The Edmonton Oilers have graduated a stunning group of rookies to the show since fall 2010. Aside from giving the team an outstanding future based on high end individuals, it also means fewer rookies into the league beginning this fall.
Before we look forward to this fall, let’s have a look at the last three seasons and rookies by TOI.
- Devan Dubnyk 2061
- Magnus Paajarvi 1231
- Jordan Eberle 1220
- Taylor Hall 1184
- Linus Omark 783
- Jeff Petry 713
- Ryan O’Marra 231
- Teemu Hartikainen 209
- Chris VandeVelde 207
- Alex Plante 45
I count four charter members of the 2010′s cluster (Hall, Eberle, Petry, Dubnyk) and Paajarvi is trending nicely which would make five. Hall is the alpha here, but the list is so strong and impressive one doubts we’ll see a list anywhere close to this group. Incredible one-season rookie cluster.
11-12 Rookies (TOI)
- Corey Potter 1237
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1091
- Anton Lander 594
- Lennart Petrell 578
- Colten Teubert 303
- Teemu Hartikainen 221
- Ryan O’Marra 67
- Chris VandeVelde 49
- Alex Plante 32
- Phil Cornet 21
- Milan Kytnar 5
Fades in comparison to 2010, but the Nuge is part of the young cluster and Lander has a chance to join him. The NHL doesn’t count Potter and Petrell as rookies, but their rookie rules are anti-Euro and anti-AHL so I include them anyway.
12-13 Rookies (TOI)
- Justin Schultz 1029
- Nail Yakupov 699
- Chris VandeVelde 77
- Mark Arcobello
A nice duo there, Yakupov is going to be an incredible offensive player. From the three years above, I think the Oilers have 8 legit bullet for their 23 man roster over the rest of the decade. That’s a very nice group, and the high end (Hall, Nuge, Yak City, Ebs, J Schultz) is 5 strong. A nice cluster.
2013-14 ROOKIE ELIGIBLES
- D Anton Belov: Russian is on a two-way deal but will get every chance to make the big league club. Puck moving skills and mobility may mean the coach likes him more than an established veteran like Schultz the elder, or he could have a terrible camp and never be heard from again.
- L Ryan Hamilton: Big winger, knows the coach and has an interesting and strong minor league track record. This guy may end up playing in the NHL for an extended period this coming season. Smyth injury would be the mostly likely route.
- D Oscar Klefbom: Strong arrows everwhere, an NHL skater and the GM feels he can compete for a big league job this fall. I rank him here because even if the Oilers send him down one suspects he’ll be called up as soon as he’s ready.
- C Mark Arcobello: Oilers remain razor thin at C and he could get a call if Nuge/Gagner get hurt. As a matter of fact, he could start the season with the Oilers if the Nuge isn’t ready to start the season.
- R Taylor Fedun: A RH shot so he has a little better chance than most of these guys, Fedun’s improvement over the season is also a strong arrow.
- D Martin Marincin: He’s behind Belov on the list of LH puck movers. Marincin is a big, strong offensive defenseman with developing defensive ability. He’d be a callup candidate if the club is looking for a LH mobile D (if Belov falls apart).
- L Toni Rajala: Unlikely to play major minutes this season, Rajala had a strong AHL debut and will certainly be on the radar. With Ryan Jones signing and Ryan Smyth already on the NHL roster, there’s a window for Rajala.
- C Andrew Miller: Something of an unknown, I could be underrating him here but he’s hard to slot since we have no real book 0n him. The window is open.
- R Tyler Pitlick: He’s been quite lucky so far this summer, the Oilers haven’t improved RW much (the Jones signing leaves a window open) and if he can stay healthy while posting something resembling offense there’s a chance.
- C Will Acton: Makes the list only because the club has a weak C depth chart. Doesn’t have the bat for the NHL.
- L Kale Kessy: Unique skill set gives him a chance.