COVER STORY

We’re at a point where we need to decide which junior AHL or Euro kid we’re going to follow this year. There are several candidates.

  • Woodguy nominated Mitchell Moroz, suggested he’d be a good follow since the selection split the fanbase like a knife through butter.
  • Tyler Pitlick has been mentioned, he should have an improved boxcar season.
  • Martin Marincin is turning pro, and the blue is such a focus for Oiler fans.
  • Tyler Bunz and Olivier Roy are interesting prospects.
  • Klefbom was last year and it was like watching paint dry. Not him again, I beg you.
  • Tobias Rieder should have a monster season, this would be the choice that probably sees the biggest boxcars.
  • Jujhar Khaira is interesting because he’ll be hard to follow based on his college and their fame.
  • Daniil Zharkov should have some impressive boxcars.

Okay, write in votes welcome. State your case, one poster=one vote and there are no ties. We’ll have a vote off if it comes to that.

 

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116 Responses to "COVER STORY"

  1. TheBusDriver86 says:

    Rieder!

  2. humantorch says:

    I’m going with Moroz, not because I think he’s the best prospect (FAR from it), but simply because there’s the most potential for drama because of the aforementioned split amongst the fanbase.

  3. Smidpet says:

    I’ll say Pitlick. The other guys have more time to develop, but I’m curious to see how he’ll do with hopefully a more prominent role in OKC. Not to mention, the first time he’ll get to play in a league for a second year in a row.

    Side note- First time posting, long time reader. Just moved out to Long Island for law school and I’m across the street from Nassau. Half the people here didn’t know they had a hockey team.

  4. Nail and Nuge says:

    My vote is for the fellow whose photo is heading the article: Mitch Moroz. In the painful search entitled “Finding our Lucic amongst the Coke Machines” Moroz is a perfect candidate for your attentions. I for one am not at all sold that he somehow finds a scoring touch that would keep him on track with Lucic (Last Junior year Lucic had 30 goals in 70 games).

    My second vote goes to Tyler Pitlick as I do believe this year will be successful for our next true power forward.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Smidpet: Does it look like a WW2 relic from the outside? Stuff falling off?

  6. Matt.N says:

    I vote for JarJar.

    I’m going to see lots of Oilking and OKC coverage anyway. I would like to track someone off the radar a bit.

  7. iglane says:

    Zharkov. Fell in the draft and had some good sound bits when he was selected. Could be a motivated prospect that has more to prove.

  8. Woodguy says:

    If its only one, then Moroz.

    SInce you are not constrained by paper or ink, I’d like to see all of:

    Moroz
    Pitlick
    Jar-Jar

    CHL
    AHL
    NCAA

    Nice mix, 3 different Oiler picks that are hoped to become “The Elusive Power Forward” all going about it in different ways.

  9. saddleblazer says:

    I’ll pick Rieder – should be a feel good story all year.

  10. Chunklets says:

    Jujhar Khaira! As pointed out in the article, it’s likely to be a bit tougher for most of us to get info on him than on the other guys, besides which he’s an intriguing sort of prospect.

    Second choice on my ballot would be Zharkov.

  11. Jesse says:

    I vote Pitlick. He’s closer than Moroz and he’s the guy I’m most excited about.

  12. Traktor says:

    I would vote Joey LaLeggia but he isn’t on the ballot.

    Pitlick would be a waste because he will be recalled half way through the season anyways

    I guess I’ll vote for Moroz

  13. thurmtim says:

    I’m going for a twofer. Bunz/Roy, as I have a hunch one of these goalies is going to gain good separation and join the conversation next year at camp…

  14. justDOit says:

    Zharkov. He’s a big, talented Russian who has stated publicly he wants to be better than Yakupov. His personality alone is a good reason to follow the kid.

  15. uni says:

    I vote Klefbom.

    He was at 18 minutes a night in the playoffs, and with 3-4 regular defencemen gone from the team he’s penciled in as a top pairing all situations D. This will be the year for his to show if he has offense or not.

  16. RickDeckard says:

    Khaira. Should have the most interesting year.

  17. borisnikov says:

    Goalies are a crapshoot.
    The team is set with “impact forwards” for years.
    Klefbom was done so…
    Marincin. Realistically, outside of the tenders, who on this list could have the biggest impact on the team down the road? For what its worth (not much) I think that it’s going to be a d-man and not a forward. The jump to the pros full time is hardest so this year will show Marincin’s true colours. Fringe guy or future top 4 option.

  18. fuzzy muppet says:

    I like the idea of one guy in each league because it makes LT work three times as hard!

    I vote1) Zharkov for CHL as we are going to get tons of posts about the Oil Kings anywayand Reider’s numbers can’t possibly be THAT different from last year.
    2)JarJar in the NCAA
    3)Gustaffson in the SEL
    4)Marincin in the A.

    Only one vote? Zharkov

  19. Jordan says:

    Rieder.

  20. oilgeek says:

    I’d like to see Rieder tracked. He’s a feel good story with a breakout season last year. He’ll have the highest totals, and I’d prefer to see constant increase…not more of what we had last year with Klefbom. haha
    Like Woodguy mentioned if it’s possible to track a few guys, I’d add Moroz and then Zharkov to my list. Again, they should at least put up some numbers that will provide some excitement daily.
    If we’re going to track something let’s give ourselves the best chance to be excited by the results.

  21. franksterra says:

    I vote for Rieder.

  22. gd says:

    I vote for Zharkov as he is the biggest wildcard and the OHL has more info to follow than Michigan Tech or the SEL has. I agree with the sentiment that Moroz will get followed enough just by being with the Oil Kings.

  23. Ducey says:

    Zharkov

    JarJar isn’t likely to get decent minutes in his first yr in college. Its not unusual for college coaches to sit an 18yr old for 1/2 the games.

    Rieder has already put up big numbers. Its hard to see him doing much better.

    I don’t see Moroz getting much PP time on a very good team so his numbers won’t be that exciting.

    Zharkov has the chance to be a real sleeper. He has all the tools. It will be interesting to see if he can put up some boxcars to match them.

    As an aside LT, I’d like to see you start picking a player of the game for the Oilers. Then keep a tally on the side. Something like:

    Oilers of the Game:

    Hall III
    RNH II
    Smid IIIIII
    DD I

    I’d be interested to see if the totals match up to some of the advanced stats by yr end. Plus you could solicit votes in the game thread.

  24. Mr. K says:

    Moroz,

    I expect him to get a push by the Oil Kings so I’m hoping for a jump in counting numbers. Plus he may be the most divisive draft picks in recent history.

  25. Arrgeebee says:

    My vote goes to Khaira as I find him to be an interesting prospect who could be a valuable role player for the Oilers in 3-4 years. Plus he gets a bonus point for studying engineering.

  26. Mr DeBakey says:

    Daniil Zharkov

    Because Zharkov rhymes with Horcov

    Give me a 90ish pick to cheer for and I’m a happy man
    Oh Linus, Linus wherefore art thou, Linus?

  27. Gerta Rauss says:

    I’ll take Moroz because his progress over the season will generate measured, reasoned discussions.

  28. Justified says:

    I’ll go Rieder. I think his will be a most interesting season.

  29. rycoburger says:

    I vote for Pitlick.
    I anticipate big things out of the kid this year. Other prospects like Moroz have time to develop. This is a critical year for Tyler, and we will likely know at the end of this year if he has a feature role to play in the “dynasty” (TIC) years to come.

  30. mumbai max says:

    Rieder. Goals are more fun.

  31. DirtyOil says:

    Easily Khaira.

    He will be very difficult to follow without indepth discussions on his play. I have a nagging feeling about him… I just can’t decide if its a good feeling or a bad feeling. Plus he is a fellow Punjabi, that alone gets my vote.

  32. vishcosity says:

    Better than Yak? Loved that take. Zarkov gets my vote. Unless Reider switches leagues somehow.

  33. serum114 says:

    Khaira.

    The kids in NA as well as Euro pro will be easier to keep tabs on than him. Also, he is among the more intriguing guys–could be a total dud or an emerging steal of a pick. I find him fascinating…

  34. leadfarmer says:

    Reider, his last 20 games show that he has a chance to go supernova this year, while doinglittle things like killing penalties. Goalies are not very interesting to follow and looking at their stats once every fewmonths is more than adequate. Klefbom was done last year and LT didnt have to do anything until the last couple games.

  35. bsmart says:

    I like large numbers Reider get my vote!

    I would love to see somone due a weekly blog with all of them with stats updates. That would certainly get traffic quickly.

  36. blackdog says:

    Zharkov. Bit of a sleeper, may have fallen into our laps, potential to put up some numbers.

  37. Moosemess says:

    My vote’s for Marincin. I can’t decide if this player is a legitimate prospect or another iffy project pick. Watching his progression this year, particularly through the veil of some worthwhile advanced stats would be interesting.

  38. Lois Lowe says:

    Zharkov.

  39. Reg Dunlop says:

    I would have voted Ryan Murray but the oil skuppered that so I will vote Yakupov. Lock out, right? He will suit up for Nzhmkgfkngrsk, right? Russia is in Europe, right? So I say he qualifies.

  40. tubes says:

    Horcov’s russian cousin Zharkov. Simpson would be nice to follow as well.

  41. voxwah says:

    Zharkov for sure, he’s the biggest sleeper. I think he was a steal at the draft.

  42. ashley says:

    Agree with Moosemess. Marincin.

    A watershed year for him. Will he look like the prospect everyone (around here) thinks he is, or will he just end up another face in the crowd: An above average AHL’er with an occasional cup of coffee in the bigs. Seems like almost 50:50 odds at this point, but barring injury, this year will be telling one way or another.

    Reider will be fun, but he will likely put up big numbers again, and we still won’t know how that will translate to the NHL for a small guy. So exciting to watch the odometer turn, but also kind of boring at the same time.

    Zharkov’s boxcars will also likely be decent, but that only tells half the story, and apparently it’s the other half of the story that is the big question mark here and will likely limit his advancement unless he cleans it up. Watching his boxcars would give false hope.

    Pitlick, Bunz, and Khaira would be good options after Marincin.

    Moroz’ game is not boxcars. The chances of us being disappointed with his season based on boxcars are above 95%, yet he is going to get his chance regardless of his performance in the next two years after the bet the organization has made on him.

    In my opinion, of course. :)

  43. maudite says:

    Given the lack of things like total icetime and advanced statistics in most other leagues, I’d prefer to track a forward as his counting numbers are more indicative of future potential than most defensive prospects.

    I like zharkov but I’m thinking given proximity and having some eyes on them (clear up some of the data black hole issues) will provide a lot more context, so Moroz is my pick.

  44. jonrmcleod says:

    Is it possible to follow more than one prospsect? How about one from each league?

    Reider
    Pitlick
    Klefbom
    Khaira

  45. delooper says:

    Zharkov. My vote has been swayed by the above discussion.

  46. Clay says:

    Zharkov please.

  47. Bar_Qu says:

    Although Zharkov would be a good discussion generator, my first choice would still have to be Reider.

    Reider will easily be the most interesting numbers to watch.

  48. freeze says:

    Following Moroz is too easy since he plays locally. I like the idea of Reider; seems like a fun long-shot, underdog pick.

  49. James says:

    Rieder. I before E, people. I’d be happy with any, but I like how his story is playing out.

  50. rickithebear says:

    Rieder was a 1.81PPG (.76EVGPG) (20% PPG) player last half of 18 year season.
    Eberle was a 1.59PPG (.52EVGPG) (29% PPG) player last half of 19 year season.
    Reddox was a 1.21PPG (.42EVGPG) (40% PPG) player last half of 19 Yr season
    MBS saying Rieder is reddox. Serious chain pulling!
    Tracking Rieder who put up better numbers than Eberle at a younger age. Waste of the spot.

    Two boxes for Khaira and Moroz with running NHLE.

  51. HeyJakel says:

    I vote Moroz, but it looks like I’m losing…

  52. bookje says:

    This Yakupov kid who is going to be playing for HC Neftekhimik in the KHL this season sounds interesting. I am betting that there would be a lot of fan interest in seeing what this kid can do playing against men. I for one think he is a lock to the make the NHL and might even be an impact player.

  53. Max Powers says:

    Vote: rieder

  54. rich says:

    I’d vote Zharkov. With the NHL not starting until mid-December at the earliest (if at all), Pitlick will be safely ensconsed in OKC, but I’m not expecting a giant jump in boxcars.

    Would like to know if we had room to follow 2 so we can track a forward and a d-man – and in that case I’d add Marincin. A full year on the farm could really help establish him.

  55. WXGUY says:

    Zharkov.

  56. Jarad says:

    I vote Tyler Bunz. Goalie prospects are never given the same level of attention as skaters, so it would be interesting to follow one for a season, particularly with such an open backup-goaltender slot.

  57. spoiler says:

    My vote goes to Yakupov.

    Or, if there actually is NHL hockey, Moroz.

    Please, no defensemen or goalies. Neither produce enough points to make it interesting.

  58. PaperDesigner says:

    Toss up between Rieder and Marincin for me, but I am going to go with Rieder, simply because I don’t want to follow Moroz. Rieder is a prospect who we can expect to tear up the OHL, but the level of offense he brings will be telling, but more importantly, paying close attention to see if words like “two-way” or “rounded game” pop up from coaches and scouts.

  59. TRAV77 says:

    I’d like to see zharkov. He had some pretty nice moves at development camp and I think we stole him at that position in the draft. He’s gonna be a keeper.

  60. Braintrust says:

    I would like to see how the next “Keith Primeau” will do this year aka: Ryan Martindale. It amazes me how quickly “so-called fans/experts” give up on a great prospect just because he has a poor “adjustment year” to start off his professional career. Let’s see how he does this year, and we will have a better gauge on things. I would personally make him the #1 centre on OKC with Tyler Pitlick on the wing. He has to play with talented players to bring out his potential. Just look at what he did in his last year of junior in Ottawa when he had Shane Prince and Tyler Toffoli on his wings. I rest my case.

  61. justDOit says:

    James:
    Rieder. I before E, people…

    Good rule, neighbor, but it can’t be considered a science, because most examples are neither black or white, but sort of beige.

  62. regwald says:

    Martin Marincin … Liked him since he was drafted. I like the idea of tracking this guy since his feast or famine season in PG. I like the idea of tracking boxcars and ice time – kinda like the past 5 games to see how his minutes increase/decrease over time.

    I think he has offensive upside. It’s just if he can gain the strength to compete with the men at the AHL level. Especially will the increase in talent that will be in the AHL with a lockout.

  63. Jamie says:

    Zharkov. Love the idea of tracking kids from each level if time and space allow it.

  64. Backhand says:

    I’m voting Pitlick. He’s reaching a point where another bad season could change the perspective of the rest of his career. I’m rooting for him.

  65. SinceTheWHADays says:

    Rieder. The Oil are going to need more Centers going forward. Plus; with good boxcars he’ll be fun to watch.

  66. OilLeak says:

    Zharkov- The newest enigmatic Russian

    Pitlick- The player with all the tools but may be lacking the toolbox.

    Reider- for those who can’t get enough goals/points

    Lockout: Yakupov trumps all of the above followed by Schultz.

  67. Starving_Student says:

    I’m going off the board! Between here and Oilers Nation, there will be enough coverage on the aforementioned prospects. I think it would be interested to follow Joey Lelaggia or Erik Gustafsson! It’s the latter picks that always interest me the most! In Stu I trust…

  68. Jiri Dopita says:

    Rieder! Everyone likes goals!

  69. fifthcartel says:

    Pitlick, could be an interesting season for the guy

  70. Ripoux says:

    Zharkov – he claimed he wanted to be better than Mr. Yakapov.

  71. commonfan14 says:

    I know it was boring to follow him last year, but shouldn’t Klefbom still be the guy since he’s by far the most likely to actually play for the Oil someday?

    He gets my vote.

  72. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    moroz is the big question from the draft. this is the perfect year to shine the light on the local story and the key 2nd year

  73. SpotTheLoon says:

    I go with Rieder. Second choice would be Schremp. :-)

  74. Smidpet says:

    Lowetide,

    Bits of string and duct tape mostly. It’s a thing of beauty

  75. bookje says:

    Just for fun, why don’t you also cover the career of some ex-oiler who is struggling away in obscurity in some little city in the middle of nowhere. Jason Bonsiegnier retired a few years ago from the Australian National Hockey League B Division (or something like that), but Robbie Schremp is still active.

  76. Dipstick says:

    I vote for Rieder. Power forwards, D-men and goalies don’t have as interesting boxcars. The more in depth studies can be done in blog posts.

  77. gr8one says:

    Zharkov.

  78. Robinthe403 says:

    Maybe a question that has already been answered earlier in the comments but why couldn’t you follow a few Oiler prospects on the cover page? If memory serves tracking Klefbom was simply his mugshot and boxcars, no.? Maybe you go with a top 3 skaters and a goalie prospect? Off the top of my head I’d push for Rieder, Moroz, Marincin and Bunz. Just my $0.02.

  79. jimbones100 says:

    Reider is my pick. I am interested in Moroz as well but because he plays in Edmonton I think I will likely hear about his season through other media sources.

  80. doritogrande says:

    Yakupov.

    He’ll be the best prospect to follow during Oct/Nov when we don’t have a season.

  81. Unemploiler says:

    Zharkov

    I’d love to keep a close eye on him and see how he progresses. Could turn into a major draft steal for the Oilers.

  82. commonfan14 says:

    Anyone know how many FA seasons, if any, the Bruins bought with that 4-year deal for Marchand?

  83. spoiler says:

    commonfan14: Anyone know how many FA seasons, if any, the Bruins bought with that 4-year deal for Marchand?

    I’m waiting for Damien Cox to tell me.

  84. Doug McLachlan says:

    Zharkov! Seriously want his name on an Oiler jersey.

  85. spoiler says:

    I hope some of you buggers above that we rarely hear from keep posting more. Some cool avatar names up there too.

  86. commonfan14 says:

    spoiler: I’m waiting for Damien Cox to tell me.

    I thought about sending him an email.

    Looks like 2 as far as I can tell, not that it was noted in any MSM articles I saw.

    $4.5 looks pretty good then for the Bruins. Maybe they won’t end up backing the Brinks truck up for Seguin.

  87. Ducey says:

    So the current totals:

    Zharkov 21 votes
    Reider 20 votes
    Moroz 9 votes
    Pitlick 5
    Khaira 5
    Marincin 4
    Bunz/Roy 2
    Klefbom 2
    N64 2
    Martindale 1

    And a bunch of people who couldn’t answer the question and/ or provided multiple names.

  88. BrazilianOil says:

    Pitlick

    2015/2016

    Hall Nuge Yakupov
    Rieder Gagner Eberle
    Harti Lander Magnus
    Pitlick ? Moroz?

  89. Lowetide says:

    ahahaha. Ducey is my favorite! I was just about to add them all up! Okay, keep them coming and I’ll ask Danny if we can figure a way to add more than one on a line

  90. unca miltie says:

    reider please

  91. Woodguy says:

    spoiler:
    I hope some of you buggers above that we rarely hear from keep posting more.Some cool avatar names up there too.

    Agreed.

  92. B S says:

    Long time reader, first time voter:

    Moroz, unless there is an NHL lockout, then Yakupov

    Moroz would be nice to track not just for box cars (I don’t see him ever becoming another Lucic), but for TOI, +/-, and the distribution of his penalties. Moroz is big, mean and can skate, even if he doesn’t develop a beautiful scoring touch it would be nice to see him as a reliable enforcer and player (someone to move up the lineup when the other team starts taking runs at our players, with the mandate that instigating is OK).

    Pitlick could be interesting, as could Zarkhov, but Pitlick should be easy to follow, and I don’t think this is “make or break” for Zarkhov yet.

    I like Rieder, but I’m not convinced he’ll be an Oiler (Probably an NHLer but I don’t see room for him here).

    Klefbom is in the SEL and “big ice” hockey is boring as hell (it takes too long to get from one side to the other) most of the time.

    Khaira and Marincin are in the same boat as Zarkhov in my opinion, they have plenty of time to develop, so this needn’t be too important a year. That said I do hope Marincin sets the league on fire, I think he and Gernat could be our top pairing in 4-5 years.

  93. B S says:

    commonfan14,

    But Hall got $6 million per year, and Seguin is *begin/sarcasm*clearly a better player that Taylor Hall *end/sarcasm* I think Seguin should ask for nothing less than $30 mil. for 4 years.

  94. Lois Lowe says:

    The real issue I have with tracking Moroz is that he plays on the Oil Kings which means many of the people on this blog will see him live and track him throughout the year (and hopefully report back to us). The boxcars will be somewhat meaningless for all of the regular followers of the blog because we will hear lots about him. Same thing for Rieder because rickybear is still championing him like nobody’s business.

  95. B S says:

    Lois Lowe,

    If the NHL season starts on time, or at all, how many people here will actually spare the time to follow the Oil Kings more than peaking at the post game scores, and watching them win the Memorial Cup after the Oilers miss the playoffs again. As well Moroz is a “saw him good” player based on the fact that he was apparently a lock for the 2nd round of the draft with frankly pitiful boxcar stats. Given he has a better chance of making the team in 3 years than Reider, as a bottom six player, tracking his progress in multiple aspects of the game could be more informative than for other prospects.

  96. Dooz says:

    My vote is for Zharkov, easily my favourite (non Yakupov) pick of the 2012 draft. This vote would have obviously been more interesting if the Oilers had drafted Slepyshev, but oh well.

  97. Factotum says:

    My vote is for Zharkov. He’s the most intriguing to me this year. We’re already going to know what’s happening with Oil Kings and Barons players without much effort, so it would be handy to follow Zharkov’s progress in Belleville at a glance.

  98. ohhell says:

    I vote for Rieder.

  99. JohnnyRocket says:

    Pitlick. I like the kid. Pivotal year.

  100. MrSmitty says:

    I vote for Reider

  101. GetYerAivazoff says:

    Rieder, please.

  102. jp says:

    Rieder.

  103. PerryK says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    I like the idea of one guy in each league because it makes LT work three times as hard!

    I vote1) Zharkov for CHL as we are going to get tons of posts about the Oil Kings anywayand Reider’s numbers can’t possibly be THAT different from last year.
    2)JarJar in the NCAA
    3)Gustaffson in the SEL
    4)Marincin in the A.

    Only one vote?Zharkov

    What he said…..!

  104. DSF says:

    Pouliot.

    There’s a player.

  105. Lowetide says:

    POULIOT! WE HAVE A WINNER!

  106. Semenko and Troy says:

    Hope my vote still counts.

    Zharkov.

    Who wouldn’t want to ice a line of:

    Horcov-Zharkov-Yakupov

  107. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    I pick Shinkaruk or Lazar, maybe Barkov and Monahan from time to time.

    Ok, Lazar…I pick Lazar. I know he’s not Technically an Oilers yet! Mostly this is the player I think the Oilers draft this year, unless the wheels Completly fall off.

  108. Ribs says:

    Crap. No Pouliot, No Kytnar….I usually wait until I see a player in camp before I put some faith into him….I’ll say Zharkov. I’m reserving the right to change to someone else until I see them play a bit, though. Dammit.

  109. dohfOs says:

    Zharkov. It’s the year of the Russians.

  110. russ99 says:

    My vote is for Marincin. It will be interesting to see if he can recapture the play of his post draft season (on both sides of the ice) playing against much tougher, bigger and older players.

    If he can pull it off, we could see another top 4 defenseman next year in Edmonton.

    And a resounding no for Moroz. Just because you wish a big guy can turn into another Lucic doesn’t make it so.

  111. gcw_rocks says:

    Sorry 12:32:05 PM, but I vote for Klefbom. Information on the rest of the players is relatively easy to get, but for Klefbom it is not. Besides, if he isn’t a lot more interesting this year it will be a major setback and worth tracking.

  112. Bobby Boy says:

    Zarkov
    I like that he so cockey

  113. Acumen says:

    It was a toss up for me between Zharkov and Khaira, but in the interest of having my vote help one of the horses at the head of the pack I’ll say Zharkov.

  114. Twenty seven says:

    I am a long time silent follower but my vote is for Bunz

  115. hags9k says:

    I probably missed the vote but I’ll say Marincin.

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