by Lowetide

The Bakersfield Condors are back in action tonight, the Christmas break over in a quick hurry for the minor leaguers. The team is off to Ontario this evening with some lineup changes—something we could see in Edmonton after the break. Have a look at the top line tonight.


  • L1: Joey Laleggia—Jujhar Khaira—Anton Slepyshev
  • L2: Ryan Hamilton—Josh Currie—Greg Chase
  • L3: Scott Allen—Kyle Platzer—Patrick Russell
  • L4: Mitchell Moroz—Jere Sallinen—Joel Rechlicz
  • D1: Griffin Reinhart—David Musil
  • D2: Dillon Simpson—Jordan Oesterle
  • D3: Mark Fraser—Bryce Aneloski
  • G1: Laurent Brossoit (Nick Ellis)

More points to get through than Carter has pills, so let’s go:

  • With the Oilers roster probably due for a shuffle, interesting that Anton Lander isn’t in the starting lineup this evening.
  • Joey Laleggia back at LW? This became a story last season, Scott Zerr on the Lowdown predicted as much due to chaotic play and a little while after it happened (in 2015-16). This is the first I have seen of it this year, it may be an actual position change or it could be injury (as is the case with Lander, although we hope that is not the case).
  • Actual prospects getting a push! The entire 1line is prospect driven, Greg Chase is on the 2line and at least two of the three third liners are prospects. Moroz on 4line and Sallinen was signed as a possible NHL option so plenty up front.
  • Who sits among forwards? Besides Lander, Joey Benik and Braden Christoffer seem to be the prominent players.
  • Who sits among defenders? Ben Betker.

Lots of interesting things to ponder about tonight’s game, I will have updates but am having wine. So spelling may be an issue.


AHL Forwards

  1. Anton Lander 32-32-64
  2. Taylor Beck 18-43-61
  3. Anton Slepyshev 29-19-48
  4. Ryan Hamilton 14-18-32
  5. Jujhar Khaira 13-15-28
  6. Josh Currie 8-5-13
  7. Scott Allen 4-8-12
  8. Joey Benik 8-2-10
  9. Kyle Platzer 2-6-8
  10. Mitchell Moroz 2-5-7
  11. Greg Chase 3-3-6
  12. Patrick Russell 0-6-6
  13. Braden Christoffer 1-2-3
  14. Jere Sallinen 3-0-3

There are some actual NHL prospects here, beyond Lander and Beck, who I count as being pro players beyond prospect status. Anton Slepyshev hasn’t played there much, but is bringing it in a big way. Jujhar Khaira has progressed with added playing time and I think Las Vegas probably has a file on him. Would not be surprised to see him in Edmonton in the early months of 2017.

The rest? Well, it is encouraging to see Chase and others get a push. Look, history tells us they will (as a group) grow into useful pro players in a league below the NHL, but for heaven sake these kids deserve their entry-level at bats. Encouraging lineup tonight.

AHL Defense

  1. Jordan Oesterle 10-12-22
  2. David Musil 2-10-12
  3. Joey Laleggia 3-8-11
  4. Griffin Reinhart 0-11-11
  5. Ben Betker 3-5-8
  6. Dillon Simpson 2-3-5
  7. Bryce Aneloski 0-3-3

So difficult to know enough about these players to project them into the NHL. I will say Jordan Oesterle and his speed have always impressed me, but injury and coverage issues have him here. David Musil is steady Eddie with a little more offense this year, Joey Laleggia is playing at forward tonight and that is rarely a good thing. Could he make the transition? Carl Morton made it as a pitcher and he changed pretty damned late as I recall. Griffin Reinhart is back healthy again and showing an offensive pulse, also on the top pairing tonight.

Junior Forwards

  1. Tyler Benson 8-20-28
  2. Aapeli Rasanen 4-14-18

Both of these young men are showing well, Rasanen may be getting a push alongside Eeli Tolvanen. Simon Boisvert has mentioned to me a couple of times that the Oilers would be well served by getting Benson to a better WHL team.

College Forwards

  1. Tyler Vesel 13-24-37
  2. Aidan Muir 4-22-26
  3. Evan Campbell 2-5-7
  4. Graham McPhee 0-6-6

Good arrows for Vesel full stop, and Muir had a nice rebound season going before his injury. McPhee is just getting started, I always assume a freshman forward in college is getting by on about 7 minutes a night.

Euro Forwards

  1. Bogdan Yakimov 6-9-15

This number isn’t as tragic as it looks, Yakimov is playing just 8:50 a night. You double his playing time and the season’s numbers would look a lot better. Now, asking why he isn’t playing more is fair game.

Junior Defense

  1. Caleb Jones 2-19-21
  2. Ethan Bear 7-13-20
  3. Matthew Cairns 0-5-5
  4. Markus Niemelainen 0-2-2

Jones and Bear are being touted as real offensive options, but we should remember that Darnell Nurse was about where they are at the same age (NHLE for Nurse: 5-16-21). Good vibrations from those two, but good to remember that offense from defensemen relies on power-play opportunities. Much too early to know a lot about Cairns and Niemelainen, although the Finn’s boxcars are disappointing.

College Defense

  1. William Lagesson 2-6-8
  2. John Marino 2-3-5
  3. Vincent Desharnais 3-0-3

Three different stories here. We know that much of Lagesson’s value comes in the defensive part of the game, but Marino’s reputation is as an offensive player. As I mentioned above, much of the boxcar push for blue comes with the man advantage. That may come for Marino, although he plays for a team that boasts Adam Fox—who is a year younger. Desharnais is a story that will roll out over time.

Euro Defense

  1. Ziyat Paigin 5-11-16
  2. Filip Berglund 0-10-10

Two intriguing players here, and in both cases we get to look at time on ice (which is the important part of the equation that is unavailable for junior and college types). Paigin is averaging 15:19, a full six minutes less than one year ago. His points-per-60 (in all disciplines) has been reduced from 2.46 one year ago to 0.98, and we can assume that much of the sag in offense comes on the 5×4.

Berglund’s points-per-60 number is 1.30, and that comes from 26gp, 0-5-5 in 8:54. His totals are fairly encouraging, led by the fact he is playing in the SHL this season. Good arrows.


Christmas had some unusual rumors involving players who range from David Jones to Jesse Puljujarvi, but the position they play (RW) perhaps offers up a blues clue. I think swapping in Anton Lander and Anton Slepyshev makes sense if there are internal moves to be made, with Drake Caggiula and Jesse Puljujarvi as likely candidates for Bakersfield.

Iiro Pakarinen may be close to a rehab assignment to the AHL, he and Tyler Pitlick have been sharing the same parking spot at work for coming up on two years now. Matt Benning may return this week, we never hear about Mark Fayne but he is also in photo. Darnell Nurse has another nine weeks or so to go, based on initial reports.

Added to the drama is the quick change artist that is Todd McLellan, who put the ipod on shuffle and came up with new line combinations. Maroon—McDavid—Draisaitl is unsafe at any speed for the opposition, wonder if the Oilers run that trio when we get back to camp.


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Professor Q

So, I know people didn’t like it either, and are still reeling from the Hall Trade™, but I do think the Reinhart trade might have been worse for Edmonton.

I do realise that this will probably be an unpopular opinion, but I do think so.



This is the best D CBJ have ever had. Legit top 4. Yes they are riding pdo but are now built from the backend out. They now have a solid prospect C coming in after the D cluster. Textbook.


If I were Chia I would ask Miroslav Svoboda about Jakub Skarek. This kid has potential to be drafted in 1st/2nd round in 2018 as a goalie. Seriously interesting prospect. Is Frantisek Musil still Oilers scout for Europe? I didnt hear about him, I remember Franta as showman, very wild player with hot head, hope he is more calm now 🙂


Still trying to figure out what this has to do with the Corvair.



Ya Columbus got roasted here (and all over by Willis and others) for moving RJo for Jones. The difference could very well be Werenski (he’s been insane like you said) but at the time the argument was that Columbus moved a 1C for a maybe top pairing dman. This trade from a team that really values centres (reaching for Dubois possibly as a consequence for moving RJo). A year later they look like the may have been right.

The parallels to the Oilers are obviously there (top line F for maybe top pairing dman) although the results for Columbus thus far look better early on.

Aside from Werenski’s breakout, team health has been very kind to the Blue Jackets this year and goalie Bob is back to being goalie Bob.

This team has found gem in Wennberg and Sam Gagner seems to have returned to pre-Kassian levels (good for him, always liked Sam).

Having your top 5 scorers all shoot North of 15% can’t hurt you either.



Ya Columbus got roasted here (and all over by Willis and others) for moving RJo for Jones. The difference could very well be Werenski (he’s been insane like you said) but at the time the argument was that Columbus moved a 1C for a maybe top pairing dman. This trade from a team that really values centres (reaching for Dubois possibly as a consequence for moving RJo). A year later they look like the may have been right.

The parallels to the Oilers are obviously there (top line F for maybe top pairing dman) although the results for Columbus thus far look better early on.



Fwiw, I just asked the Condors beat guys on twitter what the deal was with Lander.

Ryan Holt said out due to “personal” reason.
Mike Griffith didn’t know for sure but suspected a recall was coming after the break.


Lowetide: I think they are similar talents, but Canada could ice a second team that would be formidable. Jones is more mobile, that may give him the edge, but scouts have told me Bear is a better defender and has a terrific shot. Suspect Canada could have invited six deserving guys on defense, but based on tonight hard to argue they made poor choices.

Young Callan Foote is keeping up with Jones and Bear in WHL Defensive scoring. I couldn’t imagine the Oilers passing him in the draft if available. (Button has him @24) Listed in Oilers seeming priority list; Big, Bloodlines, WHL/Rocket, RHD. Good news is it sounds like he can skate.


Answering a comment from the previous thread:


There seems to be some secret sauce in creating a successful hockey team and it is more than just talent – why Columbus and Minnesota? Why not Colorado? Notwithstanding the Reinhart bust I am okay with Chia and his roster (and I do not think Russell will be extended). It is TMac that worries me.

Its not that secret.

Ice 4+ top 4 Dmen: http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2016/04/playoff-teams-in-nhl-average-60-of-dman.html

COL had one for sure in Erik Johnson and he’s been out since game 23.

Barrie is *probably* another one and he’s having an off year.

The rest are not top 4 Dmen.

They’ve had Erik Johnson and Tyson Barrie and sweet FA for years.

One year Varly plays out of his head and covers all the mistakes and when he goes back to being human people can’t figure out what’s wrong.

Its actually quite similar that when the Oilers progressed their goaltending shit the bed and everyone lost their mind.

I read in the media that COL is going to blow it up and sell off some forwards.

I guess watching the Oiler fuck this exact thing up for 6+ years taught the media and maybe some NHL execs nothing.

That doesn’t surprise me.

MIN has a decent quality Dcorps and CBJ got a lot better with Werenski killing it as a rookie, Jones and Murray a year older. Savard is playing well. If they could just remove Johnson from the top they might win the Cup.


Werenski’s WoodMoney numbers are ridiculous.

High end future Norris winners make themselves known early.

Check out what this 19 year is doing:

TOI % vs Elite Forwards : 38%

That’s more than any Oiler Dman and is a bit heavier than the typical 1st pairing Dman, so he’s clearly playing 1st pair as a 19 year old.

How is he doing?

+2.3% RelCFcomp
+1.7% Rel DFFcomp

On the best team in the NHL (or 2nd) he manages to be above average vs the toughs as a 19 year old.


5v4 he the main point shot for the best PP in the NHL and 2nd in the NHL among 5v4 Dman scoring with 6.86/60, behind only Hedman with 7.26.

He’s playing with Jones and there’s no question that Jones is a very good partner, but doing what he’s doing at a 19 year old is un-freaking-real.


Gnawing on a big-ol turkey wing, and listening to them play Oh Canada at the WJCs. Doesn’t get any better.

Professor Q

The score should be 5 -0 . Hartlooks weak.

I wouldn’t say that. The Russians aren’t bad and have had quite a few good chances.



Bear just not good enough? He’s on par with Jones correct?


Professor Q,

Aho went 35th. Wonder what someone would give us now for Reinhardt. Hope the kid makes it.


The score should be 5 -0 . Hart looks weak.


Barzal kid having a good game. How many prospects do we have in the WJ’s?

Professor Q

And to think, Edmonton could have had both Barzal and Raddysh…


Man that Phillip Meyers looks like a nice prospect. Props to Philly who found him! Wish it was the oilers as that’s seems like a perfect fit for us. They also got the Goalie Hart who looks solid.



I said still early. Are we not allowed to track?


Still early, but I think Columbus whiffed huge with Dubois that also landed us puljujarvi. He looks slow and passive with not much elite skill. His points so far this year in Junior speak to this.

PLD is 1/2 year away of being 19yrs old and you figured him out.


Still early, but I think Columbus whiffed huge with Dubois that also landed us puljujarvi. He looks slow and passive with not much elite skill. His points so far this year in Junior speak to this.


Russkies couldn’t knock him off the puck. Don’t know if you score many of those in the Bigs.



Very much so. No idea if we’re seeing the everyday Jost or not though.


The best Strome?


Jost has been impressive


Lowetide: Heh. Maybe I will do an expansion gaffe item leading up to the draft. Ottawa is probably the best example since Oakland.

Nice. You could probably fill a week, do a “top 5 exp draft stories” in the lead up.
There’s a book by Stephen Laroche on the subject, anybody read it?



Awesome, love these little sidebar stories you have in your treasure trove of knowledge.



Damn. Probaby nothing written about him then either.

Betker, same size, leftie instead, got drafted with similar production IIRC.

Oh yeah, but that was by the Oilers;)

Sounded like the Flyers saw him the September after the draft, couldn’t believe their eyes and signed him. If they could see it?


PerryK: How does a Blake Speers make this team?

Oops, they did it again.

Professor Q

Sergachyov scores on the 2nd Russkie shot.

Apparently he changed his name?


Sergachyov scores on the 2nd Russkie shot.


Lowetide: The Ottawa draft is the one I could tell you stories about, but they are a pretty famous group of gaffes.

Awesome, I’d love to hear about it.


How the hell does a player like Philip Myers go through the draft?

Does everyone have WG’s phone?

LT, do you remember if you had him ranked?

Professor Q


And not Benson?!


How does a Blake Speers make this team? What a great play by Myers!


Nice patience by Myers to make the pass.


Just Josty.

Professor Q

I’m really surprised they didn’t call that as a head shot.


Edmonton hasn’t had a Dartmouth boy on the roster since Scott Fraser in ’97-98, so I’m not going to get my hopes up about David Jones until I see the signed contract with my own eyes.



What trickery dickery can you recall from the last round of expansion when the Wild, Blue Jackets, Predators, Thrashers came into the league?