January 18 2009 01:00PM
Bryan Young was a fifth round pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, and could very well have the least offensive touch of any player in the Edmonton Oilers’ system. He offsets that with a very low-event defensive game, and by being a surprisingly effective hitter (he was called the best open ice hitter in the OHL while in Peterborough).
Young had a strange 2006-07, largely due to injuries suffered by the Oilers already underwhelming defensive corps. He started the season in the ECHL after the Oilers couldn’t find an AHL spot for him, and played seventeen games with Stockton before being assigned to Wilkes-Barre, Pittsburgh’s AHL farm team. He played in fifteen NHL games down the stretch before returning to the AHL for the playoffs.
At this point, the smart money is probably on that being his longest NHL stint, despite the fact that he’s only 23 years old. He was #10 on the depth chart in 2006-07, and he hasn’t climbed significantly since. He’s a player who really drops in the rankings based on the AHL Quality of Opposition study I did a few weeks back. Given that Young is a bit of an AHL veteran, and doesn’t add offense, I would have assumed he was playing a shutdown role in Springfield. Instead, it turns out that he’s playing a third-pairing role, and when an AHL defenseman is doing that at age 23, it likely doesn’t bode well for his NHL future.
With Young in a contract year, and a total of two assists and is -4, I’d say it’s a good bet that he isn’t tendered an NHL contract next season.
NHL Contract Status: $533K for 2008-09, pending RFA
AHL Performance Compares To: Steve Staios
Projection: Career minor-leaguer.