The Barons’ defensive prospects are (for the most part) a year ahead or behind the forwards, depending on which crop we’re discussing. The Oilers have already introduced Martin Marincin and Oscar Klefbom at the NHL level, their progression is the front edge of a large and impressive cluster that stretches all the way to Sault. Ste. Marie. The Oilers have a gap in blue, but it’s closing with extreme prejudice.
OILERS PROSPECTS IN OKC (RE 14-15 BARONS DEFENSE)
Brad Hunt is an intriguing player, because he is so good offensively. If the Oilers end up having a difficult time signing Justin Schultz, Hunt may well step in to an NHL role immediately. Gernat is a player who has offensive ability, but does not possess a monster shot or stunning creativity. After that, it’s defensemen.
THE PROSPECTS IN OKLAHOMA CITY
- Brad Hunt—I don’t think he’ll have a career, he’s simply not very good defensively. However, he’s outstanding with the puck, and the Oilers are surprisingly patient with these player-types this century. Is he worse defensively than M-A Bergeron? Really? Then again Bergeron had some of the best recovery skills I’ve ever seen.
- Martin Gernat—One of the top players on the LT personal favorite list, I think this has to be his season to show something really good. The blue line has six bingo spots and Schultz, Nurse, Marincin and Klefbom are four.
- Brandon Davidson—Jon Willis to Rocky Thompson, everyone seems to think he’s improving. A player to watch.
- Dillon Simpson—He improved a great deal during his college career, it’ll be fun to see if he can move up the depth chart during the year.
- C.J. Ludwig—Any of these rookies could spend time in Bakersfield, I’m guess Ludwig does. Interesting college numbers.
- David Musil—I think he’s in about the same spot as Gernat, but Musil also has more draft pedigree, meaning more chances. He really impressed more than I expected, can he do it again?
- Jordan Oesterle—I think he’ll have a similar role to Simpson at the beginning of the year. After that, who knows?
- Graeme Craig—He’s a big, big man.
- Oscar Klefbom—I have him in the NHL most of the season.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10, Lowedown hits TSN 1260. We’ll tee up the show, then roll with Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at 10:05. About 25 minutes after the hour, Andrew Berkshire from Habs Eyes on the Prize will pop in to talk about Alexei Kovalev’s idiotic interview and more on the Habs. At 11, Romulous will discuss the increasing void in regard to fancy stats and where to get our fix, along with the Russian Tkachev and Justin Schultz’ contract negotiations. Finally, Thomas Drance from Canucks Army chimes in on fancy stats, Cam Charron’s hiring, the end of Extra Skater and Vancouver’s season ahead.
See you on the radio!
Gernat photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved