Despite having his finest AHL season, the clock is ticking on Alex Plante. He’s a few months away from being waiver eligible, and his chances of being exposed are high; what’s more, interest is unlikely to be close to Taylor Chorney level. Alex Plante’s mobility is a major item.
- #21: D Alex Plante A solid year in OKC so far (his numbers suggest Plante has been their best fulltime defender) but the players ahead of him with similar skills (Smid, Peckham, Teubert) either have a wider range of skills or are ahead of him in the pecking order. It’s very difficult to create a scenario next fall that sees Plante protected from waivers.
- #22: C Tanner House College grad appears to be finding the range (3 goals in his last 5 games) and may supply enough offense to be a callup option. The Oilers early adoption of Lander makes it tough for all of the OKC centermen.
- #23: C Chris VandeVelde Falls behind House just a little based on season performance so far. I thinkVV needs to find a new NHL address, center is well covered rolling out for miles.
- #24: G Samu Perhonen He is the one goalie who hasn’t performed well anywhere so far this season. I can’t find much to sing about, but it’s early. We know he’s a tools goaltender so the road will be long with many a winding turn.
- #25: D Taylor Fedun Wonderful training camp and pre-season had him in the mix for NHL employment right off the top. I don’t know about the recovery but am willing to bet on him doing the work required.
- #26: W Toni Rajala Has enjoyed a nice resurgence this season but the chances of his getting lost in the flood is massive. Have a look at the Oilers incumbent wingers for next year and then look at those outside looking in. Even if Omark flies the coop it’ll be tough and we all know all 30 organizations have plenty of undersized skill wingers.
- #27: W Kristians Pelss If I was a “saw him good” type Pelss would be in the top 20. He has a dynamite release, really good. However, he’s undersized and not killing it on a very good team so I think this is the right spot.
- #28: L Drew Czerwonka Big winger gained fame with a deep run last spring and has some offensive ability. We’ve seen flashes from big men before–JFJ anyone?–but he is certainly a player of interest.
- #29: L Hunter Tremblay Probably not where they wanted him to be at this point, but there are still games to play. Tremblay would need to provide way more offense to pass people.
- #30: C Milan Kytnar I don’t know what to say. He’s been good by any slide rule measurement since turning pro but we all knew he was the guy heading to Stockton based on the organization handling him in previous years. Nothing wrong that I can see. Maybe it’s the sideburns.
I have not included defensemen Kirill Tulupov and Ryan Lowery, but I would have had them on the top 30 list had they been Oiler prospects. Should the team sign them and add these players to their 50 man list, I’d certainly consider them legit prospects.