One of the fun things about a successful minor league team is that it gives us a chance to project into the future. We all have our favourites, and some of us have a secondary group we’re just pulling for (Joe Gambardella) despite reasons not to believe. This Condors team has some real quality in terms of prospects, one of whom is the head coach.
How many of these kids would you project to play 100+ NHL games? I like to use 100 because it’s Scott Cullen’s line in the sand for big league success, and it’s also the first rung on the race to becoming an actual NHL player.
I’ll suggest Caleb Jones, Evan Bouchard, Ethan Bear, Tyler Benson and Cooper Marody for 100+ games. I also suggest Evan Bouchard as the most likely to pass 500. You?
TODD NELSON’S LAST OKC TEAM
Nelson was in the NHL by playoff time, but he had this team rolling in 2014-15. Oklahoma City finished third in the West, but outlasted the two teams who finished ahead (San Antonio and Texas) by making it to the second round. Gerry Fleming was the coach after Nelson came up to the NHL (as an assistant and then head coach). Darnell Nurse was the most likely to play 500+ NHL games and he is on track.
That OKC team saw six men play over 100 NHL games, plus Laurent Brossoit who I count as an actual NHL goalie. Are there seven kids playing in the AHL postseason for Bakersfield who will play more than 100 NHL games?