A RATIONAL LOOK AT PROSPECT ETA’S

by Lowetide

Every spring and summer,  we talk about ‘the Detroit model’ and every fall the Oilers employ teenagers and new professionals. Every fall, we talk about the importance of the minor league kids getting playing time, and every spring we talk about the lack of development due to inactivity. One thing I do believe in: estimating ETA for prospects based on their most recent seasons. Last year’s look is here, and here is this spring. Any prospect appearing in Bakersfield makes the list.

READY NOW

  1. C Leon Draisaitl. Spent just six games in Bakersfield, and then caught fire in the NHL, now standing at 69, 18-32-50 in what has been a highly successful season. Turns 21 in October, should be an NHL top 6F for more than a decade running.
  2. D Darnell Nurse. He would have benefited from a much longer AHL run, but spent his rookie pro season in the NHL (66, 2-7-9). Several math folks have mentioned improved play by number, I have not seen it but he does look impressive during games. A human change in the weather for Oilers opponents, good lord it has been a decade since Edmonton had this kind of crank on the back end.
  3. R Tyler Pitlick. He is 35, 7-14-21 this year and 194, 28-57-85 overall. Pitlick has kind of been at this spot for years, but injuries robbed him of chances and now he is so many GMs removed from his draft day one wonders if anyone really knows him. Could be an expansion draft candidate as a free agent, if I were him I would try to gain freedom in time for that draft.

ANY DAY NOW

  1. D Griffin Reinhart. His NHL run now is much better than earlier in the year, but there are some issues—including the bonus dollars and cap implications. A healthy Oilers team probably starts him in Bakersfield this fall and has GR as one of the early potential recalls.
  2. G Laurent Brossoit. Another strong AHL season has been followed by an uneven audition period in the NHL. Edmonton signed him to a one-way deal late in the season, suspect they will hire some insurance before training camp. I think he is close, but the audition has been a concern.
  3. C Jujhar Khaira. He is 40, 10-16-26 this year in the AHL, and 97, 14-22-36 overall. A lot of his ranking comes from the impressive NHL showing, big guy with grit and some idea about what he is doing. I like the fact they sent him back—see if he can post a little offense. Could make opening night but more likely a mid-season callup.
  4. C Bogdan Yakimov. It is hard to suss out the Yakimov story. He has not been stellar in the AHL, and he bolted to the KHL mid-season (and was injured). On the other hand, I can tell you at least one person in the NHL community I have spoken to is/was genuinely surprised Yakimov didn’t spend the season in the NHL.
  5. D David Musil. Confounding story, he has played three AHL seasons, shown progress, and is blocked so badly he is basically a canary in a coal mine. Scott Zerr named him as the best defender in Bakersfield, and I believe him. Musil is a smart defender and effective in a shutdown role in the AHL. He is also blocked by any number of lefty defenders in Edmonton. Suspect he (or others) are heading out of town.

ONE MORE YEAR (OR LESS)

  1. D Jordan Oesterle. He has been in the NHL a bit this year (14, 0-5-5) and his AHL numbers this year (42, 3-20-23) and overall (111, 12-37-49) are solid-to-good. He might be an early recall candidate in 2016-17, don’t think he will make the club out of camp. A nice signing by Craig MacTavish.
  2. R Anton Slepyshev. Big winger has had a weird season, NHL and AHL time. I hope he hangs around for another year, there are things to like about his skill and the Oilers are not overrun with wingers who can play even a complementary role offensively.
  3. D Dillon Simpson. I like his season, but if there was a 1.5 years or less category that would be perfect. Subtle game, his offense is a little better than you would think and it appears he is learning the pro game slowly but surely. Determined player, he is making progress.

TWO MORE YEARS (OR LESS)

  1. D Joey Laleggia. It is tough to gauge these players, but in the case of Laleggia there does appear to be enough offense to merit NHL discussion. Questions about him surround coverage and ability to win battles. He is a new pro, but turns 24 in June, so time is of the essence. 
  2. L Mitch Moroz. Another half season for Moroz, who in fairness to the organization has had some issues staying healthy. I think he is exactly the player type Chiarelli will value, although Moroz has to get in there and earn the job. He is certainly in the right organization to get a push.
  3. C Kyle Platzer. He has shown progress, despite playing in only 40 games as a new pro. He has the look of a two-way player, one hopes for an offensive spike in year two. This is the kind of thing that gets the Oilers in trouble in my opinion—Platzer has played half a season in a full one. I am not aware of a team having great success via slow playing their prospects.
  4. LW Josh Winquist. He is 30, 8-20-28 this year in Bakersfield and 77, 16-31-47 in his AHL career. He is unsigned by Edmonton, so could become a free agent this summer. Although the Oilers don’t have him on their 50-man list, he is a more substantial prospect than many under their control.
  5. LW Kale Kessy. I have him in the same spot as last season, seems to me he ran in place despite good health this year. At the beginning of 2014-15, lots of chatter about him an increased foot speed, but not much shaking these days.

THREE MORE YEARS (OR LESS)

  1. C Marco Roy. As is the case with so many Bakersfield kids, he isn’t really playing enough to be noticed good or bad. Played in 45 games in two leagues as a rookie pro. Porridge development.
  2. R Greg Chase. Not certain what happened to him this year, looks like he simply wasn’t given an opportunity. Chase performed well in the AHL (19, 1-6-7) compared to many of the kids who played more. I wonder if this season was designed to get his attention.
  3. L Braden Christoffer. After a fantastic TC and winning an NHL deal, Christoffer didn’t have an easy time in pro (the Oilers lead the AHL in half-seasons by prospects). No idea where he is as a hockey player based on 30 AHL games, but will guess it isn’t good.
  4. D Ben Betker. I think the Oilers may have felt a season in the ECHL was the best way to develop him, allow him to figure out the speed of pro hockey. A bigger test will come next year.
  5. Eetu Laurikainen. A .906SP in the AHL isn’t going to turn heads, but he was effective in Finland and deserves at least a season of AHL duty before the team makes a decision.

One final note: Of course it goes without saying that many of these players will not play in the NHL. A good way at looking at this list: If a player is ready now, and not in the NHL, that is not a good thing. As well, if a player has been playing pro for three years and is still two years away? Yeah. Not so good.

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Chachi

Bruce McCurdy,

Woodguy,

Yup, I have been a long time reader and agree with Woodguy, just venting because it seems like they have been employing vets at the expense of prospects playing time for far too long.

Bruce McCurdy

Woodguy: My post was a joke.

I have a long history of stating that the AHL team’s results don’t matter, just the TOI for the prospects matter.

Yeah, Woodguy is the undefeated champion at making the very case you are making, Chachi. Sometimes he uses sarcasm as a method to make his point. (Hard to believe, I realize, but it’s true!)

Woodguy

Chachi: No offense to the good people of Bakersfield, but hopefully the farm team is used as exclusively as possible to develop young players next year, playoffs be damned.No more Hamiltons, Fords or Hunts taking playing time away from developing players please. I understand that you will want some vets around to show the kids how to be pros, but they cannot give them feature roles anymore if they want to make the most of the farm team.

My post was a joke.

I have a long history of stating that the AHL team’s results don’t matter, just the TOI for the prospects matter.

Bruce McCurdy

Kris King (paraphrased): “Today’s soft players don’t mind taking a week’s vacation while back in my day we were worried about ice time and even our jobs.”

Bitter old men have been saying shit like this since forever. And every single one of them was full of shit when he said it.

Hey Kris, maybe the reason you were fighting for your job was you weren’t very good at hockey.

Good enough to get a job in NHL head office, however. Which doesn’t seem to take a whole hell of a lot.

Water Fire

I didn’t find the emails said anything new. They obviously have no interest in changing anything at the league level, and don’t care with any passion about the game or the players, if they ever have.

It’s typical corporate callousness, externalize costs. Gary will change nothing because his job is to grow revenues and they are growing, the golden boy has no incentive to mess with the golden goose.

It is up to the owners if change is going to happen, they call the shots. Of all the discussion about changes to the game to make it more entertaining, all that is necessary is to limit equipment and actually call the rules in a consistent manner. And an earnest drug policy. That’s all it would take. Widening the ice would help as well but few owners will give up revenue so that’s not happening.

For significant change it will take a crisis that lasts long enough to get enough owners worried and changes through before they revert to normal. So either a lawsuit with teeth or declining interest in the game.

Jethro Tull

G Money: You guys know how low my opinion is of the NHL as an institution, especially of the subhumans who run the thing.

I told you guys they were lizard-men, but noooo, you wouldn’t listen.

Mariusz Czerkawski

i am just searching these emails to find any traces of NHL conspiring against the Oilers…. I KNOW IT’S IN THERE

GCW_69

RexLibris:
Looked over the list here and then scanned EliteProspects’ list of 2016 eligible players.

Slim pickings this year compared to some I’ve seen in previous years.

It is going to take some eagle-eyed scouts to find value in the 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds. Not that you couldn’t find someone or a player may slide because they are 5’7″, 160lbs, but you aren’t likely getting a Bjorkstrand or Mangiapane in the 6th round.

The Oilers need to restock the cupboard but I’m not sure this is the year to do it.

Here is the list of current Oilers’ amateur scouts, some of the names are familiar, not necessarily for all the right reasons:

BOB BROWN
MICHAEL CHIARELLI
JIM CROSSON
JOSEPH CUCCI
BILL DANDY
PELLE EKLUND
SCOTT HARLOW
DAVE HEITZ
JAMES MCGREGOR
FRANK MUSIL
ALEXANDER NAUROV

I’ve put in bold the ones I believe were retained from the previous group.

http://oilers.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=90404

Bob Brown is from the prior group, I believe.

hunter1909

G Money: Literally, the ONLY thing that could shock me in an NHL email is if they actually arrange to put a hit on someone

Nail says hello.

square_wheels

Professor Q,

Don’t forget – Running a successful multi-billion $ business – from their accolades.

A good legal team is getting NFL $ out of these ass clowns and quite frankly, I won’t be surprised to see criminal charges talked about.

I’m with G, I wish I was shocked by this revelation, but for the most part, when you run a business predominately on nepotism, you shouldn’t be shocked by these type of bafoons.

hunter1909

I bet the California Seals didn’t get much respect either.

Frank the dog

Sorry I’m late to the party here does anyone have a link to these emails? Ass
So these reveal the bias I have been obsessing about or is someone just being an asshole?

Professor Q

G Money:
Centre of attention,

Lowetide,

True story: I am not surprised at all.

You guys know how low my opinion is of the NHL as an institution, especially of the subhumans who run the thing.They are incompetent scumbags.

Literally, the ONLY thing that could shock me in an NHL email is if they actually arrange to put a hit on someone – and that’s a maybe on the shock.

We knew about this 7 years ago (and probably before) and no one did anything.

Now look at where we are.

As for the hits on people, haven’t those really already happened? Like asks for inurying greatly but not full out murder (although who knows about that…obviously there have been NHLers who have)?

I’ve only read a few of the emails and these people come across as corrupt, incompetent, stubborn, and just overall terrible people.

Hockey Buddha

To be honest, I’m a little surprised that Musil hasn’t even been given a sniff this season (given that his play during his call up last season did not really look all that out of place), but as you say, Lowetide, Musil is blocked by a number of other left-handed defenders within the organization, who are being given a push. Reinhart, for example, is going to be given every opportunity to succeed over Musil, as he is Chiarelli’s personal acquisition. This is not a knock on Reinhart, but a reality. I do, however, think that Musil should have at least warranted an opportunity to eyeball him at this level before the end of the season. I don’t think he is getting his audition this season. Musil just might suprise some people at TC and create a few more questions. At any rate, we’ll see Musil perhaps get a chance, barring a trade over the summer.

G Money

AsiaOil,

Well ya know, I’ve been *trying* to mellow out the last few weeks, and you’ve been getting in some pretty fun dustups, so I didn’t want anyone to think I was going soft!

JD_Wry

Centre of attention:
G Money,

Lowetide,

I smell lawsuits.

Try smelling salts instead.

Chachi

Bank Shot: Oilers play all of their decent prospects on the NHL team though.

I think there has to be a balance. If the prospects the Oilers have can’t handle 1st line ice time, its not going to do them any good getting their heads kicked in.

What good is it sitting a prospect for half the games in a season while Ryan Hamilton, who has no hope of ever helping at the nhl level is playing a regular shift. If a prospect is finished their junior or college eligibility and is getting their “head kicked in” for any length of time they are not much of a prospect.

AsiaOil

G Money:
Centre of attention,

Lowetide,

True story: I am not surprised at all.

You guys know how low my opinion is of the NHL as an institution, especially of the subhumans who run the thing.They are incompetent scumbags.

Literally, the ONLY thing that could shock me in an NHL email is if they actually arrange to put a hit on someone – and that’s a maybe on the shock.

Wow G … you are making me look mellow….and you are absolutely correct about the low-brows who run the NHL.

Bank Shot

Chachi: No offense to the good people of Bakersfield, but hopefully the farm team is used as exclusively as possible to develop young players next year, playoffs be damned.No more Hamiltons, Fords or Hunts taking playing time away from developing players please. I understand that you will want some vets around to show the kids how to be pros, but they cannot give them feature roles anymore if they want to make the most of the farm team.

Oilers play all of their decent prospects on the NHL team though.

I think there has to be a balance. If the prospects the Oilers have can’t handle 1st line ice time, its not going to do them any good getting their heads kicked in.

Chachi

After reading those e-mails it makes you wonder how long Colin Campbell can keep his job with the league. Then again, he survived the embarrassment of the e-mails Dellow drew attention to that revealed him to be a petty bully so he may just keep skating along.

Centre of attention

G Money,

Lowetide,

I smell lawsuits.

G Money

Centre of attention,

Lowetide,

True story: I am not surprised at all.

You guys know how low my opinion is of the NHL as an institution, especially of the subhumans who run the thing. They are incompetent scumbags.

Literally, the ONLY thing that could shock me in an NHL email is if they actually arrange to put a hit on someone – and that’s a maybe on the shock.

Centre of attention

yost is tweeting out some good stuff. the inner workings of the NHL do indeed resemble HF boards

Centre of attention

Anyone see these leaked emails?

The NHL should be embarrassed.

Chachi

Woodguy: Maybe they should hire more vets.

Assholes.

No offense to the good people of Bakersfield, but hopefully the farm team is used as exclusively as possible to develop young players next year, playoffs be damned. No more Hamiltons, Fords or Hunts taking playing time away from developing players please. I understand that you will want some vets around to show the kids how to be pros, but they cannot give them feature roles anymore if they want to make the most of the farm team.

square_wheels

Professor Q,

Dirty player or someone who brings a gun to the knife fight ? The worst players in the league are the ones that hack, slash, board, blindside elbow but never back their antics with anything legit.

If Keith is dirty, does that make Hall dirty for hacking guys after he’s been collared by classless Kessler ?

square_wheels

Professor Q,

“I think he might get 5 mins ?” – holy shit, that’s some macabre humour or one stupid Analyst.

Hollweg deserved a pretty solid punch in the face, but the chop to his teeth was pretty next level. But he did hit Chris Simon from behind then skated back for more on a vulnerable player.

Having had my bell rung on dirty plays more than I can count, when you shake it off , the first person that crosses your path is getting hacked just for being on the other team.

If you play a violent sport you can be a mean prick but you must back up your bullshit or always do it clean and against willing combatants. Cheap shit gets zero sympathy from this guy.

Professor Q

square_wheels,

Keith is a dirty player as well, though, and a repeat offender.

square_wheels

Professor Q,

I find it odd that every player in the league knows who the cheap, dirty slew foot, blindside asshats are but nothing is done to remind them it’s not acceptable.

The Kessler’s of the game are no longer “managed”, so when players get fed up with dirty plays they boil over. It doesn’t matter that Keith is a superstar, he’s getting a long suspension.

But Keith did that because Coyle is allowed to pull that shit in Bettman’s NHL.

The NHL can’t have it both ways – let the players enforce their unwritten rules or suspend a perennial Norris candidate for finally addressing it in anger.

Professor Q

square_wheels,

I’m just worried that Kesler would still get away with it and Hall would get extra penalised.

Something is a Fowler. ?

square_wheels

Professor Q,

Taylor Hall needs to get dirty. If Kesler wants to play that way, Glen Andersen his ass. Taylor skates fast enough to hammer guys on the back check and I think he needs a rep with asshats that he will push back.

Woodguy

Lowetide:
Moroz has a goal, Condors down 4-1. This team isn’t going to make the playoffs.

Maybe they should hire more vets.

Assholes.

Professor Q
MrEd

Holy. Keith just screwed the league.

kinger_OIL

– I wonder what is the % likelihood that the Oil finish last? Has to be over 80% doesn’t it?

MrEd

If Nurse is Gator where does that land him in the line-up? Top 4 or 6?

Bank Shot

Ducey: The goaling is killing them.

It baffles my mind that they didn’t leave Brossoit down there. He isn’t waiver eligible next season. Why are they trying to cram him into the NHL?

Things in management remain the same.

Romulus Apotheosis

Klima’s_Bucket: It’s confusing because the penalty is worse when on the PP.

Why is that confusing?

The goal is to decrease the risk of injury. You use the stick of mild punishment to curb behavior. And, when a team has a number advantage they get an additional mild punishment to re-enforce the desired outcomes.

jp

steveb12344: Have you looked at the scoring from the back end?

Problem is that when they go on offence, they are usually playing 3 vs 5.

That’s why as much as Hamonic would be a nice add, he’d more of a Fayne upgrade.He brings little to the offensive side of the game.

This is why I believe that if they are going to get just one new RD, it needs to be one with some serious offensive pedigree.Someone from the Vatanen, Shattenkirk, Barrie tree.

I think this is why Jultz got so much rope here.They desperately need what he was projected to be.

Now if they can secure this player type, then replace Fayne with Hamonic.They’ll be cooking with Crisco!

Yeah, I forgot to list that. I 100% agree it’s a weakness, and an offensive guy back there would be a huge help.

But even without support the forwards are scoring. They did score this year. So the disconnect between the top 6 and overall team performance remains very weird.

Also, for what it’s worth, Klefbom (if you include him – I initially set the threshold for forwards at 30GP) and Sekera are both in the top 60/first pairing for PPG among defensemen. They’re at the lower end, but they are bringing some offense.

Klima's_Bucket

McSorley33: Toronto wins…

Babcock calling out the officials has worked wonders.

Klima's_Bucket

Romulus Apotheosis: I’m not sure what’s confusing about this.

It’s confusing because the penalty is worse when on the PP.

McSorley33

Toronto wins…

Romulus Apotheosis

Klima's_Bucket: And there’s no risk of injury at even strength or shorthanded???
Why the difference???

I’m not sure what’s confusing about this.

The idea is to strip the action of any incentive, within reason, and thus to reduce the risk of injury. The logic is simply carried forward when you are on the PP.

JD_Wry
Ducey

Lowetide:
Moroz has a goal, Condors down 4-1. This team isn’t going to make the playoffs.

The goaling is killing them.

Professor Q

Lowetide,

Which is unfortunate.

Nurse and Reinhart could have benefited!

jp

MrEd:
jp,

Another stat anomaly is that Nurse has 115 shots.

Haha. Is that the anomaly? Or is it that he has just 2 goals and 9 points?

I was thinking the other day how that unfavorable projection of Nurse’s rookie offense (that WG? did) would look a lot better if it included shots, or was based entirely on shots.

There certainly is some form of anomaly there though.