AHL Prospect Rankings: #17 – Bryan Young

Jonathan Willis
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.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Librarian Mike
January 18 2009, 06:11PM
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Poor Bryan Young...no comments for him. Maybe next year he can be our Rory Fitzpatrick.

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#2 rob
January 19 2009, 02:41AM
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I'm not sure who I feel sorrier for: Bryan Young or Mr. Willis. Which is worse, having such a disappointing hockey career or having nothing better to do than write about it. Mr. Willis, get out of the house more and enjoy the great weather!! Save your analytical skills for a more worthy subject.

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#3 Jonathan Willis
January 19 2009, 09:55AM
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@ rob:

I like watching AHL games. And I get outside plenty.

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#4 Wanye Gretz
January 19 2009, 04:26PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ rob: I like watching AHL games. And I get outside plenty.

That's true. Just the other day I saw footage of Jon in a high speed chase on the freeway.

AHL analysis is cool. The only time I hear about prospects is during the draft or the inevitable 2 weeks at the start of the year when I am so starved for Oilers stories I will read anything.

Even a screenplay written by Bryan Young called "Making the Oilers in 2009." A fictional piece, it has received few reviews.

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#5 Chris
January 19 2009, 07:55PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

COLUMBUS in Edmonton tomorrow. Willis... You must be in heaven!

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#6 Halfempty
January 19 2009, 07:59PM
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Hey guys, read the bottom of that post again. I think JW is trying to say that Staios should be a career minor-leaguer.

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