One of my favorite things about being a hockey fan is following the progress of these young prospects. For obvious reasons, Brandon Davidson is a favorite. I won’t detail the stories again, but he missed a year early for financial reasons (any Canadian parent with a child in hockey can relate) and he had to overcome cancer to get where he is today while doing the job he has today.
The key then becomes the story, and early this year he was recalled to the Oilers. Music! Except he didn’t play, got sent out and struggled mightily. In December, I ranked him as the #22 prospect in the system.
- #22 D Brandon Davidson, Oklahoma City Barons (24, 0-2-2 -10). It’s been an up and down fall for the young man, he was called up to the NHL (didn’t play) early on and then struggled during the rest of the schedule. The problem for all of the depth D prospects in this organization is the sheer number of blue chip D above them. I’m cheering like hell for this young man. He was #21 a year ago.
A review of my top 20 suggests the uphill battle Davidson faces in making it with the Oilers.
- #1 Darnell Nurse
- #2 Oscar Klefbom
- #4 Martin Marincin
- #7 Anton Belov
- #8 Dillon Simpson
- #9 Martin Gernat
- #13 Taylor Fedun
- #14 David Musil
- #19 Erik Gustafsson
THE GOOD NEWS!
- Oct-Dec: 27, 0-2-2 -14
- Since Jan 1: 17, 0-4-4 +8
We all know that trusting plus minus is a fail, but it does indicate he’s playing in better days recently. That’s backed up by some specific verbal:
- Willis: (Brad) Hunt was also full of praise for his regular partner on the evening, Brandon Davidson, and said he’s just improved since Christmas. Davidson, who had two points and a minus-14 rating though 27 games at the new year, has four assists and a plus-eight rating in 17 games in 2014. He was a rock on Saturday, not only providing strong defence but delivering a (clean) bone rattling hit that resulted in a scrum in the defensive zone.
Now. Back to that prospect list. Craig MacTavish is going to cull the herd—maybe this summer—and the depth will become very important. Brandon Davidson’s performance since the new year suggests we should consider him as a possible part of the future for the Oilers. Considering the competition, that’s a tremendous accomplishment.
I remain a fan of Brandon Davidson.
(photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)