At this point, we’re dealing with players with real issues—I’d imagine if a player ranks 31+ and wasn’t procured by the MacTavish management group there’s probably going to be a goodbye sometime down the line.
- #31 L Kale Kessy, Oklahoma City Barons (23, 2-2-4 -2) Kessy has been part of an effective 4th line during extended periods this season in OKC. That doesn’t mean he’s going to play a game in the NHL, and it certainly doesn’t mean he’s equal to Tobias Rieder, but he’s going to get his chances and if he develops any kind of offense during his entry level deal the Oilers are going to put value on him.
- #32 R Andrew Miller, Oklahoma City Barons (28, 4-11-15 -1) Miller has an NHLE (82, 5-15-20) that might get him some attention if he was a physical winger, but the college man is similar in style to Mark Arcobello and trails him in offense by a large margin. There’s hope for Miller, this is his first pro season and it’s likely we’ll see some improvement as he adapts to the pro game.
- #33 D Ben Betker, Everett Silvertips (36, 4-7-11 -3) In the first draft of this list, I had him #37 but there’s an interesting hockey player here. Betker is a monster (6.06, 215) and and will likely deliver exactly the amount of offense than one associates with these big defenders (NHLE: 82, 3-5-8), but he can skate very well. I have him outside the top 30 now, but that single thing probably gets him a pro contract at the end of his junior career.
- #34 G Ty Rimmer, Oklahoma City Barons (3, 2.65 .930) Rimmer will rank much higher if he continues on this line. I’d love to know how they got him, because even this early the guy looks better than a few Oiler draft picks. Maybe the Oilers have a new pro scout we haven’t heard about?
- #35 L Curtis Hamilton, Oklahoma City Barons (12, 0-3-3 E) Hamilton is now trailing pretty much the entire prospect list and there’s not much happening this season. The final hope is that he’s working back from injury, trying to find the range. If he scores a hat trick or pops a 4 point game before Easter then we have something, beyond that this was a very disappointing follow.
- #36 F Kellen Jones, Quinnipiac (19, 9-14-23) We don’t hear a thing about this guy, and you have to be careful about strong seasons from 23-year old guys playing their fourth season in the NCAA, but his NHLE (82, 10-15-25) using Vollman’s rating for the ECAC suggests he has enough skill to at least be a reasonably effective AHL player. My guess is the Oilers pass on the opportunity to sign him (MacT).
- #37 G Frans Tuohimaa HPK (13, 3.40 .894) Oilers signed him off a decent 2012-13 season, he’s on loan to HPK but backing up Nashville pick Juuse Saros, who looks exactly like one million bucks. Le sigh.
- #38 G Tyler Bunz, Bakersfield Condors (6, 3.41 .873) Bunz doesn’t seem able to build on anything, he’s looked good in the AHL but very poor in the ECHL so far this season. I’m certain the Oilers haven’t seen him play his best game in pro, but it’s becoming less and less essential as the organization plucks more options and places them above him.
- #39 L Evan Campbell U. Mass—Lowell (10, 0-0-0) Boxcars would be nice.
- #40 R Cameron Abney, Bakersfield Condors (12, 0-0-0) The organization spent quite a bit of time over the summer and fall bringing in Kessy, MacIntyre and Gazdic. Abney is at the very end of the prospect list and on the final season of his entry level deal.
(Bunz photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)