick of Cameron Abney. He's rock sound defensively, great positioning – he could really help the Spartans. He is also a body checker.

    The NHL scout I was sitting with the night I saw him play turned to me and said, "this kid can't skate, can't shoot, can't pass but you just can't help thinking Terry "Bloody" O'Reilly." I thought, despite the fact he has been doing this for thirty years for one of the NHL's most respected teams, that he was out of his mind. However, I am guessing the Oilers' scout saw the same exact thing. An enforcer with a good structural game, leadership poosibilities, some offensive upside, and a serious gear loose.

  60. linnaeus says:

    What can I say, Marc Pouliot's been on my mind ever since we traded Brodziak. I am probably alone in thinking that Poo would be a better fit for 4C than Brodz was.

  61. DanMan says:

    The Linus Omark in the ahl thing is a joke. If the Oil do that it will show they have no respect for any hockey league other than tha ahl (which they dont really respect either but i wont get into that now).

    If rob schremp put together an all star ahl season and only gets to play 2 games on a bottom 10 nhl team i dont see how omark will be any different.

    You guys gotta realize omark aint gonna make it here. TOO TALENTED.

    talented players dont have the requisite "compete level" shown by players like liam reddox to make it here in e-town

  62. khelil.gort says:

    http://www.nelonen.fi/smliiga/videot.asp?videoId=2751&cat=1&page=20 Teemu Hartikainen shows with trhe third goal of the video that he has the speed and the hands.

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