Mid-Season NHLE (Prospects)

The Edmonton Oilers have a lot of talent bubbling under and some of these kids are going to win NHL jobs and right soon.

Anton Lander (in photo) is having a fine season with Timra and would have to be considered a strong candidate for the NHL team in 2010-11. The Oilers inertia in addressing center may well come from the fact that the team already boasts quality youngsters in Gagner, Cogliano and Lander. Hall and Eberle have also played center during their careers.

Below are the current NHL equivalencies run through Desjardins. I’ve combined leagues but indicated the league each player is currently playing.

As always, in 82 game notation and these are their boxcars not the pure math number.

FORWARDS
  1. Ryan Martindale (OHL) 15-20-35
  2. Curtis Hamilton (WHL) 10-22-32
  3. Anton Lander (SEL) 14-17-31
  4. Tyler Pitlick (WHL) 11-17-28
  5. Teemu Hartikainen (AHL) 10-14-24
  6. Toni Rajala (SML) 10-14-24
  7. Colin McDonald (AHL) 18-5-23
  8. Ryan O’Marra (AHL) 2-20-22
  9. Kellen Jones (NCAA) 7-13-20
  10. Drew Czerwonka (WHL) 6-12-18
  11. Milan Kytnar (AHL) 5-7-12
  12. Philippe Cornet (AHL) 4-8-12
  13. Kristians Pelss (WHL) 4-7-11
  14. Chris Vande Velde (AHL) 5-4-9
  15. Cameron Abney (WHL) 3-4-7
I think the top 6 forwards on this list would have to be considered serious NHL prospects. Beyond that, the Oilers really believe in O’Marra and Czerwonka is coming along nicely. Beyond #10 I’d suggest we are looking at certified long shots at this point. It is especially disappointing to see Vande Velde there. I understand he’s playing on the checking line but a prospect still needs to deliver something offensively.
DEFENSE
  1. Martin Marincin (WHL) 6-19-25
  2. Jeremie Blain (QMJHL) 1-22-23
  3. Shawn Belle (AHL) 3-16-19
  4. Brandon Davidson (WHL) 3-13-16
  5. Taylor Chorney (AHL) 3-11-14
  6. Alex Plante (AHL) 1-7-8
  7. Kyle Bigos (NCAA) 0-7-7
  8. Johan Motin (AHL) 1-3-4
  9. Jordan Bendfeld (AHL) 0-0-0
  10. Troy Hesketh (USHL) 0-0-0
Marincin and Blain are solid offensive prospects and Belle is certainly an option. Davidson is coming along nicely and Chorney rounds out the puck movers. Offense isn’t as important for defenders, so a guy like Plante is still a solid prospect and one can hold out hope for Motin too.
Based on these numbers, I suspect the Edmonton Oilers are going to have a long look at some of these kids in training camp. Martindale, Hamilton, Pitlick, Marincin for sure, and I suspect both Lander and Hartikainen have excellent chances to make the big club.
Bad news for Jacques, Fraser, Stortini and others. One might think the Oilers will slow down the fast tracking of prospects but history tells us they call up the prospects they value quickly and send out the also-rans, never-were’s and wannabe’s. I think other NHL general managers are going to grab some good prospects off the Oilers tree over the next few years, but part of that comes from such a strong prospect group.
Steve Tambellini can help himself by dealing guys they no longer value for picks. Tambellini did it with Kyle Brodziak, didn’t get a thing for Marc Pouliot.
If I’m ST, this is the time to shop Ladislav Smid. Help is on the way.

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