The Edmonton Oilers signed junior grad Kyle Platzer today, rewarding a strong junior season with a three year entry-level deal. Platzer’s career progress since draft day has been impressive and this signing was not a tough decision. In ranking him as the No. 9 propsect this winter I wrote:
- When a 19-year old junior player steps up offensively, the reaction is (and should be) ‘so what?’ but in the case of Kyle Platzer the are two items that are important. He didn’t play a regular shift on a big line in his draft year and was traded in year two. Added to the increase in size (the second item), we may well be looking at a completely different player. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, he’s a 19-year old prospect whose NHLE (82, 9-21-30) doesn’t scream top 6F. On the other hand, a two-way center with some skill is always in vogue so Platzer’s progress is a real positive for the organization. Platzer will probably sign with the Oilers in the spring and try his hand in the AHL fall 2015. If he ends up being a modern Kyle Brodziak? That’s my guess as an outer marker. Source
I’m not certain we have Platzer surrounded as a player. His final junior season really was an anomaly compared to the previous years and it’s important to identify the power-play points as a major reason for the uptick in offense. Let’s break it down.
KYLE PLATZER THREE YEAR LOOK
- Brock Otten, OHL Prospects, Spring 2013: Platzer did absolutely everything London’s coaching staff asked him to do this year, including seeing some time on the blueline to cover for injuries. That’s why he managed to (mostly) avoid the carousel many of London’s other younger players had to ride (like Jammes, Liberati, Pawley, etc) in 2013. His numbers don’t jump out at you, and they won’t with the barely 10 minutes of ice time he saw a game. But you have to assess him based on what he was able to do with that ice time (similar to Remi Elie who’s rated higher). Platzer may not be huge (pushing 5’11), but he’s a skilled player who also can provide energy and persistence away from the puck. You might notice Platzer outworking opposing defenses along the boards, or beating them to loose pucks, but he’s also clearly a very intelligent offensive player who is capable of putting up higher point totals. He did lead his Waterloo GOJHL team in scoring as a 16 year old in 2012. The one thing I admire about London is their ability to make younger players work hard to stay in the line-up. Ice time is earned, not given. And Platzer earned every second of time he received this year. Source
This season in Owen Sound he improved in all areas, including a significant spike at even strength. That’s a good (not great) number for a 19-year old and I think the Brodziak comparable applies. Let’s look at another player who arrived in pro with a two-way reputation and spiked in his final season of junior.
CURTIS HAMILTON THREE YEAR LOOK
There are similarities between the two, including a major jump in power-play opportunities in the final year and significant PK time. At even strength, Hamilton was the more consistent player but part of that had to do with Platzer’s handling in London mentioned by Mr. Otten.
I think a reasonable career path for Platzer is to spend the next two or three seasons in Bakersfield, learning the finer points of the pro game and cultivating that wide range of skills. He delivered in a big way and you can’t punish a prospect for taking full advantage of an opportunity. His offensive numbers this season (NHLE 82GP, 12-17-29) are probably beyond the actual ability of the player but that puts him in Kyle Brodziak territory so we’re still in the range.
We don’t know the dollars yet for Platzer but a guess would be in the $925,000 times three range, including bonus dollars.
- Darnell Nurse, No. 7 overall. $925,000 per year with an $850,000 per year bonus. ($1.775M if he cashes everything).
- Marco Roy, No. 56 overall. Unsigned.
- Bogdan Yakimov, No. 83 overall. $925,000 per year.
- Anton Slepyshev, No. 88 overall. Unsigned.
- Jackson Houck, No. 94 overall. Signed an ATO and we wait.
- Kyle Platzer, No. 96 overall. Signed and we wait for contract details.
- Aidan Muir, No. 113 overall. Unsigned.
- Evan Campbell, No. 118 overall. Unsigned.
- Ben Betker, No. 158 overall. $925,000 a year estimated.
- Greg Chase, No. 188 overall. $925,000 per year, similar to Yakimov’s contract.
If you see the contract numbers (for Betker or Platzer) please pass along.