New General Manager Craig MacTavish has cut through the prospect list like a hot knife through butter since last spring. The list of emerging talents, prospects, suspects, also-rans and hangers-on that have been blown out of the water is dizzying: Magnus Paajarvi, Theo Peckham, Chris VandeVelde, Phil Cornet, Colten Teubert, Antti Tyrvainen, Alex Plante, Tanner House Toni Rajala, Olivier Roy, Ryan Martindale, Cameron Abney, Teemu Hartikainen and a few guys I’ve no doubt missed.
And there’s a few flushes still to come. Oklahoma City has a busy weekend ahead, and the trade deadline is just around the corner. What might we see going (and coming) to OKC in the coming months? Will this be the final time for some to visit the National Cowboy Museum?
- C Anton Lander has been discussed at length. He’s 5-9-14 in his last 8gp and Jonathan Willis game his stamp of approval recently. It’s taken his entire entry level deal and mistakes were made along the way but this fellow might be part of the top 12F for a decade.
- R Tyler Pitlick is knocking on the door, and despite health issues would seem to be in the future plans. He was 4-3-7 in his last 6gp before injury at the end of January.
- L Roman Horak has looked good since coming over in a trade. He’s 7-5-12 in his last 8gp, and I’d guess he’s a candidate for callup with Lander and Pitlick.
- L Curtis Hamilton can’t buy a break. He hasn’t done much during his entry-level deal but ripped through the last several games before injury (6g, 5-1-6). I haven’t read much about him since the injury, but I’d guess he has shown enough to warrant another contract. His status is less certain than Pitlick’s.
- R Andrew Miller is also injured at the present time. He was 7gp, 0-3-3 before the injury earlier this month. Some reports have him doing well, he’s small and fast with good vision according to Willis.
- D Taylor Fedun has done everything asked of him. I have little doubt Edmonton would like him back, but where does he rank on the depth chart? Will he make the team? Fedun’s time is now, although he is miles from being waiver eligible.
- G Richard Bachman is rfa and I would think Edmonton is satisfied with his performance. He’s played 30 games and has a .911 sp.
This group of seven has enough talent to play in the NHL, some are better than what Edmonton is rolling out currently (in my opinion). I wouldn’t be surprised to see all of them signed this spring, the big questions comes in the fall when waivers are the worry.
- R Steve Pinizzotto is 0-7-7 in 11gp since coming over to Oklahoma City. Like Horak, his advantage is that the current GM traded for him. I suspect there’s a solid chance he returns on a two-way deal.
- R Steve MacIntyre was claimed at a time when the organization was casting about for a nuclear deterrent in the early days after the Gagner assault. I can’t imagine they retain him unless it’s as a coach.
- C Mark Arcobello will be a free agent and is in the same spot as Fedun. Edmonton/OKC signed him and gave him a chance, but if Arco can sign elsewhere and get a one-way deal I think he’ll go. Edmonton may decide Arcobello has enough value to offer him a one-way, but they split with Hartikainen on that issue a year ago.
There are 10 players in this conversation, and some of them will never make it as NHL players. However, some will and it’s vital for the organization to develop role players. I don’t really know much about Pinizotto, but would suggest the Oilers believe he has value based on their recent trade to get him.
- NHL 14-15: Anton Lander, Tyler Pitlick
- AHL 14-15: Richard Bachman, Taylor Fedun, Roman Horak, Curtis Hamilton, Andrew Miller, Steve Pinizotto
- Signing with other teams on one-way deals: Mark Arcobello
- Released: Steve MacIntyre
What say you? (photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)