Condors over Europe

by Lowetide

We don’t have the Bakersfield Condors to stare at, but Edmonton Oilers fans do have a murder of prospects in Europe to observe this fall. Some of them are beginning to post crooked numbers we should be paying attention to soon.

THE ATHLETIC!

I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.

CONDORS ATLANTIC CROSSING

G Olivier Rodrigue. I mentioned in summer that it was possible for Rodrigue to win the starter’s job in Bakersfield and he has started well in the Austrian league (ICEHL). In two games, he has 1.99 GAA and .937. Other Condors goalies Anton Forsberg, Stuart Skinner and Dylan Wells are not playing at this time.

LD Philip Broberg. He’s playing a lot in the SHL (19:50 per game) and that includes heavy work at even strength and on the power play. His boxcars are fab (1-4-5) and his even-strength goal differential (6-4, +2) is the best among the Top-4D so far this season. A big step forward so far. I spoke to Mike Zanier recently about Broberg, and the SHL radio color man raved about his speed and athleticism. He’s matriculating and could find his way to Edmonton right soon!

LD Dmitri Samorukov. He is having a major recovery from last year’s Bakersfield sheltering. Samorukov has played 18 games, going 2-5-7, 17:29 per night and an even strength on ice goal differential of 17-4, +13. You’ll want to see this in North America, but like Broberg there’s something happening here.

LD Theodor Lennstrom. He is in the SHL (6 games, one goal, 14:21 per night), and just over 12 minutes a night at even strength with Frolunda (SHL). He projects as a top-4D in Bakersfield when Covid-19 heads to Mars.

LD William Lagesson. Playing in the Allsvenska, he has scored more than expected (7, 3-3-6) but the key is his defensive play. He’s looking at an open shot at the roster now when the NHL returns in anger. Stay healthy, young man!

LD Markus Niemelainen. He is playing in Liiga (Finland), he has two assists in 8 games and is playing 16:27 a night. I see him as third pair in Bakersfield.

RD Evan Bouchard. He is playing in Allsvenskan (10, 3-3-6) and having an impact offensively. The defensive side of his game came along last year, he’s NHL-ready but Holland likes to overcook players.

RD Filip Berglund. Two-way defender for Linkoping (SHL), he has scored 1-2-3 in 8 games and is playing 22:10 a night. Zanier told me he has taken on more of the load with his new team. At even strength he is playing 16:02 (second among blue) and has an on ice even strength goal differential of 7-10 (-3), which ranks him No. 3 among the team’s top four blue in the discipline.

RD Janis Jaks. AHL contract is playing for Dynamo Riga of the KHL, scoring 1-1-2 in 7 games so far this year. He should be a candidate for third pairing work in Bakersfield when everything gets back to normal.

RD Yanni Kaldis. He is another AHL contract and playing in the ICEHL (6, 1-1-2). This is the Cornell grad, sometimes their defensemen are sneaky good when they hit pro.

C-RW Raphael Lavoie. He plays for a poor team in the Allsvenskan and is something close to a one-man show. He is currently 5-2-7 in eight games, his goals are twitter hits and my goodness it’s a beautiful thing for a team that needs a shooter. It’s the Allsvenskan, and that’s not the NHL, but it’s a hurdle he’s passing with flying colors and that’s a good thing.

LC Ryan McLeod. Playing for Zug (Swiss), McLeod is 2-3-5 in seven games and having an impact. One of the best stories among the forwards so far this fall. The Swiss league isn’t far from the AHL according to Vollman, so this is a fantastic start.

RC Cooper Marody. He’s playing in the ICEHL (Austria), just one game so far. He was injured in his first game and an ETA is uncertain.

LW Tyler Benson. He is playing in the SL (Swiss League), which is the second tier of hockey in Switzerland. The top league, the NL (National League), is the one Ryan McLeod is currently playing in. Benson has scored 1-4-5 in five games, and is about where Evan Bouchard is at this time: NHL-ready, but it depends on role, opportunity and Holland’s time line.

RW Kirill Maksimov. He is scoring well (5, 4-2-6) in Russia’s VHL, which is the second highest pro league in Russian and often called the Supreme Hockey League. His pro career has not been stellar and he’s approaching the halfway point of his entry deal. Those junior numbers are an echo down the canyon but he has offense in his game, proven again by the VHL numbers.

LW James Hamblin. Signed to an AHL deal, he is playing well (4-1-5 in five games) in Hockeyettan, which is the third tier of Swedish pro hockey. It’s something of a feeder league into the Allsvenskan from what I’m reading.

LW Jakob Stukel is scoring well (8-8-16 in six games) in the Alps Hockey League. The league is made up of teams from Austria, Italy and Slovenia.

RC Devin Brosseau. Playing in the ICEHL, Brosseau has played in six games (1-1-2).

FARM WORKERS

Each offseason I guess the minor league RFA’s. A year ago, the list included Tyler Vesel, Joe Gambardella, Patrick Russell, Colin Larkin, Robin Norell and Shane Starrett. I (correctly) chose Gambardella, Russell and Starrett as keepers.

This year? Well, Ken Holland threw me a couple of curves. For the 2020 offseason Ryan Mantha, Ryan Kuffner, Nolan Vesey, Cam Hebig, Logan Day, William Lagesson and Angus Redmond all needed to be signed or walked.

I picked Kuffner, Day and Lagesson as the keepers. Holland kept only Lagesson. Holland culled the herd and is looking to improve the roster top to bottom.

50-MAN LIST (45)

Holland’s additions are shaded in grey, new hires this summer are in bold. The best part of his addition list? No long-term contracts have been added. I expect that will change next offseason. Drafted but unsigned include Dylan Holloway, Ilya Konovalov, Tyler Tullio, Carter Savoie, Mike Kesselring, Matej Blumel, Phil Kemp, Maxim Denezhkin and others.

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OriginalPouzar

No assist but just a solid breakout pass by Broberg to start the transition:

https://twitter.com/icehockeyg/status/1319996166055055360?s=21

dessert1111

I’m surprised they didn’t re-up Kuffner, but I like that Holland has shown a willingness to move on from ‘his guys’, even if he’s gone back to the well too often early in his tenure for my liking.

Didn’t realize Benson was playing in a lower league than McLeod – I hope he can post bigger totals, although perhaps it’s an unfair expectation with all the variables at play.

OriginalPouzar

Eddie Pasquale in net for Yaroslav, again – sigh.

He needs to get lit up soon.

leadfarmer

OriginalPouzar:
Eddie Pasquale in net for Yaroslav, again – sigh.

He needs to get lit up soon.

And you thought he was just going to come over and take a nhl goaler job

€√¥£€^$

I’ve been keeping a close eye on McLeod’s numbers, he is looking really good. I don’t think it is much of a leap to say that he is NHL ready, he’s shown very well since his first rookie camp. The concerns with him are lack of offense and lack of physicality/unwilling to play in the areas in front of the net. He has all the tools, for sure.

I also thought Kuffner would be designed, he was only a rookie Pro last year. I was watching to see if Kuffner and Veronneau would be reunited, as they are the top scorers in Princeton history.

LT, Cracknell and Lavoie play RW. Also, wouldn’t Haas, Nygard, Berglund, Niemalainen,be technically considered Summer hires as well?

LT, Cracknell is a RW,

McSorley33

OriginalPouzar:
No assist but just a solid breakout pass by Broberg to start the transition:

https://twitter.com/icehockeyg/status/1319996166055055360?s=21

As always, this is awesome – thank you OP.

Love your prospect updates.

Loved your clip of Lavoie and his 2 goal game the other day. As LT mentions, lower league for sure..but man this kid looks like the ‘shooter’ we have been looking for.

In the off-season – even cold cynics like myself – are allowed to be optimistic about the future.

I have always been on the McLeod train for no other reason than his elite skating would place him far, far above the Kyle Brodziak’s and Riley Sheahan’s of the world. ( 3C / PK role)

Bruce M said it best Oilers had *two* -4th lines last year.

McLeod ( 2nd round pick) , Lavoie ( 2nd round pick) and now Holloway ( 1st round) seem surely more talented than our never ending army of 4th liners…

Dare to dream if at least 2 of these prospects really develop. Add in 1 high quality UFA winger
next year….

If you squint hard, you can see a picture of a Unicorn

Bling

It’s been awhile since there have been this many up arrows for Oiler prospects playing pro.

By my count, the following have seen their stock rise in the early going:

Broberg (+++)
Samorukov (+++)
Bouchard (++)
McLeod (++)
Lavoie (++)
Maksimov(+)

Samorukov’s goal differential is silly. If he really has added some offence at the pro level, he may prove to be more useful a player than Bouchard.

Bling

OriginalPouzar:
No assist but just a solid breakout pass by Broberg to start the transition:

https://twitter.com/icehockeyg/status/1319996166055055360?s=21

Not an easy play with a forechecker breathing down your neck. That pass was crisp and on the tape.

McSorley33

€√¥£€^$:
I’ve been keeping a close eye on McLeod’s numbers, he is looking really good.I don’t think it is much of a leap to say that he is NHL ready, he’s shown very well since his first rookie camp.The concerns with him are lack of offense and lack of physicality/unwilling to play in the areas in front of the net.He has all the tools, for sure.

I also thought Kuffner would be designed, he was only a rookie Pro last year.I was watching to see if Kuffner and Veronneau would be reunited, as they are the top scorers in Princeton history.

LT, Cracknell and Lavoie play RW.Also, wouldn’t Haas, Nygard, Berglund, Niemalainen,be technically considered Summer hires as well?

LT, Cracknell is a RW,

People forget McLeod’s first NHL camp two years ago – McLellan took a long look at him.

Ryan is now listed at 6’3 – 207 lbs.

In preseason, I noted that McLeod kept winning puck battles. In short, he was impressive then.

Cult of Hockey-Sep 25th, 2018 : Training camp surprise Ryan McLeod the last outsider standing after Edmonton Oilers cut down to five pivots

“With today’s departure of Marody and Brad Malone to points south, (our version of) the Oilers depth chart at centre is reduced to just five names. Four of them have been cast in stone all summer; the fifth, Ryan McLeod, stands out as a major surprise. The Oilers’ #5 prospecthas been the workhorse of September, playing in all three rookie games and all four Oilers preseason games to this point, all of them at the pivot position. His “NHL” boxcars of 4 GP, 0-3-3, +1 are respectable enough, and while he has mustered just 1 shot on goal he has impressed greatly with the breadth or should I say the depth of his game. He has looked extremely comfortable on the defensive side of things, using his terrific wheels to roam deep into his d-zone in support of the defencemen, contribute to the breakout, and bust his tail up the ice to join the attack.”

https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/training-camp-surprise-ryan-mcleod-the-last-man-standing-among-new-centre-hopefuls-after-edmonton-oilers-cut-down-to-five-pivots

McSorley33

McSorley33: People forget McLeod’s first NHL camp two years ago – McLellan took a long look at him.

Ryan is now listed at 6’3 – 207 lbs.

In preseason, I noted that McLeod kept winning puck battles. In short, he was impressive then.

Cult of Hockey-Sep 25th, 2018: Training camp surprise Ryan McLeod the last outsider standing after Edmonton Oilers cut down to five pivots

“With today’s departure of Marody and Brad Malone to points south, (our version of) the Oilers depth chart at centre is reduced to just five names. Four of them have been cast in stone all summer; the fifth, Ryan McLeod, stands out as a major surprise. The Oilers’ #5 prospecthas been the workhorse of September, playing in all three rookie games and all four Oilers preseason games to this point, all of them at the pivot position. His “NHL” boxcars of 4 GP, 0-3-3, +1 are respectable enough, and while he has mustered just 1 shot on goal he has impressed greatly with the breadth or should I say the depth of his game. He has looked extremely comfortable on the defensive side of things, using his terrific wheels to roam deep into his d-zone in support of the defencemen, contribute to the breakout, and bust his tail up the ice to join the attack.”

https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/training-camp-surprise-ryan-mcleod-the-last-man-standing-among-new-centre-hopefuls-after-edmonton-oilers-cut-down-to-five-pivots

Quick edit / correction:

McLeod’s size-

NHL.COM – has him listed at 6’2 – 207 pounds

Hockeydb – has him listed at 6’3 – 200 pounds.

Either way, big man who is a very strong skater.

OriginalPouzar

McSorley33: As always, this is awesome – thank you OP.

Love your prospect updates.

Loved your clip of Lavoie and his 2 goal game the other day. As LT mentions, lower league for sure..but man this kid looks like the ‘shooter’ we have been looking for.

In the off-season – even cold cynics like myself – are allowed to be optimistic about the future.

I have alwaysbeen on the McLeod train for no other reason than his elite skating would place him far, far above the Kyle Brodziak’s and Riley Sheahan’s of the world. ( 3C / PK role)

Bruce M said it best Oilers had *two*-4th lines last year.

McLeod ( 2nd round pick) , Lavoie ( 2nd round pick) and now Holloway ( 1st round) seem surely more talented than our never ending army of 4th liners…

Dare to dream if at least 2 of these prospects really develop. Add in 1 high quality UFA winger
next year….

If you squint hard, you can see a picture of a Unicorn

No problem – I do enjoy checking up every morning and scouring for clips. Not everyone does like the updates (I, essentially, just quit a site I’ve been posting on since 2005 for vitriol I received for posting this type of info – apparently volume is an issue for some).

Tough game for Broberg today. He did see over 18 minutes of ice but was on for 3 goals against and finished -2 in a 5-4 loss. I’ll forgive the 19 year old for a tough game in one of the best league’s in the world.

—————-

McLeod did have a couple of goals yesterday as he’s finding his offence in Europe.

It would be nice to have an AHL this coming winter as he needs to be a full time top 6 AHL center before he is in the NHL conversation as a bottom 6 center.

Will take some time but he is definitely a good bet to make it as an NHL 3C – not a surety but a good bet. I do see Holloway and his skill-set as almost an ideal LW for McDavid in due course (the board battle, the cycle play, the size and speed, the defensive 2-way acumen) but I also see the chance that he doesn’t quite translate to the top 6 and would be a great 3C. In that case, we have McLeod as 4C which could also be a giant boon (as long as there is a legit LW to join Nuge in the top 6 in due course.

OriginalPouzar

leadfarmer: And you thought he was just going to come over and take a nhl goaler job

Pardon?

Are you talking about Konovalov?

He is still sporting a .930 in the league as a youngster and, yes, I do think there is a chance he could be a back-up option in 2021/22.

Eddie Pasquale being hot as hell doesn’t make Konovalov any lesser of a player/prospect. He needs to play, obviously, but that league favors older players and, in particular, older tenders.

Brantford Boy

Bling: Samorukov (+++)
Bouchard (++)

Samorukov’s goal differential is silly. If he really has added some offence at the pro level, he may prove to be more useful a player than Bouchard.

I respectfully disagree…

€√¥£€^$

Bling: Not an easy play with a forechecker breathing down your neck. That pass was crisp and on the tape.

I echo Brantford Boy.

Sammy and Bouch aren’t competing with eachother. Bouchard is unique amongst all Oil D prospects, he is only “competing” against himself.

Sammy has Broberg, Jones and Larsson to a lesser degree and perhaps even Nurse who he needs to contend with.

€√¥£€^$

Bling: Not an easy play with a forechecker breathing down your neck. That pass was crisp and on the tape.

I echo Brantford Boy.

Sammy and Bouch aren’t competing with eachother. Bouchard is unique amongst all Oil D prospects, he is only “competing” against himself.

Sammy has Broberg, Jones and Larsson to a lesser degree and perhaps even Nurse who he needs to contend with.

OriginalPouzar: No problem – I do enjoy checking up every morning and scouring for clips. Not everyone does like the updates (I, essentially, just quit a site I’ve been posting on since 2005 for vitriol I received for posting this type of info – apparently volume is an issue for some).

Tough game for Broberg today.He did see over 18 minutes of ice but was on for 3 goals against and finished -2 in a 5-4 loss. I’ll forgive the 19 year old for a tough game in one of the best league’s in the world.

—————-

McLeod did have a couple of goals yesterday as he’s finding his offence in Europe.

It would be nice to have an AHL this coming winter as he needs to be a full time top 6 AHL center before he is in the NHL conversation as a bottom 6 center.

Will take some time but he is definitely a good bet to make it as an NHL 3C – not a surety but a good bet. I do see Holloway and his skill-set as almost an ideal LW for McDavid in due course (the board battle, the cycle play, the size and speed, the defensive 2-way acumen) but I also see the chance that he doesn’t quite translate to the top 6 and would be a great 3C. In that case, we have McLeod as 4C which could also be a giant boon (as long as there is a legit LW to join Nuge in the top 6 in due course.

I appreciate your passion and considerable contributions to this community.

Thanks again OP!

Bling

€√¥£€^$: I echo Brantford Boy.

Sammy and Bouch aren’t competing with eachother.Bouchard is unique amongst all Oil D prospects, he is only “competing” against himself.

Sammy has Broberg, Jones and Larsson to a lesser degree and perhaps even Nurse who he needs to contend with.

For sure they aren’t competing with one another, that is just based on handedness.

I just meant that Samorukov may have a wider range of skills that will enable him to excel defensively. Bouchard has more offensive chops and will quarterback a PP one day.

I think Samorukov’s physical tools will enable him to handle tougher minutes — potentially even first pairing opposition — should he continue to develop.

Both are good prospects and I’m a fan of both.

The one guy who keeps getting better and better and better is Lagesson. This guy improves every single year and adds something new to his game.

Bling

Saying the above I forgot to put Lagesson (+++) on my list.

Scungilli Slushy

Bling:
It’s been awhile since there have been this many up arrows for Oiler prospects playing pro.

By my count, the following have seen their stock rise in the early going:

Broberg (+++)
Samorukov (+++)
Bouchard (++)
McLeod (++)
Lavoie (++)
Maksimov(+)

Samorukov’s goal differential is silly. If he really has added some offence at the pro level, he may prove to be more useful a player than Bouchard.

Full game 5 tool players are the backbone of winning teams. It seems Holland is looking for those players higher in the draft.

Great skating, athletic, energetic, skilled, and often with size.

Holland didn’t draft Samu but he fits the mood. To me it Sens players that have everything an NHL player needs have less to overcome to pan out.

Scungilli Slushy

Scungilli Slushy: Full game 5 tool players are the backbone of winning teams. It seems Holland is looking for those players higher in the draft.

Great skating, athletic, energetic, skilled, and often with size.

Holland didn’t draft Samu but he fits the mood. To me it Sens players that have everything an NHL player needs have less to overcome to pan out.

Mood=mood
Sens=seems

OriginalPouzar

Bouchard and Lagesson are 4th and 8th in AIK in TOI/G (entire league, not just d-men) and are tied for 4th in points for d-men.

Lavoie is tied for 19th in league scoring – he has 7 points and the team has scored 13 goals……

Bling

I wonder if more players/teams will make use of Europe as a development option for NA prospects going forward, particularly those who need 2-3 years to simmer.

I think it makes a lot of sense for tweener prospects. More practice time to work on skills, less onerous travel, more money, and accommodations paid for. Chance to see the world as well.

Given that there is only so much top 6 and top 4 and PP time to go around, I think it makes a lot of sense to spread your prospects a bit.

This creates some hurdles for those on the cusp with respect to call-up opportunities, but first year pros in the vein of Lagesson, Maksimov, Benson who are not going to get called up would certainly benefit.

defmn

Bling:
I wonder if more players/teams will make use of Europe as a development option for NA prospects going forward, particularly those who need 2-3 years to simmer.

I think it makes a lot of sense for tweener prospects. More practice time to work on skills, less onerous travel, more money, and accommodations paid for. Chance to see the world as well.

Given that there is only so much top 6 and top 4 and PP time to go around, I think it makes a lot of sense to spread your prospects a bit.

This creates some hurdles for those on the cusp with respect to call-up opportunities, but first year pros in the vein of Lagesson, Maksimov, Benson who are not going to get called up would certainly benefit.

I think a number of us have offered to help Darryl spend some of his money over the years by suggesting he buy a team in Europe. 😉

defmn

Scungilli Slushy: Full game 5 tool players are the backbone of winning teams. It seems Holland is looking for those players higher in the draft.

Great skating, athletic, energetic, skilled, and often with size.

Holland didn’t draft Samu but he fits the mood. To me it Sens players that have everything an NHL player needs have less to overcome to pan out.

This is exactly why I am so high on Sammy. Top end is not yet known but appears to have all the tools in at least minimum NHL level.

Ancient Oilers Fan

defmn: I think a number of us have offered to help Darryl spend some of his money over the years by suggesting he buy a team in Europe.

Except, I think Swedish Poster said that they are clubs in Europe and can’t be owned by one individual. The KHL may be the exception.

Slocanoil

Is anyone else having problems with the site lately? To get to the current days article I have to go through LTs twitter link. Also can only log in through same. Going through google to the home page only shows up to the day before article and says my password is incorrect.

€√¥£€^$

Slocanoil:
Is anyone else having problems with the site lately? To get to the current days article I have to go through LTs twitter link. Also can only log in through same. Going through google to the home page only shows up to the day before article and says my password is incorrect.

No issues for me.

What I use normally is Oilerhockey.com as my go to Oiler site, it serves as a table of contents page for me as most sites, like LT’s site pops up there.

Maybe try that

El Duderino

Scungilli Slushy: Mood=mood
Sens=seems

mood = mold ???

Slocanoil

€√¥£€^$,

Thanks, tried but will not let me sign in or see comments. Frustrating but at least I have a way through twitter.

Kert

defmn,

Ah yes. The Jack Johnson mold. Or is it the JFJ mold? I’m sure this won’t end in tears though. 😛

Harpers Hair

FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) Tweeted:
Report: Flames sign Josh Leivo (one year, $875K) https://t.co/QXEOnrxIkU #Flames #NHL

Calgary is making some very smart moves.

buck yoakam

Harpers Hair,

and you , my friend have some lovely outfits!

defmn

Harpers Hair:
FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) Tweeted:
Report: Flames sign Josh Leivo (one year, $875K) https://t.co/QXEOnrxIkU #Flames #NHL

Calgary is making some very smart moves.

Yup. That is a good signing for them. Building some depth.

jp

Lowetide:
Always liked Leivo, I think he would have been a nice get for Edmonton.

I thought of you when I saw he signed.

Maybe he does a reverse Rieder and joins the Oilers next year.

defmn

Lowetide:
Always liked Leivo, I think he would have been a nice get for Edmonton.

Three Canucks to Calgary this month. What’s that about?

pts2pndr

McSorley33: Quick edit / correction:

McLeod’s size-

NHL.COM – has him listed at 6’2 – 207 pounds

Hockeydb– has him listed at 6’3 – 200 pounds.

Either way, big man who is a very strong skater.

Sometimes it seems they measure them with their skates on😊

OriginalPouzar

dessert1111:
I’m surprised they didn’t re-up Kuffner, but I like that Holland has shown a willingness to move on from ‘his guys’, even if he’s gone back to the well too often early in his tenure for my liking.

Didn’t realize Benson was playing in a lower league than McLeod – I hope he can post bigger totals, although perhaps it’s an unfair expectation with all the variables at play.

I was surprised on Kuffner as well. When the trade happened, I thought he was just a throw-in to make the contracts work (for the 50) but reading about him, he was more of a “real prospect” than I thought – somewhat toughed when Detroit signed him out of college and, while he had a terrible first year pro, that’s not unusual and he is only one season removed from the amateur success.

pts2pndr

Lowetide:
Always liked Leivo, I think he would have been a nice get for Edmonton.

Not a lot of flash but seemed like a player when I watched him. Not a fast train but skating seemed fine.

OriginalPouzar

€√¥£€^$:
I’ve been keeping a close eye on McLeod’s numbers, he is looking really good.I don’t think it is much of a leap to say that he is NHL ready, he’s shown very well since his first rookie camp.The concerns with him are lack of offense and lack of physicality/unwilling to play in the areas in front of the net.He has all the tools, for sure.

I also thought Kuffner would be designed, he was only a rookie Pro last year.I was watching to see if Kuffner and Veronneau would be reunited, as they are the top scorers in Princeton history.

LT, Cracknell and Lavoie play RW.Also, wouldn’t Haas, Nygard, Berglund, Niemalainen,be technically considered Summer hires as well?

LT, Cracknell is a RW,

I agree with you on the areas that McLeod needs to improve but I do think its a leap to say that he’s NHL ready.

Big and fast guys with some skill almost always look great at camps so I won’t put any weight on him looking good in the Stage 3 camp. Lets not forget, he looked great at his post-draft camp and many thought he could should break camp with the team last October based on that.

Anyways, my opinion is based on watching him in the AHL this past year and his usage by the coaching staff. While he got some time up the lineup later in the year (as a winger), most of his time was spent in the bottom 6, split between winger and center. I think they played him on the wing quite a bit to try and give him more reps along the boards, to work on that battle level.

His scoring rates at 5 on 5 were actually quite nice in the AHL, however, for me, he needs to play legit minutes as a top 6 in the AHL (as a center) before he is ready for the NHL. Bottom 6 AHLers don’t become NHL players. Top 6 AHL centers become bottom 6 NHL centers.

He had a good development year last year but needs more time – in my opinion.

OriginalPouzar

McSorley33: People forget McLeod’s first NHL camp two years ago – McLellan took a long look at him.

Ryan is now listed at 6’3 – 207 lbs.

In preseason, I noted that McLeod kept winning puck battles. In short, he was impressive then.

Cult of Hockey-Sep 25th, 2018: Training camp surprise Ryan McLeod the last outsider standing after Edmonton Oilers cut down to five pivots

“With today’s departure of Marody and Brad Malone to points south, (our version of) the Oilers depth chart at centre is reduced to just five names. Four of them have been cast in stone all summer; the fifth, Ryan McLeod, stands out as a major surprise. The Oilers’ #5 prospecthas been the workhorse of September, playing in all three rookie games and all four Oilers preseason games to this point, all of them at the pivot position. His “NHL” boxcars of 4 GP, 0-3-3, +1 are respectable enough, and while he has mustered just 1 shot on goal he has impressed greatly with the breadth or should I say the depth of his game. He has looked extremely comfortable on the defensive side of things, using his terrific wheels to roam deep into his d-zone in support of the defencemen, contribute to the breakout, and bust his tail up the ice to join the attack.”

https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/training-camp-surprise-ryan-mcleod-the-last-man-standing-among-new-centre-hopefuls-after-edmonton-oilers-cut-down-to-five-pivots

With respect, this simply goes to prove my point (at least I think it does) that performances by the higher skilled but second tier talent in camp and exhibition games really means very little.

McLeod looked like he could make the team but, in reality, as we’ve seen, he wasn’t close – he struggled in the AHL early last year (except on the PK) and, while he had a good development season, I would argue that his development is pretty much on the expected timeline – potentially a cup of coffee this season but, ultimately, a roster spot is more likely in 2021/22.

Beware of speed impressing at camp.

OriginalPouzar

€√¥£€^$: I echo Brantford Boy.

Sammy and Bouch aren’t competing with eachother.Bouchard is unique amongst all Oil D prospects, he is only “competing” against himself.

Sammy has Broberg, Jones and Larsson to a lesser degree and perhaps even Nurse who he needs to contend with.

I appreciate your passion and considerable contributions to this community.

Thanks again OP!

My pleasure – thanks for the words.

With Sammy vs. Bouchard, I don’t actually disagree with that premise.

Before Broberg started to show much offensive intelligence and willingness, I had provided my opinion that the one d-man in the org with the highest ceiling is Sammy.

Don’t get me wrong, I have Sammy below both Bouch and Broberg on the depth chart and as important part of the team in the future. At the same time, recent offensive intelligence spike from Broberg aside, Sammy has the broadest range of skills. He’s got everything that a legit #1d-man needs – good skaters, plus defender (an aggressive defence first guy), aggressive neutral zone blue line defence, good passer, good shot, good offensive IQ, etc.

Now, he isn’t “elite” at anything (except maybe the blue line defence) – both Bouch and Broberg have certain elite level skills (skating for Broberg and vision/offensive IQ and ability to get a show through for Bouch) along with being good at many other things.

The chances of Sammy developing all his skills to transition to the NHL is highly unlikely and he probably tops out as a 2nd or 3rd pairing guy, if he even makes it, but he has the 1D skill set.

Harpers Hair

Lowetide: Yeah. Agree. Not the kind of guy you’re going to notice but he gets his points and plays a responsible game.

Has always been a possession driver…good player.

The Flames also signed Nikita Nesterov yesterday for $700K

He’s 27 on his return to the NHL and was a KHL All Star last season as well as being the top D on the Russian WC team..

He plays both sides effectively and should be a great pick up to play on the Flames third pairing.

And for those who were denigrating Juuso Valimaki recently…all he’s doing is leading his Liga team in scoring.

https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0012322021.html

He’s the goods.

Harpers Hair

defmn: Three Canucks to Calgary this month. What’s that about?

Matt Baker (@BakesTakes84) Tweeted:
Heard Canucks are going to retaliate by signing George Canyon for national anthems

innercitysmytty

Lowetide,

Possible he scores 40 points but not probable. He’s averaged 31.5/82 at 27 years old and seems to have a hard time sticking. Decent bet for the price but not sure he moves the needle much.

innercitysmytty

Harpers Hair: Matt Baker (@BakesTakes84) Tweeted:
Heard Canucks are going to retaliate by signing George Canyon for national anthems

That’s pretty good actually.

innercitysmytty

Harpers Hair: Has always been a possession driver…good player.

The Flames also signed Nikita Nesterov yesterday for $700K

He’s 27 on his return to the NHL and was a KHL All Star last season as well as being the top D on the Russian WC team..

He plays both sides effectively and should be a great pick up to play on the Flames third pairing.

And for those who were denigrating Juuso Valimaki recently…all he’s doing is leading his Liga team in scoring.

https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0012322021.html

He’s the goods.

He’s a good prospect but the Flames D overall is wanting and past Valimaki I’m not sure they have another D prospect that moves the needle. They could still use another top 4 D but are too tight to the cap. Put this way, minus Brodie and Hamonic, plus Tanev and Valimaki at best leaves them the same as last year assuming Gio doesn’t drop off a cliff. And they weren’t great defensively last year. Calgary has a decent team but they’re kind of in no man’s land overall.

Harpers Hair

innercitysmytty: He’s a good prospect but the Flames D overall is wanting and past Valimaki I’m not sure they have another D prospect that moves the needle. They could still use another top 4 D but are too tight to the cap. Put this way, minus Brodie and Hamonic, plus Tanev and Valimaki at best leaves them the same as last year assuming Gio doesn’t drop off a cliff. And they weren’t great defensively last year. Calgary has a decent team but they’re kind of in no man’s land overall.

Not all.

Giordano – Andersson
Valimaki-Tanev
Hanafin-Netsterov
Kylington – Mackey

Oiler fans are obsessed with prospects rather than actual NHL players.

Hanafin, Andersson, Valimaki, Kylington and perhaps Mackey are all 25 and under and playing in the NHL .

The Oilers have Nurse, Bear and Jones ready to go and a bunch of others on the way but that herd will have to be culled soon.