#21-30 PROSPECTS (winter 2012): THE REST

Well, we’re at that stage again where it is time to round out the top 20 with a “bubbling under” list. There are some good hockey players on the list, and of course any or all could end up on next December’s top 20.

  • #21 D Brandon Davidson 6, 0-1-1 E (AHL) before the cancer news. Davidson–like all of the other rookie defensemen in OKC–has a large learning curve when it comes to defending against men. The good news is he’s not far from returning based on reports and he did get 6 games in before the difficult news. Davidson was easy to cheer for before this fall, he’s now a lock for fan favorite wherever he plays in the organization. After what he’s been through and how he’s handled it, Davidson’s already passed the maturity test.
  • #22 D Kyle Bigos 9, 2-3-5 45 (NCAA) big man (6.05, 230) has had injury issues of his own but I think he should be considered a lock for a contract this spring. I’ve seen some talk about his tremendous point shot but I think we should assume he’ll be a logshot for an NHL powerplay.
  • #23 G Frans Tuohimaa 7, 2.43 .902 (SM-Liiga) goaltender was originally in the top 20, but its so difficult to get a strong idea about where he is as a goalie. This ranking takes into account improvement in his game but also recognizes he’s a backup at 21 in a fine European league.
  • #24 L Kristians Pelss 13, 2-3-5 (ECHL) and 3, 0-2-2 (AHL) continues to find ways to get noticed. A mammoth suspension will have him on the sidelines for about 25% of the regular season, but he’s shown some things and the organization never passes up an opportunity to rave about him. A cool story about his draft came out via Stu MacGregor: “I think he could fit into the Oilers plans in a role as a high energy guy who can skate. I was at the World U-18 with Oil Kings general manager Bob Green when we both saw the kid. Frank Musil did some clandestine work to see if he’d come over to play for the Oil Kings. Knowing that, I figured ‘Let’s take a swing at this guy.’ We even had to add him to the Central Scouting draft list so we could pick him. When you do that he only appears on your list.”
  • #25 C Mark Arcobello 21, 6-7-13 -2 (AHL) has been able to play with the NHL wingers when required this season and has delivered offense no matter the situation. Impressive even strength player in the AHL, size is the big item for him.
  • #26 L Toni Rajala 18, 13-12-25 (ECHL) and 5, 1-1-2 (AHL) has made an impression and one gets the feeling the small forward will get a push if and when the stars return to the NHL. I don’t think the Oilers will let him go back to Europe without a full AHL season.
  • #27 C Chris VandeVelde 20, 1-4-5 (AHL) and a guy who won’t hit the Mendoza line in the NHL but may end up playing for the Oilers anyway. VandeVelde is earning a reputation for being an effective defensive center and penalty killer. I still don’t think the offense will see him spend a long time in the NHL, but would bet he’ll see NHL games if this season lifts off.
  • #28 C Ryan Martindale 6, 0-3-3 +2 (AHL) and a guy who started well and then hasn’t played in forever. I don’t really know what’s going on with this player, but if he disappears for much longer it won’t matter. Is he skilled enough? He looks good in flashes, but the knee sprain hasn’t allowed him back into the lineup. I think he may end up being an “it’s always something” kind of player in the tradition of Eddie Caron.
  • #29 L Phil Cornet 14, 8-11-19 +8 (ECHL) and a guy who is the victim of the numbers game. I do wonder if he might be better off with the Stockton demotion, though. Compared to players like Curtis Hamilton and Tyler Pitlick, Cornet’s probably in a better position to shine when the cherry minutes appear again.
  • #30 D Erik Gustafsson 27, 3-5-8 (Allsvenskan) had a terrific start and then settled in, but there are some nice things on his resume. He has a nice range of skills (offensively and defensively) and for that reason wins out over names like Perhonen, Ewanyk and McCarron.

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8 Responses to "#21-30 PROSPECTS (winter 2012): THE REST"

  1. spoiler says:

    Bigos also sometimes plays the Ryan Smyth-Tim Kerr role on the Merrimack powerplay. A bit unusual for a defenseman, but he’s a mountain and impossible to move.

    Tuohimaa’s Sv%age and GAA took a bit of a tumble in the last game. He was looking pretty good after 6 games.

    Davidson keeps overcoming obstacles. Hard to bet against a guy like that.

    I think Pelss has a decent chance at a Reddox-like career. But again, as you say with Vande Velde, the Mendoza line is an issue.

    Martindale is an enigma, but still has time.

    All in all, a fine Winter 2012 Prospects list, LT. I’m pretty much on the same page as you for this ranking. And of course some of these kids sailing south will get the boat turned round, and some of the kids cruising North will face headwinds. The top 5 or 6 are excellent talents with a couple of possibly elite players. The pantry doesn’t look too bad.

  2. fifthcartel says:

    So, the goalie prospects seem to be struggling a bit? I know they take time to progress, but should we expecting another goalie drafted this summer?

  3. Lowetide says:

    I think the Oilers will draft one of Comrie or Jarry. jmo.

  4. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide,

    Safe bet given their propensity for players with Oiler ties and perhaps a bit of regret over trading for a pick to get Kellen Jones that could have been used to take Laurent Brossoit.

    As for Tuohimaa – heck, Pekka Rinne was the backup playing in a virtual rec league in the backwoods of Finland when he was scouted. Who knows!

    As for Pelss, I’ve had this debate with Jonathan over at ON. I think there is a player here, in the same range as a Darren Helm. People say you can just sign these guys as free-agents, but we’ve seen how that has gone in Edmonton in recent years, so what harm is there in developing one? Besides, one good post-season and they can often fly the coop a la Joel Ward. Pelss is a player, and I think he brings more to the table than Reddox, in my opinion.

    All in all, I like this list. My only disagreement might be Zharkov. I appreciate the range of skills criteria, but then I would think that others would rank higher based on Zharkov’s which are rumoured to be elite yet narrow.

    BTW, anyone see the boxscore from the Oil Kings game against the Blazers tonight? Looks like it would’ve been a fun one. PK went 0/8, Moroz had a fight and a goal, and Musil looked like he played a pretty solid game, two assists and a couple of aggressive penalties.

  5. RexLibris says:

    Not sure what all that code is doing at the top there. Sorry, I thought I knew how to do this sort of thing. ;-)

  6. spoiler says:

    RexLibris:
    Lowetide,

    Safe bet given their propensity for players with Oiler ties and perhaps a bit of regret over trading for a pick to get Kellen Jones that could have been used to take Laurent Brossoit.

    As for Tuohimaa – heck, Pekka Rinne was the backup playing in a virtual rec league in the backwoods of Finland when he was scouted. Who knows!

    As for Pelss, I’ve had this debate with Jonathan over at ON. I think there is a player here, in the same range as a Darren Helm. People say you can just sign these guys as free-agents, but we’ve seen how that has gone in Edmonton in recent years, so what harm is there in developing one? Besides, one good post-season and they can often fly the coop a la Joel Ward. Pelss is a player, and I think he brings more to the table than Reddox, in my opinion.

    All in all, I like this list. My only disagreement might be Zharkov. I appreciate the range of skills criteria, but then I would think that others would rank higher based on Zharkov’s which are rumoured to be elite yet narrow.

    BTW, anyone see the boxscore from the Oil Kings game against the Blazers tonight? Looks like it would’ve been a fun one. PK went 0/8, Moroz had a fight and a goal, and Musil looked like he played a pretty solid game, two assists and a couple of aggressive penalties.

    The code disappears/moves as you refresh the page.

    As for Pelss, I understand. I’m a big fan and have commented on his play before. I think of Reddox as his low end, and I put it that way, because that’s all I can say with confidence. But if his NHL games are limited, it will be because of offense, like Reddox. If he turns even the smallest corner in that regard, look out. That Tyrvainen has me interested too, but suffers from the same affliction. I think Pelss is the better player though. Have said it before: Love his motor.

  7. jp says:

    spoiler: The code disappears/moves as you refresh the page.

    As for Pelss, I understand. I’m a big fan and have commented on his play before. I think of Reddox as his low end, and I put it that way, because that’s all I can say with confidence. But if his NHL games are limited, it will be because of offense, like Reddox. If he turns even the smallest corner in that regard, look out. That Tyrvainen has me interested too, but suffers from the same affliction. I think Pelss is the better player though. Have said it before: Love his motor.

    I like what Pelss appears to bring as well, though I’ve had very limited viewings. I’m not so sure he’s any better than Reddox though. By boxcars Reddox’s offense is better, though maybe overall scoring was a little higher 8 years ago? (Reddox – 2 30 goal seasons in the OHL, and no less than 64 points in his 3 years, while Pelss topped out at 28-22-50). I think Reddox is a good comp, at least in terms of role he’ll fill, and I won’t be betting on Pelss getting more than the 100 NHL GP that Reddox got. I think his (lack of) offense is a real big problem.

  8. dessert1111 says:

    I saw the first two periods of the Oil Kings game last night.

    Was a little unimpressed with Musil. Seems like a good player, but he had some defensive miscues. The goalie was playing like a stud though and bailed his defense out several times. Musil got some PP time which was nice to see.

    I was most impressed with Corbett. He seemed to have improved quite a bit since last year, at least based on the few games I saw last year. Not sure why the Oilers picked a guy like John McCarron over him. I don’t think Corbett lasts till the 6th or 7th round this year.

    That goalie Jarry is really good. Too bad he’s stuck as a back-up. He’ll get his chance over the next few weeks though, and I think someone takes him with a mid-round pick for sure, maybe even the Oilers. He should get the starting role next year on the Oil Kings and they could watch him closely.

    Moroz looked decent but even the announcers at one point made a comment about how he’s not playing as well as you’d hope. He definitely brings other things to his game besides boxcars, but for the life of me whenever I watch him/read about him I can’t get the number “32″ out of my head. He still doesn’t look like a 32 overall guy and I doubt he ever will. Hopefully eventually I can look past that….

    All in all, the organization seems to have a tonne of B-level prospects now, which isn’t bad, not to mention a few As. Curious to see how many of the guys who seem to have hit a rut respond in the new year.

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