STRAIGHT OUTTA BAKERSFIELD

I spoke to Eric Rodgers the other day and we discussed the Barons and their 2014-15 season. Among the interesting items: His response to my question ‘which players do you see as having the best chance to be NHL players?” Rodgers named Bogdan Yakimov, Jordan Oesterle, Brandon Davidson and Dillon Simpson. I’m always interested in other points of view and most of those names agree with my own opinion (thus vaulting Rodgers into the LT stratosphere of knowledgeable people).

As the Condors prepare to become the Oilers AHL team, and as they sign more minor leaguers, it’s worth having a look at the current roster.

CONDORS TENTATIVE 2015-16 ROSTER

  1. G Laurent Brossoit. Into the final year of his entry-level contact, he’s likely to be No. 1 in Bakersfield.
  2. G Anders Nilsson. God I’d love to see this kind of depth in the AHL.
  3. G Eetu Laurikainen.  I really hope he gets playing time, that shortened AHL schedule is a bit of an issue.
  4. G Ty Rimmer. He’s the depth G once again but goalies are voodoo and he has talent.
  5. D Brandon Davidson. He is a quality AHL player and may in fact be an NHL calibre defenseman. Todd McLellan won’t have much time to evaluate him.
  6. D Darnell Nurse. I’m not sure he plays in Bakersfield, we’ll see how the summer rolls. Nurse played in the AHL playoffs this past spring and the verbal was very positive. I just can’t see him playing a lot in the minors.
  7. D Griffin Reinhart. One of two defensemen who may have to wait for their NHL careers to start because of the plethora of fringe veterans who have one-way deals. Look for Chiarelli to clean up the mess late training camp or early in the season. When he does, Reinhart will be in the NHL.
  8. D Brad Hunt. Impact offensive defender in the minors, he’s going to have a helluva time getting back to the NHL unless McLellan finds a way to use his PP prowess at the NHL level. It isn’t an impossible idea.
  9. D David Musil. He’s finding a way to get into the conversation and that’s something. I think his outer marker (once the young blue are established) might be 6-7D but that might be a role he can cover with aplomb.
  10. D Jordan Oesterle. Speedy defender who was mentioned as a possible NHLer in the future by Rodgers. I have to say he impressed me with his mobility but I don’t know if he can play defense.
  11. D Dillon Simpson. I was encouraged by Rodgers’ words, because for me this is a guy who has progressed a great deal since draft day. His EV GF-GA ON number in OKC was pretty damn good for a rookie and I look forward to seeing his progress in the coming season.
  12. D Martin Gernat. Literally no idea where he is as an Oilers prospect, can only say his progress in junior was substantial.
  13. D Ben Betker. Big and has speed, a fun combination. He’s raw, so there’s every chance Betker plays some in the ECHL (I’d count on it) but this is a very nice giant on skates, as prospects go.
  14. D Joey Laleggia. Highly skilled defender whose offense in the NCAA is so good one almost doesn’t trust it (maybe they’re using juiced pucks in Denver!). Either way he’ll get a big opportunity to show his stuff and if those boxcars are legit Edmonton will have to find a way to make room. I suspect he’ll be dizzying in a MacLellan power play.
  15. D Nick Pageau. Veteran had an impressive run with the Barons, he’s on an AHL deal and could spend much of the season in the ECHL. I can see why they signed him, he appears to be a significant safety net.
  16. C Leon Draisiatl. I think he does in fact play in the AHL, for about half the season. Leon’s skills are fabulous and I have no doubt he’s going to be a very good NHL player. Edmonton is likely to be more experienced with McLellan up the middle, meaning McDavid gets the rookie C job early and Draisaitl (no longer a rookie) is recalled later in the season. A wild card option? He makes the big club out of camp on RW, although that has significant impact on Yakupov.
  17. C Bogdan Yakimov. I’m feeling very good about the C depth chart, especially after the last three drafts. There was a time when the Nuge appeared to be a stone alone but the troops are arriving.
  18. C Phil McRae. AHL veteran will serve in the role Jason Williams occupied last season. He’s a different player in terms of style, the Condors are going to be a bitch to play against in 2015-16.
  19. C Jujhar Khaira. Man, this guy had a tough time getting skill minutes a year ago, it’s going to be extremely tough for him to shine during the rest of his entry-level deal. One thing going for him? He’s a load, people. If he could speed up that bat, Khaira would have a career, no doubt in my mind.
  20. C Kyle Platzer Fine two-way resume and he blossomed offensively after being drafted. A little under the radar as he turns pro, the range of skills from Platzer makes him an option up and down the order.
  21. C Alexis Loiseau. Signed to an AHL deal, he may be this year’s Josh Winquist. He’s 21, 6.01, 180, he scored 96 points in 68 QMJHL games. Highly skilled, it’s a wonder these kids with the mammoth boxcars don’t get drafted.
  22. L Ryan Hamilton. Veteran winger is going to receive lots of playing time and should once again provide leadership and serve as a mentor to the young forwards. If he had better speed, Hamilton would have had a more substantial NHL career imo.
  23. L Anton Slepyshev. One of the big names who will be heading to Oilers camp, Slepyshev should get every chance to impact the Bakersfield offense this coming season. One hopes the club doesn’t ease him into the lineup, he’s been in the KHL for some time so we should see a short adjustment period.
  24. L Josh Winquist. I’m pulling for this guy in a big way because he has legit talent. If you’re looking for someone to climb the depth chart and to grab an NHL contract in 2015-16, this fellow is it. The Oilers made a mistake in signing him to only an AHL deal.
  25. L Kale Kessy. His skating really improved and I think he’s going to get a real chance to show his stuff in training camp. McLellan uses these player types and the depth chart isn’t exactly drunk with Kessy’s.
  26. L Mitch Moroz. He’s in a much better spot than last year, when he was coming off a difficult injury and a summer that left him behind in terms of training. It’s going to be a very important year.
  27. L Connor Rankin. Bakersfield signing, scored 32 in the WHL. Decent size, he might have to earn his way to the Condors via the ECHL (that’s probably true for all of these undrafted fellows).
  28. L Braden Christoffer. Tough winger with skill, 5.10. He’s a unique skill set so will be one to watch this fall. More offense than one might expect (59 points a year ago).
  29. R Andrew Miller. I think he gets a real shot at the NHL this coming season, but it probably comes later as opposed to early. Why? These Oilers have far more depth and competition than Arcobello faced when he was pushing.
  30. R Iiro Pakarinen. Man I love his future with this organization. Todd McLellan is going to send him over the boards and by the end of the first shift he’ll have found a forechecker.
  31. R Matt Ford. He played 3R last season quite a bit, may end up playing higher on the depth chart if Miller and or Pakarinen punch their tickets (I have both playing a substantial amount in the NHL).
  32. R Greg Chase. With due respect to the Russian, this is the fellow I’m looking forward to seeing. Chase’s rugged game should fit better at the pro level than it did in junior and if he can bring some offense with him from his WHL days he could have an NHL career.

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20 Responses to "STRAIGHT OUTTA BAKERSFIELD"

  1. sportsjunkie007 says:

    Do you agree with me?

    YES. Great, you show signs of brilliance.

    NO. I feel sorry for you and everybody who knows you.

  2. John Chambers says:

    I think Nurse and Draisaitl see most of the fall in the AHL and get tons of playing minutes. I’m of the belief Chiarelli doesn’t want to bring them up til they’re good and ready and has assembled a healthy contingent of veterans to make them or any other tweeter really earn a spot on the 23-man NHL roster.

    After Christmas though you can bet your money that they’re brought in to play an important role on the NHL team. The best thing for them is heaps of playing time, a bit more skill- and confidence honing, so that they’re effective major leaguers by the time the trade deadline rolls around and Chia can dupe someone into misguidedly trading for Ference for expensive, slow-footed post-season experience.

  3. dustrock says:

    Gotta say on the Marincin issue

    (1) Reinhart is likely a better talent and can play both sides
    (2) Klefbom is a lock and Nurse is almost a lock to play in the NHL.
    (3) still have Ference & Nikitin. Where does Marincin fit in?
    (4) what is Marincin’s market value around the league?

    On Ference/Nikitin/Purcell buyouts, I figured Chiarelli shopped around and saw nothing of interest, at least in the offseason. He looks at the Oilers and figures it’s a “we’re in 9th place!” season, and Nikitin and Purcell get a ton of money off the books next season.

    The other thing is we’ll have to see if Chia Pete is able to dump any of them during the season. We’ll truly judge the offseason by the end of the season 🙂

  4. Hammers says:

    Love to see Leon , Pakirinen and Slepy play a few games together at training camp . May decide where they play

  5. Hammers says:

    dustrock:
    Gotta say on the Marincin issue

    (1) Reinhart is likely a better talent and can play both sides
    (2) Klefbom is a lock and Nurse is almost a lock to play in theNHL.
    (3) still have Ference & Nikitin. Where does Marincin fit in?
    (4) what is Marincin’s market value around the league?
    Ask Toronto what M M value is . He plays for Toronto this year .

    On Ference/Nikitin/Purcell buyouts, I figured Chiarelli shopped around and saw nothing of interest, at least in the offseason. He looks at the Oilers and figures it’s a “we’re in 9th place!” season, and Nikitin and Purcell get a ton of money off the books next season.

    The other thing is we’ll have to see if Chia Pete is able to dump any of them during theseason. We’ll truly judge the offseason by the end of the season

  6. leadfarmer says:

    Now with those players I would want to make sure Hamilton and Mcree don’t take away too much ice time. Last years class not so much. Now that guys like Yakimov And some of the others have some pro hockey under their belt time to let them go wild

  7. Woogie63 says:

    Nurse was a rover in the OHL, he can develop in the AHL.
    Draisaitl proved be was better than the CHL, but not ready for the NHL, he can develop in the AHL.
    Slepyshev played on big ice, where a forecheck is not critical, he can develop in the AHL.

    These three will be significant piece of a consistent play-off team for years to come if we don’t “Lander” them

  8. Woogie63 says:

    dustrock,

    I hate that we gave away another NHL Defenseman for nothing. Imagine, Christmas 2015,

    Sekera-Petry
    Nurse-Reinhart
    Marincin-Klefbom
    Fayne

  9. dustrock says:

    Woogie63:
    dustrock,

    I hate that we gave away another NHL Defenseman for nothing.Imagine, Christmas 2015,

    Sekera-Petry
    Nurse-Reinhart
    Marincin-Klefbom
    Fayne

    Yeah, can’t hindsight this too much. Knew Petry was gone as soon as the 1 year deal was done.

    It would be interesting to see the Marincin debate, along the lines of seeing the Bruins deciding to trade Seguin.

    I agree with LT that something happened with Marincin. Was it some frustration with going to the AHL?

  10. Snowman says:

    Woogie63:

    Draisaitl proved be was better than the CHL, but not ready for the NHL, he can develop in the AHL.

    Drai didn’t at all look out of place in the NHL. His underlying numbers were pretty good and he was the unfortunate victim of PDO. Drai was ready and I have a tough time envisioning him on the farm in the fall for any other reason besides cap issues.

  11. theres oil in virginia says:

    I was expecting “Straight Outta Compton” as the music for this post. I’m very disappointed.

    😉

  12. The Hermit says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    I was expecting “Straight Outta Compton” as the music for this post.I’m very disappointed.

    ?

    Warning : Very bad language

    http://youtu.be/69JBRcDOt-k

  13. RexLibris says:

    I’m back to wondering which of these players qualifies for the Penticton tournament.

    I’d be very interested to see Chase, Moroz, Leon, Nurse, Christofer and a few others of that ilk (size, skill, skating) up against the best the other Western Canadian teams have to offer.

    The Condor’s D looks fantastic, until you subtract Reinhart and Nurse by the trade deadline. Then things begin to level off.

    Not that that’s a bad thing as those two could easily soak up a lot of development minutes for Oesterle, Musil, Simpson and others (and by others I mean Gernat) so their departure would likely be welcomed by those players as it would move them up the rotation.

    For me, of that group, Davidson, Reinhart and Nurse are the best NHL options for this season, each with very different strengths and potential ceilings.

    I hope the Oilers move Ference, Nikitin, and Purcell for picks at the deadline. They need to add some better depth at the forward positions.

  14. Edmonton_fan says:

    If I were in charge (which I am not), Nurse & Reinhart would start the season playing 25 minutes a night in the AHL. There will be injuries – there almost always is to call them up… If no injuries, they will be ready to dominate by the trade deadline.

    No matter how well those two perform in training camp. Ference’s no demotion, – full no trade clauses handcuff the Oilers. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

  15. Pretendergast says:

    Not a huge fan of the Nurse verbal that he’s a rover.

    Yes, in the OHL he was because he could.

    WJC he played with structure and poise (see:best defenceman).

    The kid was just that good that he could do it, but will have no problems transitioning in the bigs.

    He’s already done it against the best of his peers.

  16. Woogie63 says:

    Pretendergast,

    I agree he can transistion to a more structured game, i would prefer that transistion be done in a development league.

  17. Kmart99 says:

    I’m not convinced there’s going to be a need for much transition for Nurse. At the WJC he was absolutely smothering the best juniors the world could throw at him. In his brief stint with OKC he was the best dman on the ice. Maybe he goes to Bakersfield but I doubt it’s for any longer than 10-15 games. He’s most likely ready to play ahead of Ference, Nikitin, and Gryba. Definitely better defensively than Jultz as well. By season’s end he could be #3 behind only Sekera and Klefbom.

  18. GCW_69 says:

    dustrock:
    Gotta say on the Marincin issue

    (1) Reinhart is likely a better talent and can play both sides
    (2) Klefbom is a lock and Nurse is almost a lock to play in theNHL.
    (3) still have Ference & Nikitin. Where does Marincin fit in?
    (4) what is Marincin’s market value around the league?

    On Ference/Nikitin/Purcell buyouts, I figured Chiarelli shopped around and saw nothing of interest, at least in the offseason. He looks at the Oilers and figures it’s a “we’re in 9th place!” season, and Nikitin and Purcell get a ton of money off the books next season.

    The other thing is we’ll have to see if Chia Pete is able to dump any of them during theseason. We’ll truly judge the offseason by the end of the season

    The Oilers are the masters of destroying asset value.

  19. GCW_69 says:

    Very disappointed to see Ference and Nikitin blocking Davidson from the seventh defender spot.

    Would like to see Nurse and Reinhart as the top pair, then Simpson, Osterle, Musil, and Gernat rotating through the middle pair, with Joey Leggs on the bottom pair with whomever isn’t on the second pair.

  20. oilerman1000 says:

    Nurse may be ready for the NHL talent wise but he needs to learn the oilers system and where to be on the ice as that was the one fault that is always brought up in his scouting reports. Why not give him 20-30 ahl games and let him learn our system. Once he joins the oil the only thing he has to adapt to is the speed of the game. Imagine this oiler d by the end of the year:

    Klefbom-Sekera
    Nurse-Reinhart
    Gryba-Fayne
    Schultz

    The oilers D in 18 months is going to be special- they just have to let their prospects develop properly.

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