This could be Jay Woodcroft’s final night in the Oilers organization. Rumors have him heading to Los Angeles to join Todd McLellan on the Kings staff. If it is goodbye, it’ll be the sad variety, with the red tail lights heading for Spain.
Woodcroft took on the assignment in Bakersfield with enthusiasm, and built a successful season featuring several top Oilers’ prospects. His exit meeting at the end of the season should involve a standing ovation from management, although things don’t happen that way.
You have to actively look for players who disappointed while in the AHL with Woodcroft and the Condors.
THE REPORT CARD
My Dad told me you don’t get a report card on your kids until they’re adults, I hope he’s in heaven looking at a pleasing grade. It’s true you know, life has a way of taking things out of your hands as a parent, you just have to hope you filled the kids up with enough sense for them to find clean air.
For Jay Woodcroft, his report card on this season is initially positive but we won’t know until these players rise to or fall outside of the NHL.
In 2010-11, Todd Nelson played eight rookies a lot and produced some NHL talent for Edmonton. Here’s the list and what I wrote about them April 2011.
1 L Teemu Hartikainen (66gp, 17-25-42 -1). Big winger with good hands and an idea about how to get things done in tough areas. Hartikainen has a unique skill set compared to the Oilers roster and he might end up being a top 9 regular with the NHL team in 11-12. Tied for 10th overall in AHL rookie scoring.
2 L Linus Omark (28gp, 14-17-31 +7). Magician with the puck, Omark’s recall mid-season means he won’t be considered an 11-12 NHL rookie. His 5 goal game early in the season showed the team he deserved a look, and he certainly impressed people once reaching the NHL.
3 C Milan Kytnar (75gp, 11-14-25 +2). Impressive season for the 21-year old. 31 games into his rookie AHL season, Kytnar had 2-6-8 -7 numbers. From that point on, Kytnar went 44gp, 9-8-17 +9 and played a more prominent role. In his last 4gp, Kytnar is 4-3-7 +3 for the Barons.
4 D Jeff Petry (41gp, 7-17-24 -6). I’ll cover his season when we look at the NHL roster, but Petry’s season in the AHL was solid and if anything he’s been better in the NHL. A huge item moving forward, as the procurement department seems to be churning out wingers 12 at a time. This season (10-11) is considered his rookie NHL season.
5 L Philippe Cornet (57gp, 6-13-19 +5). Kid from the QMJHL didn’t show a lot but it’s also true he didn’t play a prominent role. Slava Trukhno played a bigger role as a rookie coming out of the Q but couldn’t build on it, perhaps this season as a depth player may benefit Cornet’s development.
6 R Mark Arcobello (23gp, 9-8-17 +3). Had a huge impact in OKC after being called up from Stockton of the ECHL. Older prospect (like most of the recent signings) and he has size issues, but according to the Barons coach (Todd Nelson) Arcobello uses exceptional balance to compete and has been very effective in the AHL.
7 D Colten Teubert (56gp, 4-13-17 +6). Has enjoyed more success since coming over from the LAK organization at the trade deadline. Teubert is likely to spend next season in OKC but does appear to be back on track as a prospect.
8 C Chris Vande Velde (67gp, 12-4-16 -17). Like Petry, college center Vande Velde looks better in the NHL than his AHL numbers suggested. It’s too soon to tell, but he might be in the mix for an NHL job sometime in 11-12.
I’ll have Woocroft’s story tomorrow, including a look at the rookies he brought along and their pro trajectory. Enjoy the game!