Anyone who has ever driven across the prairies has an excellent reference point for the word ‘forever’ and a wealth of mind games that can be played in the car. Waiting for talent to develop can feel like forever, even though you know every passing mile means progress. Doesn’t feel like it though, it’s just miles and miles of miles and miles. If you ask the average Oilers fan how many players the organization has developed into NHL players since the minor league team moved to Bakersfield, the answer is probably ‘zero’ and I’m only half-kidding. Prospects develop by sundial, but they are developing and will emerge, even on teams that aren’t good in this area. That is a fact.
Give The Athletic as a gift or get it yourself and join the fun! Offer is here, less than $4 a month! I find myself reading both the hockey (Willis, Dellow, Pronman, et cetera) and the baseball coverage a lot, it’s a pure pleasure to visit. We’ll sell you the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge.
- New Lowetide: Who will win the McDavid-line lottery?
- New Lowetide: The 2018-19 Oilers and what may come.
- The Athletic Cross Canada Tour Will hit Edmonton!
- Lowetide: The 2015 draft and what was lost
- Lowetide: Projecting the 2018-19 Oilers opening night roster
- Lowetide: Where will Tobias Rieder land on the Oilers depth chart?
- Lowetide: No. 1 prospect—Evan Bouchard.
- Lowetide: No. 2 prospect—Kailer Yamamoto.
- Lowetide: No. 3 prospect—Ethan Bear
- Lowetide: No. 4 prospect—Ryan McLeod
- Lowetide: No. 5 prospect—Cooper Marody.
- Lowetide: No. 6 prospect—Kirill Maksimov.
- Lowetide: No. 7 prospect—Tyler Benson.
- Jonathan Willis: No. 8 prospect—Caleb Jones.
- Lowetide: No. 9 prospect—Filip Berglund.
- Jonathan Willis: No. 10 prospect—Dmitri Samorukov.
- Lowetide: No. 11 prospect—Stuart Skinner’s net worth.
- Jonathan Willis: No. 12 prospect—Joel Persson.
- Lowetide: No. 13 prospect—Ostap Safin
- Jonathan Willis: No. 14 prospect—Olivier Rodrigue
- Lowetide: No. 15 prospect—William Lagesson
- Jonathan Willis: No. 16 prospect—Cameron Hebig
- Lowetide: No. 17 prospect—Graham McPhee
- Jonathan Willis: No. 18 prospect—Ryan Mantha
- Lowetide: No. 19 prospect—John Marino
- Jonathan Willis: No. 20 prospect—Tyler Vesel
AHL ENTRY DEALS
I usually do points-per-game (or 5-on-5 points-per-game) but the defensemen always get the short end of that deal. Since Prospect-stats.com has all kinds of measures, might as well take advantage. I’m running entry deals by rookie crop (you’ll see) and targeting the top forward and defenseman in each three-season segment.
THE 2014-15 OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS
- Jordan Oesterle and Jujhar Khaira progressed (this is 5-on-5 ice time) over their AHL time and resulted in NHL games during their entry deals (25 for Oesterle, 25 for Khaira).
- Dillon Simpson remained consistent over the three seasons, I think he might get some NHL time in Columbus. Doubt there’s much difference between Simpson and Keegan Lowe as players, truth to tell.
- Mitch Moroz and Kellen Jones didn’t move up the depth chart and in the case of Moroz that’s a second-round pick not getting a push.
THE 2015-16 BAKERSFIELD CONDORS
- Anton Slepyshev was the riser in this group, Joey Laleggia held his own (they moved up to forward as well) but I think he might see some NHL games.
- Marco Roy, Braden Christoffer, Greg Chase and Kyle Platzer had unusual TOI totals, looks like they were slow-played for two seasons. Roy’s final season is just a few games, I think they should have signed him and played him a lot during his entry deal. One hopes they plan on using Tyler Benson in more of a feature role.
THE 2016-17 BAKERSFIELD CONDORS
- The Oilers didn’t have many rookies. Drake Caggiula made the NHL team and Matt Benning took two seconds to make it.
- Jesse Puljujarvi played a significant amount according to the estimates from prospects-stats.com, and he did play in the AHL in 2017-18 but only 10 games.
- Patrick Russell is an interesting player, great PK numbers but slow boots.
THE 2017-18 BAKERSFIELD CONDORS
- This is the reason I used time on ice this time, the Caleb Jones number. Defensemen are tough to figure out and we have no true north reading on usage, so estimated icetime is the next best thing.
- Caleb Jones was busy, in fact the busiest rookie defenseman in this look at rookies over several years. It may not turn out to be a major arrow, but it’s sure as hell an arrow.
- Ryan Mantha also played a lot and Ethan Bear wasn’t a gigantic amount of time behind. Maybe there was a need, maybe the coach was told to play them or else, or maybe these guys earned their time.
THE 2011-12 OKC BARONS FORWARDS
- There are a few things this blog spent ages on, like following the three college blue to see which one won (Jeff Petry over Taylor Chorney and Cody Wild) and that crazy trade at the 2013 draft.
- One of the more famous stories we tracked over a long time was the 2010 draft. I promoted it as a potentially outstanding cluster despite also knowing you have to wait five years. The hope was 2010 would produce something along the lines of the 2011 draft (Nuge, Klefbom, Rieder), but it was not to be for 2010’s group.
- I always wondered about TOI for Tyler Pitlick, looks like Todd Nelson brought him along at about the same pace as the club would handle Jujhar Khaira. As an observer, I think the Oilers would do well to play these kids more out of the box.
WINNIPEG JETS 2015-2018
- Josh Morrissey had the look of a quality NHL player from draft day through today, and the Jets still had him stop in the AHL for 57 games. It is similar to the Oilers handling of Oscar Klefbom, in my opinion.
- Nic Petan played a ton (based on these estimates) as an AHL rookie. No Oilers forward in this group of estimates played more than Jesse Puljujarvi’s 14.35. That’s kind of been my point all along, if Petan (chosen No. 43 overall) can play that much, why not the lottery pick (even though he’s 18)?
- Chase de Leo and Peter Stoykewich were invested in heavily as rookies by the Manitoba Moose and they could still make the NHL.
- Even Jan Kostalek, who I didn’t place in bold, has been handled in a way that implies the organization is giving him every chance to succeed.
- On the other hand, holy hell did the Jets organization cut bait quickly on Harstad, Fronk and Blomqvist.
This is a quick glance, and men like Jujhar Khaira and Tyler Pitlick eventually made the grade. It’s also important to note that not every player can step right in and play as many minutes as Nic Petan managed as a flat out rookie. I like the Jets pushing rookies Morrisey and Petan over 15 minutes a night at 5-on-5 (estimated) and am pleased the Oilers pushed Jesse Puljujarvi and the defensemen three (Jones, Mantha, Bear) last season in California. I would hope Kailer Yamamoto and Tyler Benson get Petan minutes this coming season.
No contract yet and at this point, with September here, we can officially call this an evolving story. Nurse and his agent have very little room here, but with the negotiations from a year ago rewarding Leon Draisaitl in a big way, perhaps the agent feels Peter Chiarelli will find some extra money if pressed. It isn’t a bad ploy, but the odds of this ending in a bridge deal in the $3.25 million dollar range are quite high. Edmonton might be forced into dealing a veteran (Jon Willis has mentioned Zack Kassian) but if that was the plan it would be done by now. Stay tuned!
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
We’re back with a big show, the bases are juiced and we’re drunk with quality. The guest list is staggering, beginning at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. How many points for the Oilers this season? Does McDavid leave his own past in the dust and go supernova?
- Michael Gehlken, Las Vegas Review-Journal. We’ll discuss a bizarre set of transactions by the Raiders over the weekend.
- Scott Cullen, TSN. Labour Day classics lived up to their name, CFL standings on the move, Nurse contract, Blake Wheeler has some walking around money.
- Andy McNamara, TSN. CFL weekend, NFL rosters, it’s all happening!
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!