The Springfield Falcons have some quality NHL prospects playing for them this season. Most of them have also seen some major league action this winter and still more are likely to play for the big club this season (should the season be completely lost and auditions begin full bore). Below is the first of three lists I’ll do over the next few days, looking at the Oilers best AHL prospects and reviewing how well they’ve performed based on reasonable expectations.
- D Theo Peckham RE 09-10: More time with the big club and even more quality play when he’s in Springfield. I’ll say an even split between the two leagues in terms of games played. Theo Peckham is an example of why teams keep sending prospects to the AHL for development. UPDATE: That was written in August before we knew about his injury, and that impacted his season in a big way. Still, Peckham did spend some time in the show (although overwhelmed) and is the only Falcon regular in the black (+1) with regard to plus minus. I have him ranked at #5 on my top 20, making him the highest ranking Falcon and (imo) the best pro prospect at the AHL level. I think he’s going to be a good NHL player. Oilers: 4gp, 0-0-0 -5.
- D Taylor Chorney RE09-10: He didn’t improve much under Daum and suspect they’ll have him play butter minutes and get plenty of PP minutes this season. I’ll say mid-pack plus minus and more than 30 AHL points. UPDATE: He’s kind of galling in that the AHL numbers tell us one thing and his big league performance implies another. So far this season in Springfield he’s been subpar (10gp, 2-3-5 -12 worst +/- among the blue in 30% of the games) but when playing for the parent club you can see the potential. I think there are real questions about his NHL future, based on size and strength. He does have terrific wheels and can pass the puck. Oilers: 13gp, 0-1-1 -6.
- D Johan Motin RE09-10: 50 or more games in the AHL and a plus minus in the upper portion of the depth chart. UPDATE: He’s 26g, 1-3-4 -2 in Springfield, and that does indeed put him in the top 4D (he’s third, behind Peckham and Arsene). We don’t know the level of competition he’s playing, but those are solid numbers when considering the numbers for other Falcons defensemen. I have no idea if he’ll end up an NHL player but the organization can find gems and his resume looks good.
- D Alex Plante RE09-10: 40 games or more in the AHL and a plus minus within 20 of the team leader. He’ll probably spend an extended period in the ECHL and should play that league at par. UPDATE: He’s played better than that, surviving so far in the AHL (30gp, 0-4-4 -5) and playing well enough to take on some tougher minutes. He’s within 6 of plus minus leader Peckham, so it has been good first 30 games as a pro.
- D Cody Wild RE09-10: I still believe he might be the best of the college trio (Chorney, Petry, Wild) at the end of the day. Staying in Springfield is a reasonable expectation. UPDATE: He’s 23gp, 0-10-10 -9 and has been solid on the powerplay. He has not moved up the organizational depth chart although the AHL numbers suggest Wild is a better player than he’s been given credit for (based on how he’s been used in the AHL).
More to come, but in this look at Springfield 5 prospects on the blue it looks like Motin and Plante are covering the bet, Peckham and Chorney have some issues but remain promising pro prospects and that Wild still isn’t playing every game. Although he has another year on his contract (RFA in 2011) I think it is reasonable to suggest he may be playing his final few months as an Oiler prospect.