A quick look around the Al Gore gets you a lot of information about Bakersfield, California. People like their trucks in that city, meaning the Bakersfield folk and the Edmonton folk have some common ground. Oil and agriculture are key industries, and apparently carrots are grown everywhere, and carrot jokes (why did the carrot blush? He saw the salad dressing!) run rampant in the streets. Buck Owens and Merle Haggard made their music there, and I will love them until I die.
CONDORS STARTING LINEUP
- Brossoit (Ellis)
Jujhar Khaira is not in the lineup (against the Texas Stars) tonight, he has been fighting an injury and it could be the reason. Griffin Reinhart draws back in. I will update the score as this evening rolls along, interested to see if prospects like Sallinen and Platzer can make some kind of offensive impact.
I am currently writing my Winter Top 20 and noticing some interesting trends. First, among the Top 20 (the list has 41 names on it) there are seven AHL players (in alpha order) this year:
- Matt Benning
- Laurent Brossoit
- Nick Ellis
- Jujhar Khaira
- Jordan Oesterle
- Griffin Reinhart
- Dillon Simpson
What is even more interesting? Only two names—Jujhar Khaira and Dillon Simpson—are Oilers draft picks. Three of these are college signings and two more (Brossoit and Reinhart) were acquired via trade. What does it all mean? Two things. First, the 2014 draft was basically devoid of CHL talent, so the college kids are still matriculating and who knows about them. Second, and this is kind of a big one, the 2013 picks (Marco Roy, Bogdan Yakimov, Kyle Platzer, Greg Chase, Ben Betker, etc) really needed to help more than we have seen thus far. Early days, and maybe David Musil and Mitch Moroz crack the top 20 (Moroz had two points earlier this week) before we get through the list (there is still time!) but it sure looks like Peter Chiarelli examined the draft lists and decided to get aggressive with college signings.
I am feeling pretty good about the AHL team these days, looks like Jujhar Khaira has a chance to turn into a useful NHL player. It is a big deal you know and will become of great importance once Connor McDavid’s contract kicks in.
The Condors are in kind of a strange spot now, as the club isn’t likely to get Jesse Puljujarvi any time soon and Drake Caggiula’s injury rehab remains ongoing. Once Matt Hendricks and Iiro Pakarinen get healthy, we can assume hires such as Anton Slepyshev and (perhaps) Tyler Pitlick will find their way to California.
The offense early has been heavily reliant on the line of Ryan Hamilton-Jujhar Khaira-Taylor Beck, and they are scoring up a storm (Khaira is tied for the lead league in points-per-game). It is probable we see Khaira in the NHL at some point this season and he could end up joining a fairly rare list (Brandon Davidson, Anton Lander) of recent draft picks who have followed a traditional path successfully into the NHL. This organization badly needs more.
CONDORS SCORING, GOALIE STATS
- Jujhar Khaira 4gp, 4-3-7
- Taylor Beck 6gp, 2-5-7
- Ryan Hamilton 6gp, 1-5-6
- Scott Allen 6gp, 2-2-4
- Joey Benik 5gp, 3-0-3 (Rookie)
- Patrick Russell 6gp, 0-3-3 (Rookie)
- Matt Benning 2gp, 1-1-2 (Rookie)
- Josh Currie 5gp, 1-1-2
- Braden Christoffer 6gp, 1-1-2
- Joey Laleggia 6gp, 0-2-2
- Mitch Moroz 6gp, 0-2-2
- David Musil 4gp, 0-2-2
- Jere Sallinen 6gp, 1-0-1
- Dillon Simpson 6gp, 1-0-1
- Kris Newbury 5gp, 1-0-1
- Kyle Platzer 5gp, 0-1-1
- Jaedon Desheneau 4gp, 0-1-1 (Rookie)
- Mark Fraser 6gp, 0-0-0
- Griffin Reinhart 3gp, 0-0-0
- Ben Betker 3gp, 0-0-0
- Greg Chase 1gp, 0-0-0
- Joel Rechlicz 1gp, 0-0-0
- Nick Ellis 3gp, 2.62 .928 (Rookie)
- Laurent Brossoit 3gp, 2.35 .926 (Rookie)