I’ve started gathering information for the winter top 20 (it’ll start later this month) and it should be fun this time around. Plenty of movement and all that, although the top 5 should be familiar. Here’s a quick update on the summer 20
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: A wonderful start to his NHL career (16, 7-6-13 +1) and he’s shown a nice range of skills. Miles from what he’ll become, he’s been splendid.
- Oscar Klefbom: Now a regular (12, 0-0-0 +2) and routinely ripping off 15+ minutes a night in the SEL. He started slowly and spend some J20 time when things were slow up top, but Klefbom is on track and should be a lock for the Swedish WJ team.
- Jeff Petry: Back in the NHL (9, 0-1-1 +4) and a lock for #2 on this list, but he’ll likely graduate (my line in the sand is 50 NHL games and he’s at 44 now). I think he’s one of the 4 best options on the big club, although there’s still a chance he sees OKC some time this winter.
- Curtis Hamilton: Very slow start as a pro, including some AHL HS early on, but he’s playing now (8, 0-3-3 +1) and should be pushing his way up the depth chart soon. Has seen some playing time with Brule and Arcobello (before Omark was sent down) and that kind of treatment would bode well for his boxcars.
- Teemu Hartikainen: Finding the range offensively (12, 5-3-8 +2), he’s in the AHL’s top 15 in PP goals (3) and top 35 in SOG (38). I think he’s ready any time the Oilers want to make the call.
- Anton Lander: One of the surprises of training camp, Lander skipped triple A and landed in the NHL (16, 0-1-1 -3) this fall. He’s playing 10 minutes a night with the Oilers and for the most part has held his own. The road trip has taken its toll and I wouldn’t be surprised if he spent some time in OKC before Christmas. No doubt his arrows are pointing in the right direction.
- Martin Marincin: An eventful beginning to the season, including a suspension. Marincin is a pencil, but does seem to have a nose for trouble, which isn’t a bad thing for a defenseman to have on his resume. 14, 2-8-10 +3 so far, he scored a goal and an assist last night.
- David Musil: Had a fast start in terms of boxcars, but has trailed off (20, 1-9-10 +8) recently. Musil is more of a defensive player than some on this list, and so boxcars aren’t really a good indicator. We shouldn’t expect him to post big numbers when he arrives, but rather play a solid defensive game.
- Tyler Bunz: Medicine Hat goalie is tied for 6th in the dub for SP (.924) and looks to be a strong challenger for a spot on the Canadian WJ team. Bunz has progressed in a steady fashion since the Oilers drafted him, and this season is more of the same.
- Tyler Pitlick: Took the fast train when he hit OKC, but has fallen off (11, 1-2-3 E) in the last few weeks. All of his offense came in the season’s first three games, and he’s been shutout in his last eight. Summaries and descriptions from the AHL tell us about a physical player, but he needs to post more crooked numbers.
- Olivier Roy: Having a nice debut (5, 2.35 .914) with Stockton (ECHL) and is playing better than the other guy in the Thunder tandem. Roy is certainly a quality prospect, despite starting his pro career in double A. Oiler fans may remember that Devan Dubnyk played 43 games at that level as a rookie pro.
- Jeremie Blain: Having another fine season in the Q (17, 4-12-16 +6) and his boxcar numbers are flat out impressive. Lanky fellow who is going to push for a pro job next fall. Blain’s offense–he’s tied for 7th among QMJHL defenders in points–is not the complete sum of his game. It’s reasonable to suggest he might outlast a one dimensional prospect due to his nice range of skills.
- Chris VandeVelde: Solid numbers (13, 1-2-3 +2) but his problem is the sheer number of quality prospects knocking on the NHL door. VV is not a youngster like most of the kids on this list–he turns 25 this month–and many of the players ahead of him and in the NHL already are much younger. He would certainly be a candidate for trade or Europe
- Tobias Rieder: 18, 11-10-21 +3 so far in the OHL has him inside the league’s top 25 scorers. He’s an interesting prospect–he has 3 shorthanded goals already–and leads his team in points.
- Colten Teubert: Young defender impressed in his recent NHL debut and has been playing well (10, 2-2-4 +3) in OKC. The Oilers are developing some nice depth so there’s no need to hurry him, but if someone like Teddy Peckman continues to struggle there may be a job opening in the NHL sooner than later.
- Brandon Davidson: 21, 6-14-20 +9 in his 20-year old WHL season. Davidson is tied for third in WHL scoring among defenders and is certainly going to be pro ready next fall.
- Samu Perhonen: A raw goalie with “all the tools” we knew our man Chabot liked him and that he would likely play for JYP in the Finland2 league as opposed to the SM-Liiga. Perhonen is in the under league and is underwhelming at this point (7, 3.27 .899), but we knew he was a tool player. I somewhat doubt he’ll be on the Finn WJ team and that would certainly be a down arrow.
- Alex Plante: 12, 0-3-3 +5 in OKC and after playing third pair minutes for most of the season Plante lined up with Taylor Chorney in last night’s win. He’s a down arrow for me, because there’s not much chance the organization is going to fret over Plante’s waiver situation next fall should they send him out. I think it’s reasonable to wonder if they’ll resign him at all, with the understanding the season is still young and his story for 11-12 is mostly yet to be written.
- Martin Gernat: 20, 6-12-18 +10 for the Oil Kings and his arrows are pointing in a good direction. One of the things we should remember with this player is that defensive coverage isn’t as advanced as his riverboat gamber offense. How much power will he bring to the pro level? History tells us it can go away completely without PP time. Gernat is 2-6-8 with the man advantage.
- Ryan Martindale: 7, 0-1-1 -1 in Stockton, he hasn’t posted a point since his opening night. It’s been a poor pro debut; Cameron Abney has better box cars.
I’d give down arrows to three players: Tyler Pitlick, Samu Perhonen and Ryan Martindale.
This is Kyle Bigos. He’s one of a few prospects outside the summer 20 who has a very good chance to make it this winter. The big man is having a strong season at Merrimack and should earn a pro contract from the Oilers summer 2012.
I’ll begin the winter 20 later in the month.
Nation Radio is on the air today at noon (Team 1260, link to the right). Among the guests scheduled to appear:
- Jim Byers from the OKC Barons. The team’s pbp man is a great resource for Oiler fans interesting in the goings on with the farm club. I’ll ask about the team’s record breaking win streak and the early MVP this season.
- Dennis King from everywhere. We’ll talk about his scoring chance measurement (what counts, what doesn’t), the information he gathers from those advanced stats and how he applied them. King has a good mind for these things, I’m looking forward to his thoughts on SC and the Oilers in 11-12.
- Derek Blasutti from C&B. Dawgbone has always been an interesting read no matter where he posts, but his exceptional instructional items at Copper and Blue are music to my ears. I’ll ask Derek about how he sees the game, why the Oilers frustrate him (it’s only a two hour show so we won’t get too far into that) and if he’s ever heard of Howie Meeker.
- James Mirtle is a stand up guy and a brilliant writer. Why is he a stand up guy? Well, years ago I linked my blog to his blog, and now even though he writes for the national fishwrap he still takes my calls on his busiest day of the week. I’ve been in media since most of you were in diapers and can tell you it’s rare thing. Plus he’s a smart guy.
- Kent Wilson from the Nations. Kent is a regular on the show and we’ll talk Flames but also discuss a new project called NHL NUMBERS PODCAST. Great information available in episode 1 and more to come, I’ll ask him about future projects.
Email is firstname.lastname@example.org and you can tweet @ItsNationRadio or @Lowetide_ with comments and questions. Hope you can join us.