Years from now we’ll look back on the current RW depth chart and wonder what could have been. I doubt the magic trio of Hemsky, Eberle and Yakupov will be together much longer, but the talent of the group is astounding. The Czech wizard, the Russian sniper and the prairie kid with the quick hands have been together on the same ice for less than a season, their collective talents are obvious and abundant. Some say the trio can co-exist on the same team, but I believe one of them will be on the outside looking in–the Oilers simply don’t have 9 skill forwards.
NHL CAREER, PER 82 GAMES PLAYED
- Jordan Eberle 82, 29-37-66
- Ales Hemsky 82, 18-44-62
- Nail Yakupov 82, 29-24-53
Two of these guys received Olympic invites yesterday and the third one is in the mail. When we look back on this summer–and I’m about to go cliche–maybe the best move MacT made was a deal he didn’t pull the trigger on?
Hemsky turns 30 in a month, Eberle might be captain by fall and Yakupov is Beatlemania on skates. If Peter Gzowski were alive today he’d be heading back to Edmonton for a “Game of Our Lives” 2.0, and Yakupov would steal the show.
AFTER THAT, IT’S NOT SIMILAR
The Oilers sent away Magnus Paajarvi and didn’t re-sign Lennart Petrell, but brought back Ryan Jones and Mike Brown, and they hired Jesse Joenssu for the starboard. If the club keeps their three skill wingers above, there’s probably room for two more on this side (and the third one–probably Joensuu–will play LW).
NHL CAREER, PER 82 GAMES PLAYED
- Ryan Jones 15-12-27
- Jesse Joensuu 9-9-18
- Mike Brown 4-4-8
Joensuu looks interesting based on what we can read; MacT is clearly relying more heavily on Matti Virmanen across the pond for his pro scouting. Virmanen’s hand appears to be on the Belov, Joenssu and Grebeshkov additions.
AHL RW DEPTH CHART
- Toni Rajala 46, 17-28-45 in AHL last season; he’s 22, 5.10 163
- Derek Nesbitt 67, 26-21-47 in AHL last season; he’s 31, 6.00 185
- Matthew Ford 53, 9-15-24 in AHL last season; he’s 28, 6.01 207
- Tyler Pitlick 44, 3-7-10 in AHL last season; he’s 21, 6.02 196
- Erick Lizon 17, 0-0-0 in AHL last season; he’s 27, 6.04 225
- Cameron Abney 4, 0-0-0 in AHL last season; he’s 22, 6.05, 205
Rajala is the best player in the group and one suspects he’ll get some NHL time this coming season–especially if Hemsky is offloaded at some point between now and the deadline. Nesbitt is a solid AHL scorer, Ford and Pitlick will fight for playing time (and this is last chance Texaco for Pitlick, but the organization always liked him under the previous administration and MacT’s search for size up front was not successful this summer).
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
Lots of summer hockey talk today, MacT’s the human story generator. Scheduled to appear:
- Alan Hull from Copper and Blue. Gagner’s signing, Oilers at center, free agents still available.
- Jeff Chapman from Copper and Blue. Team Canada, Size with skill on Oilers forward lines, Hemsky.
- Michael Parkatti from Boys on the Bus. We’ll have a long, long look at center for the 13-14 Oilers.
- Jeff Krushell from Krush Performance. Jeff will talk about baseball’s latest suspensions and wasting impact offensive seasons in the 2nd division.
- Jason Strudwick from Team 1260 and Oilers Nation. Jason will give us his impression of the Oilers summer.
Lowetide_ on twitter and 10-1260 via text. Hope you can tune in!!!!!!