Alex Plante could do everyone an enormous favor by turning into an NHL player. The Oilers no doubt hoped he was raw on the way to praw but it’s a long process. Plante has shown progress since turning pro and would appear to be the next man up on the prospect chain. The club devoted at-bats to the 2006 duo (Peckham-Petry) this year so the 2007 1st rder would be next up.
Looking at the team’s depth chart (and signed/rfa defenders) it looks like Plante has a real chance to spend extended time in the NHL in 11-12.
There are some red flags. A harbinger of Plante’s future might be the team’s acquisition of similar player-type Colten Teubert, and his healthy scratches down the stretch were curious.
The item that we should probably be pondering is this: if Plante were a more finished product, the McIlrath interest, the Teubert trade and the Siemens rumors would be a distant bell. There’s something about Alex Plante that has someone unconvinced.
Alex Plante 10-11
- Boxcars: 3gp, 0-0-0 -2 (NHL)
- Boxcars: 73gp, 2-15-17 +11 138pims (AHL)
- What do these numbers tell us? Plante’s AHL numbers are a nice step in the right direction. He was a HS at times during the year and he spent time on the third pairing too. However, there’s also evidence Plante progressed and played tougher minutes too, so I’d suggest it is reasonable that he progressed as a prospect over the season.
- How could these numbers be better? I think he’s on track. I’m not sure what kind of upside we’re looking at, those junior numbers didn’t come with him (no PP time= fewer counting numbers).
- Where does he slot in on the depth chart? At a guess, I’ll say Whitney, Gilbert, Foster, Petry, Smid, Peckham and Taylor Chorney are clearly ahead of him. After that, I’ll guess that Plante, Teibert and Kevin Montgomery are in the mix for callups. Plus the Oilers will no doubt sign a couple of retired NHL veterans like Joe Hall and Doug Harvey.
- Do you think he’s in trouble? A little trouble. I’d say that the trade for Colten Teubert blocks Plante a little and makes him a candidate for trade. I have no evidence, but LAK had a laundry list of prospects in the minors and the Oilers acquired Teubert. It sounds to me as though they were looking for a very specific skill set and those skills are supposed to be Plante’s strengths.
- Can’t both of them make it? Sure. But if Teubert and Plante make it, where does that put Peckham and Smid? The Oilers are likely to proceed with Whitney, Petry and Gilbert (or Gilbert replacement) at the top of the depth chart as the puck movers/complete defenders, so there’s room for at most three stay-at-home types (two if they keep Foster and go with two DD).
- Among the stay-at-homes, where does Plante rank? I’d place Smid and Peckham above the rest and then it’s a photo finish.
- Does he have any trade value? I don’t think so, that’s why Smid makes more sense as a trade asset.