#31-40: THE THIRD ROW

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)

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38 Responses to "#31-40: THE THIRD ROW"

  1. Bruce McCurdy says:

    I seen Ben Betker pretty good at camp, & a little better than that when Everett came thru in early October. Showed some nice things. I really liked the very strong impression I got at camp that he was a freaking sponge, soaking up everything he could. Then with Everett he played a pretty solid game, a low-scoring road win where his player type is at a premium. He seemed to play a lot of minutes, though I didn’t have a stopwatch on him.

    Every time I saw him, he was huge.

  2. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    What I said at the time of the Gazdic Bump:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/12/18-prospect-luke-gazdic.html/comment-page-1#comment-277814

    Noted that you said the difference between the final 15 is kind of a moot talking point… but I would pluck Betker and Rimmer out of this list.

    On pure boxcars, Betker is really outpacing last year:

    Draft year: 68 1-5-6 (-21)
    +1 36 4-7-11 (-3)

    I’m wondering if Betker and Bigos make for good comparables. I realize Bigos took the College route… but the players have some similarities (namely huge!).

  3. Lowetide says:

    Rom: I bet actual money (!!!!) Betker could lap Bigos on a three times around the rink.

  4. Pouzar says:

    I am 40 years old and I can’t remember the last goalie we drafted/undrafted&signed and developed.
    Dubnyk is the closest…am I missing somebody?

    We gotta hit on somebody sometime…blind squirrel theory and all.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Rom: I bet actual money (!!!!) Betker could lap Bigos on a three times around the rink.

    Great news!

    Interesting that he listed “skating” and his “shot” as problems

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/06/30/edmonton-oilers-draft-ben-betker-158th-overall/

    I wonder how much of that is a reflection of 4 years of game evolution and emphasis on skating?

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Miller (Gernat)
    1-0 Barons

  7. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Great news!

    Interesting that he listed “skating” and his “shot” as problems

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/06/30/edmonton-oilers-draft-ben-betker-158th-overall/

    I wonder how much of that is a reflection of 4 years of game evolution and emphasis on skating?

    Betker’s never going to be Hall fast, but Bigos was a big slow guy. That was my first indication that MacT had in fact changed the focus. Bigos mentioned at last year’s rookie camp he planned on signing with the Oilers and comments over the years made it appear Bigos would be in the fold.

    MacT arrives, crickets. Fistric leaves, more of same.

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Betker’s never going to be Hall fast, but Bigos was a big slow guy. That was my first indication that MacT had in fact changed the focus. Bigos mentioned at last year’s rookie camp he planned on signing with the Oilers and comments over the years made it appear Bigos would be in the fold.

    MacT arrives, crickets. Fistric leaves, more of same.

    So, you’re saying MacT doesn’t draft Frank’s kid in a do-over?

  9. Lowetide says:

    That Miller goal had an assist from Gernat, who is having a fine night according to Willis and Eric Rodgers.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan Willis ‏@JonathanWillis 27m

    First period #OKCBarons Fenwick by pair: Grebeshkov/Hunt: +1/-9 Klefbom/Gernat: +8/-1 Marincin/Musil: +6/-2

  11. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan Willis ‏@JonathanWillis 25m

    #OKCBarons Fenwick: Kessy/Horak/Miller: +2/-2 C.Hamilton/Martindale/Pitlick:+6/-2 R.Hamilton/Acton/Stretch: +3/-4 Ford/Ewanyk/Nesbitt:+4/-4

  12. Lowetide says:

    Nurse with a goal tonight, 35, 9-25-34 +6

  13. spoiler says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I seen Ben Betker pretty good at camp, & a little better than that when Everett came thru in early October. Showed some nice things. I really liked the very strong impression I got at camp that he was a freaking sponge, soaking up everything he could. Then with Everett he played a pretty solid game, a low-scoring road win where his player type is at a premium. He seemed to play a lot of minutes, though I didn’t have a stopwatch on him. Every time I saw him, he was huge.

    He really surprised me at the Young Prospects game. He’s huge so he sticks out, and then he skates so well in all four directions that you can’t help but follow him. He must have surprised the coaches too because they gave him more and more ice time as the game went. Very mature reads too for his age.

  14. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Jonathan Willis ‏@JonathanWillis 25m

    #OKCBarons Fenwick: Kessy/Horak/Miller: +2/-2 C.Hamilton/Martindale/Pitlick:+6/-2 R.Hamilton/Acton/Stretch: +3/-4 Ford/Ewanyk/Nesbitt:+4/-4

    What? Willis doesn’t think Kessy’s fight is worth tweeting about?
    :)

  15. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: What? Willis doesn’t think Kessy’s fight is worth tweeting about?:)

    Oh what does he know? Seriously, willis in OKC is an absolute pleasure.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Stretch (Acton, R Hamilton)

  17. Woodguy says:

    #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?

    I’m sure you’ve heard of Bob Green.

    Given that Rimmer is a WHL alum, that points a bit to Green.

    In his main three years of the WHL, RImmer put up

    18 year old .899 (43gp)
    19 year old .922 (46gp)
    20 year old .912 (65gp)

    By comparrison, Brossoit put up:

    18 year old year .914 (61gp)
    19 year old year .917 (49 gp)

    Turned pro at 20.

    Given the large amount of voodoo in the development of goalies, there might not be much to choose between them.

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Given the large amount of voodoo in the development of goalies, there might not be much to choose between them.

    Or Bunz for that matter.

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The OKC faithful in the crowd, all 38 of them, look like a fun bunch. seriously.

  20. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Or Bunz for that matter.

    Funny, I was just looking at that and Bunz is almost identical.

  21. spoiler says:

    I was disappointed to tune into the Armada game on SN and find that MOR wasn’t playing, and for some reason Google refuses to tell me why.

  22. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: I was disappointed to tune into the Armada game on SN and find that MOR wasn’t playing, and for some reason Google refuses to tell me why.

    Concussion. Pouliot will be back in the new year.

  23. Pouzar says:

    Most Ridiculous hypothetical question ever but I will ask anyway:

    If before the season the Oilers top 6 was swapped with the Penguins top 6…where would the Oil be in the standings right now?

  24. Bulging Twine says:

    No Fedun, Davidson or Eager tonight. Eager hasn’t played for a while, I don’t think.
    Anyone know what’s up?

  25. Lowetide says:

    Bulging Twine:
    No Fedun, Davidson or Eager tonight.Eager hasn’t played for a while, I don’t think.
    Anyone know what’s up?

    Fedun and Eager are both hurt.

  26. Bulging Twine says:

    Lowetide,

    Thank you

  27. Bulging Twine says:

    Now without Omark, I suppose that is how the Barons are going to have to win this year, 2-0.

  28. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide,

    But how many BOOS? :)

  29. bendelson says:

    Woodguy,

    The cost of Brossoit was very significant in comparison to Rimmer which means Laurent gets likly gets the big push if one of the three doesn’t separate themselves. The Oilers are invested in him.

    Is this multiple option approach to finding the next Oiler goalie similar to the draft day trading down for multiple picks strategy we saw this past summer?

  30. jp says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Now without Omark, I suppose that is how the Barons are going to have to win this year, 2-0.

    True enough. Nice to see them pull out a win though, and against a solid team they’ve struggled with all year from what I recall. The Barons haven’t been good lately either – all year really. I expected it might have been an ugly first game without their top player when I checked the score, but it turned out alright it seems. Bachman stood on his head by the looks of it though – 39 save shutout.

    Any update on the final fenwick for the game? Hamilton/Martindale/Pitlick look like they were having a nice game. Pitlick has looked OK this year (still not scoring though), but basically any signs of life from that trio would be good.

  31. jp says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    I seen Ben Betker pretty good at camp, & a little better than that when Everett came thru in early October. Showed some nice things. I really liked the very strong impression I got at camp that he was a freaking sponge, soaking up everything he could. Then with Everett he played a pretty solid game, a low-scoring road win where his player type is at a premium. He seemed to play a lot of minutes, though I didn’t have a stopwatch on him.

    Every time I saw him, he was huge.

    Interesting player, and a nice report on a bunch of levels. And he can skate. Here’s hoping he moves up this list a bunch over the next couple of years.

  32. hankster says:

    Pouzar:
    Most Ridiculous hypothetical question ever but I will ask anyway:

    If before the season the Oilers top 6 was swapped with the Penguins top 6…where would the Oil be in the standings right now?

    They would only have 2 more wins because while these top 6 forwards will score a few more goals to avoid getting shutout. but the rest of the team would still leak 4 goals per game. It wouldn’t take long before they learn bad oilers habits anyways.

  33. Andy P says:

    hankster: They would only have 2 more wins because while these top 6 forwards will score a few more goals to avoid getting shutout. but the rest of the team would still leak 4 goals per game. It wouldn’t take long before they learn bad oilers habits anyways.

    That’s completely true. Our GM, Coach and players are hobbled by the hand picked KLowe assistants. Seems to me that this horrible charade is going to go on until we get competent Assistants. Which may not happens until KLowe goes.

    We may pick up a couple of wins, but this rebuild has stalled because – incompetent assistants. Good guys, hard working, clean cut, loyal to a T, just devoid of coaching ability. Bad habits start right there.

  34. Pouzar says:

    hankster: They would only have 2 more wins because while these top 6 forwards will score a few more goals to avoid getting shutout.but the rest of the team would still leak 4 goals per game.It wouldn’t take long before they learn bad oilers habits anyways.

    Thx for answering…my sentiments exactly. We have huge issues but top end talent ain’t one of them. We have to hit on one of Klefbom/Nurse as a first pairing D or this rebuild could be in trouble. Most stud D are drafted and developed and we have to be in on that.

  35. Pouzar says:

    Andy P: That’s completely true. Our GM, Coach and players are hobbled by the hand picked KLowe assistants.Seems to me that this horrible charade is going to go on until we get competent Assistants. Which may not happens until KLowe goes.

    We may pick up a couple of wins, but this rebuild has stalled because – incompetent assistants. Good guys, hard working, clean cut, loyal to a T, just devoid of coaching ability. Bad habits start right there.

    I find it odd that Eakins didn’t make it a strict condition of employment that he couldn’t hire his own assistants. It’s not unusual is it?

  36. Pouzar says:

    Whats the deal with Mike Santorelli? Anyone? Another guy off the scrap heap having a good year pts wise. I admit I know nothing about him other than Florida and Winnipeg giving up on him. What’s his calling card? Right handed Center….hmmm

  37. russ99 says:

    Andy P,

    It goes deeper than that, look at scouting. All the head guys (except Stu, who has done a pretty good job) are entrenched in their jobs. Think of all the misses on player acquisitions the last 4 years, and wonder why nobody has lost their job…

    And as we saw from Oil Change, the GM relies on these guys to make smart decisions. Though Tambellini relied on them too much, and MacT has some stat guys pitching in.

    It doesn’t change until Lowe is gone.

    That Broissoit will get a push just proves how bad things are in the front office.

    They don’t trade up at the draft to get their target player, Fucale, so they make a dumb trade of Smid, a good player at a below market value contract, who puts in the hard work that few else on the team does in order to acquire at high cost a 1st year pro goalie who’s well below Fucale’s level due to overemphasis and/or over reliance on the opinions of whoever in the organization is running the Oil Kings. Then they’ll ruin Broissoit because they rushed him instead if letting him develop at the usual pace of a decent goalie prospect.

    Mark my words, he’s the Oilers backup goalie next year…

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