The Bakersfield Condors play at home tonight against the Tucson Roadrunners in the third game of the season. A quick start for several prospects is cause for excitement among Oilers fans, as we may be seeing a few of these young players in Edmonton soon.
Today on Saturday Sports Extra, I had a chance to speak to Simon Boisvert, who is a former QMJHL scout and a man who is tuned in to the Oilers prospects. I appreciate his input, and today thought it might be an idea to transcribe some of his comments.
- On Jujhar Khaira: I do think he is NHL-ready. He is very confident now offensively, he reminds me of the Khaira I remember from the BCJHL. This is the year when prospects who have already spent two years in the AHL should be in the NHL—otherwise they become career AHLers. Or tweeners. He is ready for the show. He is their best forward (in Bakersfield), now the question is when will he be called up?
- On Matt Benning: I think he needs a full season, perhaps they will call him up before if there are injuries. Don’t forget he is a righthanded shot, which is very convenient for the Oilers. He is a defenseman, he is fresh out of college hockey. He is playing exactly the way he played during training camp, he is very confident with the puck, he skates well, he is well positioned and he supports the forwards very, very well.
- On Dillon Simpson: He has been there for awhile now, he is 23. He always makes the safe play, I think if it weren’t for his lack of foot speed he would be in the NHL as a sixth or seventh defenseman. He will never generate much offense but he doesn’t make too many mistakes.
- On David Musil: They (Oilers) have a lot of good of AHL defensemen, with Reinhart, Oesterle, Laleggia, so obviously time is running out for Musil. He is a free agent at the end of the year, I would say this will be his last season in the organization, and perhaps for some other defensemen that I just mentioned.
- On Griffin Reinhart: He will probably get the benefit of the doubt, and a bigger chance than the other guys because of what he cost. The problem with Reinhart is that he doesn’t really stand out. He doesn’t play badly, but you don’t see him progress very well. I think he could be a 6 or 7 defenseman in the NHL but no more than that, unfortunately.
- On Joey Laleggia: If you are going to be a rover, you better be good. That is a problem with a lot of small defensemen.
- The future on defense in Bakersfield: Next year, they are going to have Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones and perhaps the college guy, William Lagesson. At some point, you have to make room for these guys, and Oesterle, Laleggia, are already 24—time is running out. They have had a cup of coffee in the NHL, and you can see they have pretty much reached their ceiling. I think it is pretty much the same with Musil.
Boisvert is refreshing because he calls it like he sees it and doesn’t mince words. He agreed that the three prospects of note so far in this season are Jujhar Khaira, Matt Benning and Nick Ellis. Full interview is here, beginning at minute 28. The guy is gold. Seriously.
The AHL transaction page has Laurent Brossoit in Bakersfield (and playing tonight) and Eetu Laurikainen in Norfolk. Matt Benning is an Oiler again and Ben Betker is back down. Details here.
- Brossoit (Ellis)
No word on injury to Jujhar Khaira, he may be getting some rest or possibly a recall is in the offing. Updates on this game and other prospects this evening in the comments section.