The biggest surprises are that goalies Aaron Sorochan and Kurtis Mucha have outlasted both Bryan Pitton and Andrew Perugini; that Johan Motin, Alex Plante and Bryan Young outlasted Wild; there were no surprises among the forwards.
Below is a list of the “lucky” 13 who were sent away, followed by the date they were sent down one year ago (if they were a part of the organization). I also discuss each one in terms of where they ranked on my original depth chart which was posted here September 12th.
- G Andrew Perugini (Sept 25): I ranked him 4th on the TC list, thinking he’d be around for much of the pre-season evaluation until the Falcons got started with their camp. The Falcons begin their camp on Saturday, so perhaps it is more a matter of sending him down to get work he won’t see in Edmonton while the organization evaluates both Sorochan and Mucha. I would guess he’ll be in competition with Sorochan and Pitton for backup play in Springfield this fall.
- D Cody Wild (Sept 25): He has two more years on his entry level deal and it doesn’t look like the organization thinks much of him. As a matter of fact, Wild played a pre-season game one year ago (0-0-0 -1) and didn’t get close this season. I ranked him 12th, well ahead of some others who are still in camp and this would have to be considered a surprise. Among the D who have played ahead of him in pre-season are Motin, Plante, Bryan Young and Jake Taylor and Dean Arsene. He might have a hard time playing in the top 6D in Springfield based on how things shook out in training camp.
- D Matt Nickerson (not on roster): He has pro experience so there was maybe a possibility he’d last awhile but his (lack of) footspeed is not going to get him into a game at this point.
- D Jesse Dudas (not on roster): I ranked him 17/19 D at this TC and he did very well considering the invite was viewed as a favor. He is not under contract so it’ll be interesting to see if he signs a minor league deal with the Falcons.
- D Jordan Benfeld (Sept 21): I had him ranked 18 out of 19 D, so his being sent down at this time was predictable. He’s healthy this year so it’ll be interesting to see where he lands.
- D Dalton Prout (Sept 19): Ranked in 19/19 and he was among the first players sent away. Oilers like him and may have another chance at him when he graduates junior next spring.
- L Bryan Lerg (Sept 25): I ranked him 26th (of 36) among forwards and he is the higest ranking forward to get the early boot. Among those who are still in camp but ranked lower (by me) are Ryan O’Marra, Miroslav Lazo and Milan Kytnar. He’s on the last year of his free agent contract and hasn’t shown enough to get another one at this point in time.
- R Colton Fretter (not on roster): I had him 28/36 among forwards but he didn’t get much time. He has scored over 20 in the AHL but didn’t make a huge impact in TC.
- R Jamie Bates (Sept 21): I ranked him 31/36. Has no contract (that I can find) but the management said nice things about him and he did get some nice exposure in training camp.
- L Philippe Cornet (Sept 21): I had him 32/36 but would bet money he hangs around much later one year from now.
- L Riley Emmerson (not on roster): I had him 34/36 and he leaves quickly. Huge player, massive. I can see him sticking in Springfield. Hell, at 6.o8 we might be able to see him FROM Springfield.
- L Ryan MacMurchy (not on the roster): I had him 35/36 but he impressed with a couple of nice plays in scrimmage on the weekend. An ECHL player who might make the leap to AHL this season.
- L Kelly Czuy (not on roster): I ranked him 36/36 among forwards and he’s among the first forwards cut so we’re on track.
If we’re to believe my depth chart (and I understand that’s a leap) the following players have impressed enough to escape the first set of cuts:
- G Aaron Sorochan (I had him 6/8, behind Pitton and Perugini)
- G Kurtis Mocha (I had him 8/8 behind Roy, Pitton and Perugini)
- D Johan Motin (I had him 14/19 behind Wild and Nickerson)
- D Alex Plante (I had him 15/19 behind Wild and Nickerson)
- D Bryan Young (I had him 16/19 behind Wild and Nickerson)
- C Ryan O’Marra (I had him 27/36 behind Lerg)
- L Charles Linglet (I had him 29/36 behind Lerg and Fretter)
- R Miro Lazo (I had him 30/36 behind Lerg and Fretter)
- C Milan Kytnar (I had him 33/36 behind Lerg, Fretter, Bates and Cornet)
The chances of the men listed here surviving another round of cuts (likely Monday) isn’t good, but they’re still hanging in and for a player like Sorochan that might mean a pro contract, for Milan Kytnar it might mean putting a hold on that ticket back to junior and for Johan Motin it may mean a trip up the Springfield depth chart even at this early stage.