We’re at a point in the season where the Stockton boys and the minor league free agents are moving up the team scoring list. Arcobello will eventually catch Schultz and then Eberle, and by that time there could be another 20-goal scorer. Here are the top 10 active players in terms of points on the OKC Barons:
- Mark Arcobello 49, 15-29-44
- Martin Marincin 46, 4-14-18
- Josh Green 34, 7-9-16
- Toni Rajala 21, 7-8-15
- Jonathan Cheechoo 11, 6-9-15
- Taylor Fedun 46, 2-13-15
- Phil Cornet 21, 7-5-12
- Ryan Martindale 23, 5-7-12
- Brett Clark 11, 0-10-10
- Kristians Pelss 17, 1-7-8
- Dane Byers 48, 4-4-8
- Colten Teubert 49, 3-4-7
- Curtis Hamilton 41, 3-3-6
- Nathan Deck 25, 1-5-6
- Tyler Pitlick 32, 1-4-5 (inj)
(Rajala photo courtesy Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved).
If you look at the top performers over the winter in the system (Khaira, Simpson, etc) it is important to remember that the AHL is the place where the rubber hits the road. I think this has been an up and down season for a player like Martin Marincin, but those growing pains will result in a better AHL player next year and maybe an NHL defenseman down the line. I’d include Taylor Fedun in that conversation, too.
As for the forwards, injury has taken its toll and the 2nd rounders didn’t bring their offense to pro hockey. I don’t really think there’s a “Marincin” type among the forwards who has clearly established that there’s real NHL possibilities there, although the entry level deal is three years and it’s a long row to hoe.
If I had to pick one? Rajala. Can’t imagine there will be room on the Oilers, though.
I’d give real money to find out what the Oilers plan on doing with their goaltending this summer. When I look at all of the men who are either signed or drafted, I get the funny feeling the club might sign Khabibulin and not sign Perhonen and Tuohimaa. I don’t believe that’s wise, but the Oilers are doing strange and unusual things in this department these days. Here’s what I would do:
- Keep Dubynk, find a solid but inexpensive backup.
- Run Roy and Bunz at the AHL level.
- sign Tuohimaa.
- draft a goaltender in the 4th round.
Here’s what I think the Oilers do:
- Sign Khabibulin, keep Dubnyk.
- Sign an AHL vet like Danis and then run with Roy as backup (playing more games).
- Play Bunz a full year as Stockton’s starter.
- pass on signing Tuohimaa and Perhonen.
- draft a goalie in the second round.
If the Oilers trade or waive Ryan Whitney, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brett Clark spend some time in Edmonton. Certainly after the trade deadline if the club has offloaded a couple of blue, Clark would be the obvious choice for an extended visit.
Coach Nelson says tonight is important because it’s a ‘game in hand’ on the rest of the division, and there’s a certain amount of urgency for the team. They are currently on the outside looking in for the playoffs.
Barons signed PJ Stretch of the ECHL to a PTO. GREAT hockey name.
Of all the photos Rob Ferguson has provided us with this season, the photo of Curtis Hamilton scoring after a long drought is my favorite. As a fan of junior kids since Mike Bloom and Mark Howe were teenagers, I know well that stardom at the highest levels isn’t in the cards for everyone.
It is nice to see them reach their highest level and have success, however. This wonderful photo is a tribute to that moment in time. Thanks, Rob.