A year ago, there were 14 men who played a game or more with OKC and the Oilers: Alexandre Giroux, Teemu Hartikainen (in photo), Liam Reddox, Linus Omark, Jeff Petry, Ryan O’Marra, Shawn Belle, Alex Plante, Chris VandeVelde, Taylor Chorney, Richard Petiot, Zack Stortini, JF Jacques, Martin Gerber.
- Yann Danis RE: I think he’ll play much of the season with the Oilers. I’d guess that he gets recalled by the end of November because of injury/ineffectiveness at the NHL level. When he’s in the AHL, Danis should be around AHL average in SP and backstop the young Barons to a .500 record.
- David LeNeveu RE: I think he’ll play well enough to keep young Roy at bay and will end up as the de facto OKC starter. LeNeveu has an uneven track record and there’s a chance he washes out. At some point the Oilers will have to add someone if two of their top 4 pro goalies (NK and LeNeveu) suffer injuries/ineffectiveness.
- Olivier Roy RE: After decades of prospects failing in their pro transition, hope has returned for Oiler fans when tracking prospect goaltenders. I don’t think Roy is the best short term or long term goalie prospect, but he has some nice things.
- Jeff Petry RE: Petry should play most of the season in the NHL (I suggested 50 NHL games in the Oiler RE series) but the club has mentioned several times that the young college grad might need some fine tuning. I can’t see it, especially against the backdrop of the other young blue, but it’s reasonable to assume Petry spends some time in the minors.
- Taylor Chorney RE: Chorney’s offense didn’t come with him to the pro level, something we see often in defensemen (they don’t get enough PP time and chances are they aren’t that special). With the new rules post CBA, it was felt that Chorney’s ability to push the puck up would give him high value. As it turns out, his size and strength have been the real story since turning pro, but he has improved at the AHL level and you never know. Could be lost to waivers, but if he plays in OKC then we might expect another step forward for Chorney.
- Corey Potter RE: I don’t know whether he makes the team out of TC but do believe that the Oilers will see fit to play him sometime this season. Potter looks to have enough foot speed and size to be handle things (we don’t really know yet) and he certainly has the opportunity. RE for him in the AHL would be to slot into a role as a regular who can handle PP and PK duties. He’s a good AHL player, should emerge as a leader in this group.
- Taylor Fedun RE: He’s turned heads this training camp, but 10 days doesn’t make a career. I think Fedun’s offense is unlikely to be a calling card, but his NHLE’s were solid if a little skewed by powerplay goals. Hey, he might be something but we need to see a bunch of AHL at-bats before passing judgement. Reasonable? Playing a regular shift and surviving. Remember, the transition from college to pro has proven to be a difficult item for previous Oiler prospects.
- Colten Teubert RE: He impressed his AHL coach after coming over from LAK’s organization and there’s certainly an opportunity for him. Suffered a concussion and never did compete for a job this fall, but will get a chance this season. I think reasonable would be a full AHL season with a plus minus a little above average compared to the other Dmen. **He was sent down this afternoon.
- Bryan Helmer RE: The top 5 players mentioned above Helmer are all defensemen I’ve projected to play (at least a little) in the NHL this season. Helmer begins the AHL only group, and despite being long in the tooth should impact the PP and play a prominent role at evens. Helmer should help in the development of these Oiler prospects and contribute at both ends of the ice.
- Alex Plante RE: Big, strong and immobile defensemen are readily available. Plante’s time as an Oiler prospect isn’t over but lordy it’s going to take a miracle for him to climb back over the kids who have passed him since Plante turned pro.
- Johan Motin RE: There is no earthly way to know how he’ll exit the system, only that it’s as sure as breathing. Johan Motin has stepped into the developmental elevator shaft and could be back in Europe soon. Too bad, he seemed to have a future not so long ago.
- Ryan Lowery RE: He has signed an AHL contract which means he may or may not play in OKC this season. A reasonable expectation would be 40+ games in the AHL for the Colorado College grad.
- Kirill Tulupov: Complete wildcard, he could be in OKC opening night or pumping gas at the Chevron down the street. Big, strong and a half bubble off plumb.