That’s Oscar Klefbom, David Musil and Travis Ewanyk in a game from early October 2013, photo by Rob Ferguson. It is the first AHL game for each each Oklahoma City Barons player, Victor Rask played 10 games the year before. Klefbom, Musil, Ewanyk: It’s amazing how often one in three from the AHL land in the NHL, while the others fall away.
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of The Athletic, check it out here.
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Remembering the goal that made Fernando Pisani a cult hero in Edmonton
- New Lowetide: The Oilers’ 2016 draft remains an enigma, with a glimmer of hope
- New Jonathan Willis: The parallels from the fall of Alexander the Great and the 2006 Oilers
- Lowetide: 5 AHL forwards who offer the Oilers a chance to buy low on real talent
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Agape’: Why Oilers prospect Cooper Marody wrote a song about Colby Cave
- Jonathan Willis: Connor McDavid’s recovery is just one of 2020’s incredible Masterton stories
- Lowetide: Every prospect in the Oilers system and what’s next for each player
- Lowetide: Oilers minor leaguers over 40 years, and Jay Woodcroft’s current role
- Lowetide: Charting Theodor Lennstrom’s future with the Oilers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Projecting the Oilers’ black aces and how much they’ll play
- Jonathan Willis: Projecting the Oilers’ lineup for their play-in series versus the Blackhawks
- Lowetide: Could the Oilers draft a defenceman in the first round?
- Lowetide: Why the Oilers should extend Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as soon as possible
- Lowetide: Oilers farmhand Josh Currie’s small window of opportunity
- Jonathan Willis: Misguided priorities helped turn the Oilers’ 2010 rebuild into a debacle
- Lowetide: Oilers greatest areas of need for the 2020 draft
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Six bold (and not so bold) predictions as the Oilers prepare for the Blackhawks
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers facing a bonus penalty for 2020-21 but the news isn’t all bad
- Jonathan Willis: Multiple choice: What might an Oilers trade at the 2020 NHL Draft look like?
- Lowetide: Mike Green’s playoff role and possible future with the Oilers
BARONS 2010-11 ROOKIES
- LC Teemu Hartikainen 66GP, 17-25-42 [52 NHL games]
- F Milan Kytnar 78GP, 13-16-29 
- RD Jeff Petry 41GP, 7-17-24 
- L Phil Cornet 60GP, 7-16-23 
- RC Mark Arcobello 26GP, 11-11-22 
- LC Chris VandeVelde 67GP, 12-4-16 
- RD Colten Teubert 20GP, 2-5-7 
Todd Nelson’s first rookie crew did pretty damn well if you ask me—all of them played in the NHL. I count one bona fide. Jeff Petry should be in Edmonton with the Oilers, it was clear he had the ability to play a substantial role on a good team.
BARONS 2011-12 ROOKIES
- L Hunter Tremblay 68GP, 16-15-31
- R Tyler Pitlick 62GP, 7-16-23 [248 NHL games]
- RC Tanner House 68GP, 8-12-20
- R Antti Tyrvainen 55GP, 6-13-19
- L Curtis Hamilton 41GP, 5-6-11 
- RD Kirill Tulupov 33GP, 1-7-8
- R Cameron Abney 14GP, 0-0-0
This group wasn’t as strong as year one, but Tyler Pitlick and Curtis Hamilton did see some time. Pitlick took so long to develop the Oilers didn’t really get much from him before he reached free agency. I count no bona fides.
BARONS 2012-13 ROOKIES
- RD Justin Schultz 34GP, 18-30-48 [482 NHL games]
- L Toni Rajala 46GP, 17-28-45
- LD Martin Marincin 69GP, 7-23-30 
- RD Taylor Fedun 70GP, 8-19-27 
- LC Anton Lander 47GP, 9-11-20 
- LC Ryan Martindale 41GP, 6-8-14
- LC CJ Stretch 17GP, 5-3-8
- L Kristians Pelss 20GP, 1-7-8
- LD Brandon Davidson 26GP, 2-3-5
Nelson produces more talent, Schultz was ready made but I’ll give credit for Marincin, Fedun and Davidson–plus Lander would have had a strong chance if the team ran with Nelson for a full season instead of rolling along with Todd McLellan. He had Lander playing a big role in the NHL. I count one bona fide in Schultz.
BARONS 2013-14 ROOKIES
- CR Andrew Miller 52GP, 8-26-34 [15 NHL games]
- LD Martin Gernat 57GP, 4-17-21
- LC Austin Fyten 47GP, 7-13-20
- LD David Musil 61GP, 2-10-12 
- LC Travis Ewanyk 68GP, 7-5-12
- LD Oscar Klefbom 48GP, 1-9-10 
- L Kale Kessy 54GP, 2-4-6
Oscar Klefbom is the crown jewel of the Barons years in my opinion. He arrived in 2013 fall and we still didn’t know if he would deliver offence, but the man has matured and is now an impressive talent. He is the bona fide from this year.
BARONS 2014-15 ROOKIES
- C Bogdan Yakimov 57GP, 12-16-28 [1 NHL game]
- LD Jordan Oesterle 65GP, 8-17-25 
- L Josh Winquist 46GP, 8-11-19
- LD Dillon Simpson 71GP, 3-14-17 
- F Kellen Jones 49GP, 5-10-15
- LC Connor Jones 41GP, 4-6-10
- LC Jujhar Khaira 51GP, 4-6-10 
- L Mitchell Moroz 66GP, 5-4-9
- RD CJ Ludwig 28GP, 1-4-5
- G Laurent Brossoit 53GP, 2.56 .918 
The final season in Oklahoma City had some promising talent but Khaira, Brossoit and Oesterle are the only ones still running. I count no bona fides.
Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz and Oscar Klefbom could have formed one half of a quality NHL defensive six but the Oilers as an organization weren’t able to negotiate the rapids of patient development. They all landed as NHL players and that’s a good thing.
CONDORS 2015-16 ROOKIES
- L Joey Laleggia 63, 8-19-27
- L Anton Slepyshev 49, 13-8-21 [102 NHL games]
- LC Marco Roy 42, 8-12-20
- RC Kyle Platzer 48, 6-11-17
- R Greg Chase 19, 1-6-7
- L Braden Christoffer 33, 1-4-5
- LD Ben Betker 14, 0-2-2
- G Eetu Laurikainen 18, 3.42 .907
A confusing period for the Oilers, Roy played fourth line minutes without an NHL contract, outscored everyone, and no one noticed. Kind of hope an organization picks up on these things. No bona fides.
CONDORS 2016-17 ROOKIES
- R Jesse Puljujarvi 39, 12-16-28 [139 NHL games]
- R Patrick Russell 68, 8-9-17 
- G Nick Ellis 34, 2.69 .918
A small group but it could land as one of the strongest if Puljujarvi delivers on his considerable promise. I’m not talking 30-goal seasons, but a man that size who can scoot and displays nice hands in close should be a dominate name on this list five years from now.
CONDORS 2017-18 ROOKIES
- L Joe Gambardella 50, 13-6-19 [15 NHL games]
- RD Ethan Bear 37, 6-12-18 
- LD Caleb Jones 58, 2-15-17 
- RD Ryan Mantha 41, 3-7-10
I have a feeling two bona fide defensemen are going to come from this rookie crop. We can’t count them yet, sophomore slumps are famous for a reason, but Bear and Jones are talented men who came up through the system. This is how it’s supposed to look.
CONDORS 2018-19 ROOKIES
- L Tyler Benson 68, 15-51-66 [7 NHL games]
- RC Cooper Marody 58, 19-45-64 
- RD Logan Day 64, 7-27-34
- R Cam Hebig 64, 11-18-29
- LD William Lagesson 67, 8-19-27 
- R Kailer Yamamoto 27, 10-8-18 
- RC Tyler Vesel 61, 5-13-18
- L Nolan Vesey 17, 0-3-3
- G Shane Starrett 42, 2.33 .918
- G Dylan Wells 12, 2.84 .909
There is much to be written for this group, Yamamoto emerged after Christmas and now we wait for Benson and hopefully Marody and Starrett but injuries have caused havoc with the college men.
CONDORS 2019-20 ROOKIES
- RD Evan Bouchard 54, 7-29-36 [7 NHL games]
- LC Ryan McLeod 56, 5-18-23
- R Kirill Maksimov 53, 5-8-13
- L Ryan Kuffner 36, 6-5-11
- LD Dmitri Samorukov 47, 2-8-10
- G Stuart Skinner 41, 3.31 .892
Bouchard is as close to a lock for a bona fide career as there is over the decade, and I do think Ryan McLeod is going to push. Maksimov didn’t deliver a strong debut but he has talent and will get a good chance in 2020-21.
I don’t know how many of Puljujarvi, Bear, Jones, Yamamoto, Benson and Bouchard are going to have bona fide NHL careers. I’m guessing it’ll be at least three, enough to match the Oklahoma City years.
CONDORS ROOKIES 2020-21 (PROJECTED)
- R Raphael Lavoie 56, 18-21-39
- L Ostap Safin 49, 6-10-16
- LD Theodor Lennstrom 56, 3-11-14
- LD Markus Niemelainen 39, 0-4-4
- G Olivier Rodrigue 25, 2.77 .907
I believe Lavoie will get a push, but one of the issues surrounding Condors wingers is the quality of centers available. Benson’s rookie season doesn’t happen without Marody, as an example. I don’t know who Lavoie’s center will be, but the pool includes a lesser Marody, McLeod and perhaps Brad Malone. The 2018-19 Marody likely won’t be available to him.
The other rookie I have performing well enough to mention is Rodrigue, who has a dynamite chance to pass the other goaltenders under contract for AHL work.