The Huddy

Charlie Huddy came from a long way back. He was not drafted but didn’t take long to impress. Signed by the Oilers in September of 1979, Huddy played the 79-80 season in Houston (CHL) and part of the following season with the Wichita Wind (Oilers farm team stayed in the CHL but moved to Wichita. Too bad, because the “people train runs out of Stubbville.”)
Early in the 80-81 season, Huddy got a chance to impress at the NHL level. From Petry Gzowski’s THE GAME OF OUR LIVES:
Price would be dealt to Pittsburgh for Pat Hughes at the trade deadline in March. Charlie Huddy–undrafted in 1979–won a spot with the Oilers and allowed them to add in an area of need. Added to the flood of Barry Fraser home runs at the draft table, men like Huddy ushered in the age of Glory for the Edmonton Oilers.
Who is the “Huddy” of 11-12? Is there one?  

We talked this week about the rookie camp roster and the kids who might have an impact with the Oilers in the next 24 months. Candidates include Anton Lander, Curtis Hamilton, David Musil, Tyler Pitlick and of course #1 overall RNH. We also looked at last season’s AHL rookies and suggested players like Teemu Hartikainen, Chris Vande Velde and Colten Teubert might make their mark at the NHL level in the next couple of seasons.

Along with the top draft picks and the lower picks who turn into useful players, the club also needs to sign role players from college and Europe and to use the waiver wire wisely. Here are the men signed since March from college, Europe or the AHL:

  1. D Taylor Fedun: Very interesting prospect. OKC bound but could be a candidate for NHL employment should he show well with the Barons. A two-way defender with average (6.01, 210) NHL size, I don’t think he’ll get a lot of PP minutes in OKC. He has an outstanding opportunity with the Oilers.
  2. C Tanner House: Another NCAA grad, this one is a center with a 2-way reputation and an ability to win faceoffs. A longshot to become an Oiler (Edmonton is deeper at center moving forward than they are on the blueline and in goal), his window of opportunity is between now and 2013 summer (same as VandeVelde’s).
  3. L Hunter Tremblay: CIS signing was apparently pursued by several teams. He’s 25 years old and will need to establish himself early, but it bodes well for the scouting department that they are looking everywhere for talent. Scored a goal in 5 playoff games with OKC in the spring.
  4. L Lennert Petrell: A powerwinger with speed is an interesting player. His problem is hands but he’ll fit right in and has the rep of a 2-way type who can penalty kill. Of all the players on this list, Petrell is the one guy I’m most interested in seeing at training camp. Can also play C.
  5. F Antti Tyrvainen: An agitator who plays with a lot of energy and is good at pissing people off. It sounds like a portion of the Esa Tikkanen resume, which is good enough for me.
  6. L Josh Green: Second time around for the big winger, I would think he is strictly an OKC hire. Green’s health doesn’t seem to be an issue this time around.
  7. D Corey Potter: This could be one of those signings that doesn’t get a lot of attention at the time but turns into something we look back on as a wise move. Size, skill, experience and coach Renney knows his abilities from the NYC connetion.
  8. G Yann Danis: This will be a big move because the Oilers find themselves in a position of weakness at the NHL level. It’s possible Devan Dubnyk can carry a much larger load this coming season and that Nikolai Khabibulin recovers enough to be counted on again. The odds both happen are not good, meaning Danis is probably going to see the NHL for an extended period in 11-12.
  9. R Ryan Keller: A solid OKC signing, he’s a pure AHL scorer and a player who could see some callup time if injuries hit the position (Oilers are solid on RW, however).

Up next: the depth charts, by position as we head into training camp. Hopefully, this generation’s Charlie Huddy is among the names we’ll talk about in the coming week.

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