This is Ryan Potulny. Based on minor league performance he has earned a long look at training camp this fall. With the Edmonton Oilers coming off another year with no second season, with Potulny finishing 3rd in league goal scoring (38 total) there would seem to be an opportunity.
Should Potulny be sent out and spend another season in Springfield, I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect a bigger season from the shooter.
- Ryan Potulny Fall ’08 Reasonable Expectations: If he plays in the AHL all season he could score 30 goals. ACTUAL: Scored 38 goals on 244 shots and delivered a quality minor league season. Potulny was the best forward on the team by a mile. Fall ’09 RE: A prolonged stay in the show and possibly the rarest of all things: another chance to make the NHL with a second organization. It could happen.
- Liam Reddox Fall ’08 Reasonable Expectations: If he is on the farm I’d expect he’s a feature player on the top line and delivering on all cylinders. ACTUAL: He played only 14 games in the AHL (5-4-9 -3) against tough opposition. The rest of the year saw him playing 46 games in an Oiler uniform (5-7-12 -6) and looks like he may have an NHL career. Fall ’09 RE: I think there’s every chance he plays 25 or more NHL games this season, but it can’t help him that MacT is no longer the head coach. If he’s in the AHL he will be a quality player at that level. I’ll say 25 goals and a trip to the All-Star game.
- Ryan Stone came over in a mid-January trade so we didn’t give him a line in the sand last fall. A quick look when he arrived gave us the idea Stone is a little shy of someone like Pouliot (and Jacques) offensively but he does bring a physical game. He did lead the club in EV scoring after Rob Daum arrived. Fall ’09 RE: A season in the 15-20 goal range combined with a gritty style should make him a fan favourite in Springfield. It’s also possible he’ll see some NHL action this season.
- Chris Minard wasn’t a part of the Oilers organization last fall so we have no reference point. Having said that, he’s an excellent minor league player and has scored over 30 goals in the AHL twice. Fall ’09 RE: another 30+ goal season in the minors and a chance at NHL playing time.
- Colin McDonald Fall ’08 Reasonable Expectations: 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. ACTUAL: McDonald’s positive is that he played much of the year on the “tough minutes” line and had a -8 for the season. His offense finally showed up once Rob Daum took over (see EV totals under Daum below). Fall ’09 RE: There is some hope for McDonald. 10 goals a year ago and that against tough opposition, I’ll say 15 goals and a major role on the Falcons.
- Geoff Paukovich Fall ’08 Reasonable Expectations: A full AHL season, 10 goals, 100 pims and anything close to middle of the pack in the plus minus column. ACTUAL: He scored 4 goals in a full (46 games) season with 51pims and a -11 against mid-level competition. On the other hand he seemed to respond at EVs under Daum (see numbers below). Fall ’09 RE: I think his arrows are looking up. The organization is looking for bigger men who are difficult to play against and he might fit the bill. I’ll borrow from last season’s projections and say 10 goals, 100 pims and add a possible callup to the show.
- Vyacheslav Trukhno: Fall ’08 Reasonable Expectations: He should be able to establish himself on the top 2lines and as a viable option on the 1st powerplay. ACTUAL: Trukno’s numbers were off, but his EV performance remained about level. He was used (when healthy) on the top 6F’s at even-strength by Daum after the coaching change. Fall ’09 RE: Guy Flaming has stated there’s a chance Trukhno flushes North America and plays in Europe this season. If he does try Springfield one more time, he needs to do something out of the ordinary ala Potulny this year. However, based on his own established level of ability, a reasonable number would be 35 points.
- Bryan Lerg Fall ’08 Reasonable Expectations: A 20-goal season in the AHL. ACTUAL: Lerg scored 9 goals in 42 AHL games, which works out to about 17 over a season. I think he should have been better, as he played against mid-level competition and was 22 years-old entering pro hockey. A disappointing year, and he could easily be flushed during what will be a summer of change. Fall ’09 RE: Lerg may be in some trouble with the organization. He has one season left on his contract and he didn’t play for Daum last season. A strong training camp is vital. If he gains a regular roster spot, 20 goals is once again a reasonable expectaton.
- Rob Schremp Fall ’08 Reasonable Expections: I think it’s completely reasonable to suggest Rob Schremp will lead the AHL in scoring this season. ACTUAL: A dreadful season, a devastating step into the elevator shaft that may have killed his NHL chances in one incredible, Rocky-like blow. Fall ’09 RE: A new organization. It’s best for him and the Oilers, hindsight tells us this was never a good fit.
- Ryan O’Marra Fall ’08 Reasonable Expectations: Playing well in that 4line role and then showing enough to move up the depth chart when injuries and callups begin. This is an excellent slot for him, here’s hoping he takes advantage. ACTUAL: He had another bad year and at this point must be close to a NP. O’Marra played the softs to a -12 and scored 1 goal in 62 AHL games. He doesn’t deserve a pro roster spot. Fall ’09 RE: There are none. If O’Marra eventually makes the NHL from where he is now it’ll be a miracle.
- Milan Kytnar A rookie pro whose skill set (Redline report called him a solid two-way player with good puck skills) is useful in any era and at any level. Daum is going to have a mandate that states W’s are important so we shouldn’t expect a full season. Fall ’09 RE: 50 games in the AHL and the rest in the ECHL, honing his skills and learning in the most difficult development league on the planet.
I’m not going to comment on Charles Linglet or James Bates at this time but will post on the Falcons at the beginning of September and include all other Falcons not mentioned above. Finally, the Daum numbers.
Daum’s Falcons at EVs (F)
- Stone 28gp, 5-11-16 -1
- Potulny 28gp, 9-6-15 -2
- McDonald 28gp, 4-6-10 -5
- Trukhno 22gp, 1-5-6 -4
- Eberle 9gp, 2-4-6 -5
- Schremp 28gp, 0-4-4 -16
- G Lefebvre 21gp, 1-3-4 -8
- Sestito 13gp, 2-2-4 -5
- Paukovich 17gp, 3-1-4 -3
- O’Marra 23gp, 0-3-3 -6
- Brule 11gp, 0-3-3 -5
- Spurgeon 21gp, 1-1-2 -5
- Urquhart 8gp, 1-0-1 -2
- Goulet 3gp, 0-1-1 E
- Czuy 2gp, 0-1-1 E
- Huddy 2gp, 0-1-1 +1