Better Days at the Plante

This is Alex Plante. Chosen in the first round of the 2007 Entry Draft, Plante’s career progression since that day has been (to say the least) meandering. He rambled into pro hockey this fall, still a raw talent with size and toughness with issues in regard to mobility and foot speed. Perhaps better suited to another era (surely both he and Taylor Chorney represent opposite ends of the defensive spectrum), Plante has shown some signs of progress in the toughest minor league on planet earth.

I’ve been looking at the Springfield numbers this week in an effort to figure out some kind of pecking order for callups. Let’s face it, a roster Oiler could be leaving town any day now (more on this later today) and we know from the news reports prior to Chorney’s recall that he was the suggested player from Rob Daum (source: Tencer). Also in the mix for callup (reasonably) would have been Dean Arsene and Theo Peckham based on the group playing for the Falcons and previous callups. Here are the Springfield blue and their numbers in the last 10GP:

  1. Alex Plante 10gp, 1-3-4 -3
  2. Taylor Chorney 7gp, 1-1-2 +2
  3. Cody Wild 6gp, 0-2-2 -1
  4. Matt Nickerson 3gp, 0-1-1 +2
  5. Johan Motin 5gp, 0-0-0 +1
  6. Theo Peckham 5gp, 0-0-0 -2
  7. Dean Arsene 9gp, 0-0-0 -3
  8. Jake Taylor 8gp, 0-0-0 -4

We have some anecdotal evidence that Plante (in his rookie pro season) has been (at times) playing tougher competition but don’t know the steepness of the curve during this 10-game glance. I doubt he’d get a callup this early but he is having a much better season than many of us thought he would as an AHL rookie. There’s a nice article on the Falcons website about Plante and Motin and their adjustment to the minors.

The Falcons forward group has seen a couple Oilers prospects move up the offensive depth chart over the last 10 games. The return of Chris Minard and a rare 4-goal game (Wiseman) are also included below:

  1. Charles Linglet 10gp, 3-10-13 +3
  2. Liam Reddox 10gp, 6-4-10 +2
  3. Chad Wiseman 9gp, 4-5-9 E
  4. Marc Pouliot 4gp, 1-5-6 +4
  5. Rob Hisey 7gp, 3-2-5 -1
  6. Slava Trukhno 8gp, 3-2-5 E
  7. Colton Fretter 10gp, 2-2-4 -3
  8. Colin McDonald 10gp, 2-1-3 -3
  9. Ryan O’Marra 9gp, 1-1-2 -1
  10. Bill Thomas 8gp, 0-2-2 -1
  11. Chris Minard 2gp, 1-0-1 E
  12. Geoff Paukovich 8gp, 0-1-1 -2
  13. Ryan MacMurchy 10gp, 0-1-1 -4
  14. Bryan Lerg 2gp, 0-0-0 E
  15. Kip Brennan 6gp, 0-0-0 -4

A very interesting list. I don’t know that they’d ever callup Charles Linglet, but based on the success enjoyed by Potulny there has to be some part of the Oilers management group that has at least considered it. Reddox has recovered nicely in these 10 games, to the point that he would not be out of place in a conversation about callups. Wiseman had a huge game in this time period but would have to be considered a long shot, Rob Hisey is in the same position but does have a story to tell based on these numbers.

Slava Trukhno!!!! He always played well on Pouliot’s line so I imagine that’s partly responsible for this little stretch, but one of the best possible results in the season’s remaining games would be for this guy to recover as a prospect. I suspect we’re seeing the last of him on this side of the pond. The rest are a tossup, although both McDonald and O’Marra have been recalled this season and should be on a list of possibles.

Here’s my list for D:

  1. Taylor Chorney
  2. Dean Arsene
  3. Theo Peckham
  4. Alex Plante
  5. Johan Motin

And F:

  1. Liam Reddox
  2. Charles Linglet
  3. Colin McDonald
  4. Ryan O’Marra
  5. Chad Wiseman
  6. Rob Hisey
  7. Geoff Paukovich

If the Oilers are going to start flushing NHL players, one or more of these 12 Falcons will be coming to Edmonton for the stretch run.

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