The OKC Barons may graduate a center to the NHL in 11-12. There are some solid candidates and a young man the organization clearly believes will be a big part of the future.
- Josh Green: I felt RE would be “if he spends the full season in OKC, 45 points will be reasonable.” He went 51, 16-21-37 and that certainly covered the bet. Green also played a little in the NHL and enjoyed a strong postseason with the Barons.
- Mark Arcobello: I put his RE line in the sand at: “I’ll say 20 goals” and he was certainly on pace (73, 17-26-43) and he led the club at even strength scoring (14-22-36). A little surprising he didn’t get a cup of coffee in the NHL.
- Chris VandeVelde: My RE for him was “an ability to deliver more offense” and he did, although it is unlikely he’ll ever have enough of a bat to play as an NHL regular. VV’s even strength totals (68, 5-13-18) were the worst among regular centers on the team. Having said that, VV is a player coach Nelson relied on and there is still a small window (Belanger looks on the outs, Lander is unready) of opportunity. I think he slightly improved his NHL chances this season.
- Anton Lander: We talked in the fall about him and I didn’t think he was NHL ready and after this season am even more convinced. RE for Lander was “15+ goals in a full season and a matching set of assists” and his numbers (14, 1-4-5) would have had him on a 27-point pace. I don’t think that’s going to be enough for a 3rd line NHL center (NHLE: 3-10-13) but we need to see a full season from him at this level.
- Tanner House: RE for the college man: “should be able to post north of 30 points in the AHL.” House went 68, 8-12-20 but all of those numbers were at evens. I don’t think he has a big NHL future but he’s an interesting player.
- Milan Kytnar: RE was not a huge chore: “should be able to establish himself as one of the top 4 options for OKC up the middle.” He was unable to do it, going 13, 1-2-3 and then took off for Europe after a quick cup of coffee in the NHL. Played at 4 different levels this past season, ECHL, AHL, NHL, SEL. Don’t think he’ll be back with the Oilers.
Up next in the series: the blue.