The Bakersfield Condors goalie situation is more settled than Edmonton’s, and unless this summer goes awry the first Oilers team in California should have some real kick to it. If Laurent Brossoit can stop enough pucks, Darnell Nurse defend enough sorties and Leon Draisaitl sends enough sweet passes to the slot, this should be a great season for the hockey fans of Bakersfield.
PROJECTED CONDORS ROSTER
- G Laurent Brossoit. He should be the 1G and this is his time to shine.
- G Eetu Laurikainen. A terrific bet, got lost in the excitement.
- G Ty Rimmer. Depth signing, but he keeps hanging around. Not on 50-man.
- D Darnell Nurse. I’m not sure he plays in Bakersfield, we’ll see how the summer rolls.
- D Jordan Oesterle. College man now has experience, lordy he can wheel.
- D David Musil. Should be a big part of the Condors blue next year.
- D Dillon Simpson. Turned a corner later in the season, will build on it.
- D Martin Gernat. I have no idea where he’s going to end up.
- D Ben Betker. Big and has speed, a fun combination.
- D Joey Laleggia. Highly skilled, should get PP time in 2015-16.
- C Leon Draisaitl. Ideally he spends most of the season in Bakersfield.
- C Bogdan Yakimov. I can’t wait to see his year over year progress, encouraging rookie year.
- C Alexis Loiseau. AHL deal. He’s 21, 6.01, 180, he scored 96 points in 68 QMJHL games.
- C Jujhar Khaira Looks like he has a future as a checking C.
- C Travis Ewanyk Tough checker who will probably play a big role in PK department.
- L Ryan Hamilton He’ll be the veteran hand in the minors helping to guide the kids.
- L Anton Slepyshev. Recently signed and very skilled. He should impact the AHL in 2015-16.
- L Kale Kessy. He was emerging as an AHL regular when injured, should build on that in 2015-16.
- L Mitch Moroz. Didn’t get close to enough at-bats this season.
- L Connor Rankin. Bakersfield signing, scored 32 in the WHL.
- L Braden Christoffer. Tough winger with skill, 5.10. Bakersfield signing.
- R Iiro Pakarinen. Should be a quality AHL regular in 2015-16, could get called up.
- R Greg Chase. Really looking forward to seeing his progress next year.
- R Kyle Platzer He’ll push his way up the depth chart. Center, I’ve moved him here.
Folks, it took exactly one forever to go from having no AHL team to spending a spring morning contemplating real quality and depth, but thank God, Greyhound and Steve Tambellini we are here. Impact prospects Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl enter pro hockey with a club that includes a legit goalie prospect (Brossoit), a substantial group of developing defensemen, and some fascinating prospects like Yakimov, Slepyshev, Pakarinen, Chase and Platzer. They won’t all turn out, but we’re going to be looking back on this first Condors team and talking about their impact on the big team five years from now. No doubt in my mind.
PROJECTED OILERS ROSTER (SO FAR)
- G Ben Scrivens (suspect he’ll return in a backup role)
- D Nikita Nikitin (No. 1 candidate for buy out to my eye)
- D Mark Fayne (One of the few names the new coach can count on)
- D Andrew Ference (5-6-7D likely role for coming season)
- D Oscar Klefbom (If they could give him second pairing Klef could shine like a diamond)
- C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Outstanding young player. Complete skill set)
- C Anton Lander (Important player for 15-16)
- C Boyd Gordon (veteran could be trade bait by deadline if things break right)
- L Taylor Hall (Impact player, pushes the river at 23. Lordy)
- L Benoit Pouliot (A rugged winger with skill, brilliant hire by MacT)
- L Matt Hendricks (Had a wonderful year, can he do it again?)
- L Luke Gazdic (His roster spot could be vulnerable)
- R Jordan Eberle (Pure skill, absolutely a killer in close)
- R Nail Yakupov (I have absolutely no idea how this will go)
- R Teddy Purcell (I keep seeing people trying to buy him out. He’s miles from being a problem)
- R Rob Klinkhammer (Signed for next season, may have competition for his job)
Honestly the forward group is sublime. The collective futures among the F’s is stunning if you’re a fan, diabolical if you live in Vancouver. The goaltending and the defense need fixing and of course that’s been clear (in the case of the defense) since Chris Pronger left town. Talk by Darren Dreger yesterday that Dougie Hamilton is an offer sheet candidate. Peter Chiarelli would need the balls of of a pirate to do that, but then again there are still pissed off people in Ottawa because Zdeno Chara.
RFA’S (WAITING IS THE HARDEST PART)
- G Tyler Bunz (Oil will upgrade, leave Bunz behind)
- D Justin Schultz (one of the first major tests for Chiarelli)
- D Martin Marincin (I hope Chiarelli likes him)
- D Keith Aulie (Oilers may want to sign him, suspect the team will ponder him as a 7D)
- D Brad Hunt (Dynamic AHL player, may mentor Laleggia next season)
- D Brandon Davidson (The one AHL guy I’m certain they’ll sign)
- C Kellen Lain (He’s bloody huge. Unlikely to sign)
- L Matt Fraser (I think the need for speed probably seals his fate. Slepy signing could impact decision here)
- L Curtis Hamilton (The Slepyshev signing puts him 3L in AHL, meaning No. 8 on LW depth chart. Think he’s gone)
- R Andrew Miller (Impressive season probably gets him another contract)
- R Tyler Pitlick (Do the Oilers bring him back again? It’s going to be close)
Among the RFA’s, we can expect to see Justin Schultz, Brandon Davidson and Andrew Miller signed. After that, Martin Marincin, Keith Aulie, Brad Hunt, Matt Fraser and Tyler Pitlick are (imo) less than 75% to return. I don’t think we’ll see Tyler Bunz, Kellen Lain and Curtis Hamilton return.
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) June 5, 2015
Christmas early! Bob McKenzie normally releases this draft week but the hockey Gods have smiled on us because today’s the day. McKenzie’s list is the de facto Bible for the draft and his rankings routinely predict 85% of the first round (his top 30 usually predicts 26 or so of the actual first-round picks). The Lowdown got the Sepp Blatter news earlier in the week, but this is bigger! 10am, McKenzie’s list. Geek out! It’ll be especially interesting to see where he has Lawson Crouse and Pavel Zacha. My latest list is here, will update tomorrow and have ‘Oilers and the BCJHL’ slotted for 5pm today (although it’s been slotted for 5pm several days this week and hasn’t made it because of actual news).
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
Busy show, lots to talk about beginning at 10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky, Bigmouth Sports. We’ll talk about the Women’s World Cup of Soccer, SCF and 2015 draft.
- Dustin Nielson, TSN1260. One of my favorite guests, Dusty loves the draft so much he’s going! We’ll talk about the Oilers and that magic first round.
- Armen Bedakian, MLS Soccer dot com. We’ll talk about the WC, TFC and Champions League final.
- Antony Bent, FC Edmonton. The Eddies are on the road as the spring season draws nearer to a close.
TSN1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. Sincere thanks for tuning in, it’s genuinely appreciated. Questions and comments always welcome.