This is Johan Motin. In his first pro season (AHL, age 20) he’s impressed both our friend math and the Oilers organization. He has indeed passed a few prospects on the depth chart (Oilers’ “Rodney Dangerfield” Cody Wild for one) and it’ll be interesting to see these young men next fall in training camp.
There’s a disconnect on some of these AHL defensemen in terms of what math and KP say. We shouldn’t be surprised by this, as hyperbole has long been a friend to Mr. Prendergast. I don’t mean to discount his opinion, in fact there’s every reason to believe that he’s being genuine in that his words reflect the organization’s opinion.
However, there is also some evidence that the Edmonton Oilers have missed a player who is right in front of them. Let’s start with the math of the issue:
- Cody Wild 31gp, 0-12-12 (-10)
- Taylor Chorney 17gp, 3-4-7 (-18)
- Alex Plante 39gp, 1-5-6 (-12)
- Theo Peckham 20gp, 0-6-6 (+1)
- Johan Motin 33gp, 1-3-4 (-2)
Don’t let all those big minus numbers scare you, the Falcons are a freak show at even strength. By my count their EV goals for-goals against number is 66-102 (-36). So, if we assume they run three pairings in Springfield (and all things are equal) then a Falcon defender should be considered “average” if he’s at -12 at this point of the season (42 games).
What does this mean? Considering games played (and the number above being correct), then we can post some math in regard to these 5 prospects. Now, we don’t have any information in regard to toughness of opposition, but we can assume that Peckham is facing some tougher players and we have read that Plante was forced into some difficult evenings. Chorney is also known to face tough opposition. Here are the plus minus numbers based on GP and the current plus minus by player:
- Peckham +7, Motin +7
- Plante -1, Wild -1
- Chorney -13
So when Kevin Prendergast says (on the Oilers site, a worthwhile click through for the Stauffer/KP interview) “we have 4 top notch prospects on D down there” and we know he’s excluding Cody Wild, how much weight are we going to give to toughness of minutes? And how much trouble is Taylor Chorney in as a pro player?
Peckham, Motin and Plante have the best of both worlds. Math and the Oilers agree they’re solid prospects. Chorney is either facing the 04-05 Albany River Rats every night or this is a romp. If I’m Cody Wild’s agent there’s a phonecall to make, involving a request for release and an opportunity to find a new organization. You know how we sometimes talk about hidden gems in other systems? I have no idea if Cody Wild is one, there are questions surrounding how tough he is and how much he can lean on those big, bad AHL forwards.
But the results are good enough for him to get a true chance with an NHL organization.