The Edmonton Oilers Top-50 Prospects

Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009 11:33AM

peckham

This is my ranking of Oilers prospects; every single prospect of note is included somewhere on this list. It differs significantly from similar efforts by The Hockey News and Hockey’s Future - I’m much less concerned with draft position than I am in where the prospects are right now.

I use statistics a lot in my rankings, but I also take into account scouting reports and what I’ve seen of each individual prospect. The one exception I will make is that I don’t place a ton of emphasis on Kevin Prendergast’s public statements – sometimes they’re blatantly wrong, often they contradict what he said in the not too distant past. Without further ado, here’s the list:

1. Theo Peckham – Peckham has limited offensive upside at the NHL level, but he’s got size and plays a mean game. More than that, he was an outstanding shut-down defenseman in Springfield this season, constantly playing the toughest minutes, and didn’t look out of place in 15 NHL games. 2. Riley Nash - Nash has good offensive upside and plays a two-way game; unfortunately for the Oilers his development may be stagnating in Cornell and he still needs to add size. 3. Jordan Eberle - A natural goal-scorer, Eberle took a modest step forward in the WHL this year and starred for Canada at the World Juniors. He showed an ability to translate his offense to the AHL as well, scoring nine points in nine games. Will need more time before being NHL ready. 4. Linus Omark - The best offensive talent in the system right now, Omark had a phenomenal year in Sweden but is small and has never played in North America. 5. Devan Dubnyk - Dubnyk’s AHL numbers aren’t impressive, but he was playing for an absolutely abysmal team and lost more than twice as many games as he won. He was not part of the problem this season. 6. Gilbert Brule - His grit and offensive ability are undeniable; he is however both undersized and was injured (again) this season. Brule was rushed into the NHL and won’t ever be the player he was projected as in his draft year. 7. Teemu Hartikainen - The gritty Finn was one of the youngest players in his country’s top league and still managed 17 goals. His skating is still reportedly not very good and his -8 on a good team is cause for concern. Overall, he looks like a mid-round steal by the scouting staff at this point. 8. Philippe Cornet - Another pick that looks like a steal, Cornet actually put up more points than Eberle this season. He has a reputation as a smart, two-way player. 9. Ryan Potulny - Potulny’s track record just screams “tweener” to me, but he was far and away the best forward in Springfield and scoring 38 goals was an incredible accomplishment in that environment. Looked good during his NHL recall. 10. Chris Vande Velde - Vande Velde has size and faceoff ability and has put up decent point totals in college hockey. At this point he seems like a decent bet to have a future as a checking forward. 11. Alexandre Plante - The massive defenseman bounced back from a poor 2007-08 and added an edge to his game. On the other hand, Calgary was such a dominant squad that it’s questionable whether much of his offense will make it to the NHL. 12. Cody Wild - It was a strange season for Wild, who played a half dozen games in the ECHL this season and had trouble staying in the lineup under Jeff Truitt, but he was one of the few bright spots in Springfield. 13. Taylor Chorney - Kevin Prendergast swears that Chorney’s a better player than Wild, but the fact is that he played similar competition, posted vastly inferior numbers and is smaller to boot. His -29 was the worst on the team, and his defense partners (notably Roy and Wild) were vastly better without him than with him. 14. Jeff Petry - The two-way defenseman’s numbers dropped off this year as Michigan State was outscored nearly 2:1 by their opponents. That said, Petry’s -31 was easily the worst on the team. 15. Liam Reddox - The dependable defensive player doesn’t bring size to the NHL but he does bring willingness and smarts. He’s been a coach’s favourite everywhere he’s been, but the change in coaches may mean he ends up back in the AHL. 16. Jean-Francois Jacques - Jacques finally notched an NHL point after being a dependable AHL scorer for years. He’s a brilliant AHL player and adds size and energy to the lineup; if he’s finally figured out how to translate his game to the NHL he could be a force. 17. Milan Kytnar - Displayed offensive capability this season in Saskatoon and reportedly plays a well-rounded game. 18. Tyler Spurgeon - Was tremendous in a defensive role in Springfield this season; his -4 was one of the best marks on the team and Spurgeon was consistently used against tough opponents. Injuries are still a major concern. 19. Rob Schremp - Schremp’s season was an absolute disaster. He should have been on the cusp of NHL duty, but wasn’t even a leader in Springfield this season. His -26 was the worst mark among forwards despite the fact that he was playing some of the softest minutes on the team. Still, this is rock bottom and he’ll get at least one more year to try and turn things around. 20. Johan Motin - A big defenseman who was used sparingly in the Elitserien, Motin may not be developing as hoped. He would likely benefit from coming over to North America. 21. Ryan Stone - May have a career as an energy forward. Stone has never had a high-end offensive game but adds size and is a tough customer. 22. Colin McDonald - Played tough-minutes this season and showed some offensive talent down the stretch, where Rob Daum leaned on him heavily. He’s a big man with a good shot who may end up having a career as a 4th-liner. 23. Vyacheslav Trukhno - For the second year in a row, Trukhno has failed to translate his junior offense to the professional game. He doesn’t do enough other things well if he isn’t scoring to make the jump to the NHL. 24. Andrew Perugini - The Oilers signed Perugini to a minor-league contract, and he responded by outplaying draft pick Bryan Pitton and stealing the starting job with Stockton. That said, his numbers aren’t good enough at this point. 25. Josef Hrabal - This season went very poorly for Hrabal, who will be at Oilers training camp next fall. He was supposed to be one of Springfield’s top defensemen but was injured early and then used badly by Jeff Truitt. On his third trip to Stockton he left for Europe where he had six poor games in Sweden. He needs to show something this year or I think he’s done. 26. Alexei Mikhnov - Incredibly, Mikhnov’s still in the conversation. The Oilers have been in contact with him and he’s still interested in coming over, but likely only on a one-way deal. He would be ranked higher if I thought the Oilers were inclined to give him one. 27. Bryan Lerg - Lerg was injured this season, but comments from the Oilers have not been encouraging and it very much sounds like he may not be in the plans. A well-rounded player with a good NCAA career, Lerg is undersized and had a disappointing professional debut. As an undrafted player, he also gets less benefit of the doubt from the team. 28. Guillaume Lefebvre - Lefebvre, rather shockingly, led the Falcons in difficulty of competition and also contributed as the team’s resident tough guy. He’s getting older, but a fourth line job may yet be his. 29. Glenn Fisher - This player simply refuses to die. After being drafted he had lousy years with the University of Denver before blowing the doors off in his final NCAA season. Edmonton signed him; he responded with a middling ECHL year. He was signed to an AHL/ECHL deal and seldom used as Devan Dubnyk’s backup, but when the acquisition of Dany Sabourin forced a move he posted phenomenal numbers with Las Vegas of the ECHL. He’ll be 26 this week and is a bit of an enigma. 30. Tim Sestito - The organization’s love for this player is baffling; he must be a heck of a character guy because he doesn’t contribute at all offensively and isn’t blessed with size either. He’s a hardnosed guy who handles AHL tough minutes, but even a regular fourth-line job is probably not a realistic possibility. 31. Sebastien Bisaillon - Smallish, injury-prone defenseman showed a high-level offensive game in junior, but doesn’t bring enough offense as a pro to justify his other deficiencies. 32. Ryan O’Marra - O’Marra has size and is still young. He managed one goal on the season in the AHL and is rapidly running out of time with the organization. 33. Mathieu Roy - At one point Roy looked like a good bet for a career as a #6/#7 defenseman, but injuries have taken a toll. He has size, some offense, and a nasty disposition, but I think he’s already played the bulk of his NHL career. 34. Bryan Young - Big hitter has only average size and doesn’t contribute at all offensively. He plays a safe reliable game against soft AHL competition and isn’t a prospect of interest at this point. 35. Bjorn Bjurling - Bjurling had an off year, and will be thirty before next season. He doesn’t seem to be in the organization’s long-term plans. 36. Jake Taylor - Veteran minor-leaguer probably deserves to be ranked higher, but despite having size and playing a gritty game he’s at the age where NHL teams stop looking. 37. Bryan Pitton - Had a disastrous professional debut in the ECHL, losing his starting job to Andrew Perugini. He got a second chance when Perugini was injured in game one of the playoffs, but imploded so badly that Parker Van Buskirk, coming off a middling season in junior, replaced him as Stockton’s starter. Still has two years on his NHL deal, so he has time to rebound. 38. Jordan Bendfeld - A nasty defenseman with size and toughness, Bendfeld’s an ECHL player at this point. 39. Geoff Paukovich - Has size and occasionally injures people by hitting them from behind. Not a prospect of note. 40. Stephane Goulet - A 50-goal scorer in junior, Goulet’s a tall, lanky winger who has had three bad professional seasons and is probably done with the organization. 41. Charles Linglet - The undrafted 26-year old looked good in 21 games with Springfield and has some size but is realistically a career minor-leaguer at this point. 42. Alexander Bumagin - The 22-year old Russian seems to have peaked in his draft year. 43. William Quist - Quist hasn’t followed the Oilers’ recommendations and had a poor season with Nybro in Sweden’s second-best league. The 6’5” enigma is not likely to ever where an Oilers’ uniform. 44. Robby Dee - A part-time player with the University of Maine, it’s very doubtful that Dee gets a contract offer when he finishes school. 45. Matt Glasser - The smallish Glasser has had three uneventful seasons with the University of Denver and is in much the same position as Dee. 46. Robbie Bina - Had a lousy professional debut and was outmatched at every level. The undersized defenseman is already one of the older prospects in the system. 47. Parker Van Buskirk - Undrafted goaltender has been OK as Stockton’s starter in the ECHL playoffs but in all likelihood is only a stop-gap. 48. Mikahil Zhukov - Scored a career-high 5 goals in the KHL this past season. Not a player of interest at this point. 49. Jeff Lee - Big winger was rewarded for a fine season with the Oil Kings by being signed to a professional tryout; he was pointless in two AHL games. 50. David Rohlfs - Sometimes a forward, sometimes a defenseman, Rohlfs is almost always an ECHL player.

Some Elaboration

There were undoubtedly a few surprises on this list, so I’m just going to comment on those and a few other points. There are a couple of places where there is a real drop-off between players. I think Peckham has some space in the number one slot and is easily the surest bet in the system. Devan Dubnyk may be an elite AHL goaltender; with the quality of Springfield this season it’s hard to be sure based on the numbers. I’d say there’s a bit of a drop-off from Dubnyk in the number five spot to Brule at number six.

I have Jeff Petry rated quite low; THN ranks him as the second-best prospect in the system and Hockey’s Future has him in the number three slot. He hasn’t shown NHL-level offense during his NCAA career and his defensive numbers, both this year and last haven’t been inspiring either.

Rob Schremp also fares badly on my list; THN has him ranked 10th overall and Hockey’s Future slots him in the #6 spot. I tend to ascribe this to a difference in how we view probability – other outlets like him because he probably won’t be an NHL’er, but he has a shot at putting up big points if he does make it. Personally, I rate that behind a guy like Tyler Spurgeon, who has a better chance at an NHL career but probably won’t be a particularly special player if he does make it.

The other thing that I do is draw extensively on my AHL Quality of Competition rankings, which give us a better idea of which low-offense types are being elite AHL checkers and which ones are just being AHL grinders. For instance, Ryan O’Marra, who Prendergast tossed under a bus in his interview the other day, was frequently praised during the year as a shut-down player by Oilers’ brass when it was obvious from his QualComp numbers that he was playing on the fourth line.

There are two more big drop-offs at about the #17 and #25 slots. Players below #17 are real long-shots, and players below #25 are probably write-offs at this point although one or two may surprise.

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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 6zeppelin6
April 25 2009, 11:43AM
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I thought Omark signed in Russia?

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#2 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 11:51AM
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@ 6zeppelin6:

The Oilers still own his NHL rights.

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#3 Jay
April 25 2009, 12:13PM
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How can you consider a player not property on a non-NHL deal a prospect? Ridiculous. So much wrong with this list. If Theo Peckham is your best prospect then you have issues addressing talent, you and KP.

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#4 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 12:17PM
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Jay wrote:

How can you consider a player not property on a non-NHL deal a prospect?

What are you asking here? Many players are prospects though not signed to NHL deals (one example would have been Evgeni Malkin while he was in the KHL). If you mean players like Fisher and Perugini, the fact of the matter is that the Oilers only have 50 NHL contracts to give out, so often players they're interested in but not crazy about get AHL contracts.

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#5 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 12:17PM
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Jay wrote:

So much wrong with this list.

Feel free to expand on that comment.

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#6 Robin Brownlee
April 25 2009, 12:33PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Jay wrote: So much wrong with this list. Feel free to expand on that comment.

Yes, please do. The way I read things, this list is a lot closer to how I read the organizational prospects than anything else I've seen.

That said, I'd have Plante higher than Potulny and Van de Velde and Brule would slot in above Omark, at least at this point in their development.

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#7 Boris
April 25 2009, 12:34PM
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Jay Where is it written that a prospect has to have an NHL contract. Are you saying that John Tavares is not a prospect? Peckham is a good prospect to make the NHL based on his shut down abilities and physical play.

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#8 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 12:38PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

That said, I’d have Plante higher than Potulny and Van de Velde and Brule would slot in above Omark, at least at this point in their development.

I actually struggled with those choices when I made the list. I knocked Plante down because he's playing for such a powerhouse team; it's possible I knocked hi mdown too much because he really wasn't drafted for his offense anyway.

I like both Vande Velde and Brule, and it's possible I'm rating Omark too highly. Omark's season was spectacular but he still needs to prove that it wasn't a flash in the pan, and next year will be telling. Plus of course his size will always work against him.

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#9 Archaeologuy
April 25 2009, 12:39PM
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Check what you wrote for Omark, you threw in Eberle's name. Feel free to delete this post if you fix it.

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#10 Archaeologuy
April 25 2009, 12:41PM
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I dont think ive heard of hartikainen, looking forward to seeing what this kid is all about in the future.

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#11 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 12:45PM
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@ Archaeologuy:

I'm not nearly as high on Eberle as others are; his season this year was a modest improvement on his draft year. He had a great World Juniors, but his scoring accomplishments against other teenagers aren't nearly as impressive as Omark's offensive achievements against men (and a lot of ex-NHL'ers). That said, Eberle's younger, slightly bigger, and is playing in North America so I think he's a better prospect.

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#12 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 12:46PM
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@ Archaeologuy:

Kurri was apparently raving about what a solid player Hartikainen is; it's very rare to see a player that young in a regular spot in the top Finnish league. He's big and supposedly has a lot of sandpaper to his game so if he can keep developing that scoring touch he could be a real steal.

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#13 Archaeologuy
April 25 2009, 12:50PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: no i meant that you wrote

"4. Linus Omark - The best offensive talent in the system right now, EBERLE had a phenomenal year in Sweden but is small and has never played in North America."

you called him Eberle, thats all. I'm not arguing with you at all. I completely agree with you on Omark, although I didnt realize that Riley Nash was that good of a prospect.

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#14 Boris
April 25 2009, 12:52PM
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Jonathan, Although I don't want to speak on behalf of Arch, but I think he was talking about this....

4. Linus Omark - The best offensive talent in the system right now, Eberle had a phenomenal year in Sweden but is small and has never played in North America

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#15 Boris
April 25 2009, 12:52PM
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Man, I have to get a faster system.....

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#16 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 12:53PM
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@ Archaeologuy: @ Boris:

Thanks, guys. It's fixed now. My mistake.

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#17 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 12:55PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I didnt realize that Riley Nash was that good of a prospect.

Prendergast was surprisingly critical of him in his Pipeline Show interview; I get the feeling that the organization really doesn't like the Cornell route. My projection of Nash is dependent on him adding some weight; he's tall enough but lanky. Other than that the scouts love him and his numbers aren't bad either.

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#18 Archaeologuy
April 25 2009, 12:55PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: thats Ok. Yesterday i called the SE division the South West. At least you have the benefit of changing it. Meanwhile, i get to look like a goofball forever. EDIT BUTTON!! *shakes fist at mythical edit button*

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#19 Thunder
April 25 2009, 01:11PM
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I know Omark is a youtube sensation for his unbelievable goals, but the thing that impressed me was how strong he seems to be on the puck. Playing agains other men, he is being shoved and pushed all over the place yet stays strong on his feet. Dare I say he looks like he handles the puck like Hemmer? I guess the question to ask is how is his skating? I would love to see him come to N.A. for a year in Springfield.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szWQPoOH2Rw

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#20 Thunder
April 25 2009, 01:32PM
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Jonathan,

I found this article and it was very interesting in how they say Oilers Management may have messed up a bit on this. http://thehockeywriters.com/linus-omark-swedens-next-sensation/ I know it is tough to offer a roster spot with so many small guys already on the team with the direction to get bigger. But by removing some other smaller guys like Pouliot, Reddox or Pisani would still allow us to get bigger while having some serious talent possibilities. Does anyone know how long the KHL deal was for? Is it just there was kno way the Oilers could see it working this year or is Pendergast screwing up again with his assessments? Hopefully Tambo revamps that area of the club as well.

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#21 Smytty777
April 25 2009, 01:59PM
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JW: Great list! Of all the players on here is anyone realistically expected to challenge for a roster spot next year (outside of perhaps Peckham)?

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#22 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 02:04PM
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@ Thunder:

I believe Omark's KHL contract is a one-year deal. I also think he was passed over because he is so small; realistically, he'd be spending half a season in the AHL, maybe more.

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#23 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 02:06PM
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@ Smytty777:

Guys with a legitimate shot at making the roster: Peckham, Brule, Potulny, Reddox, Jacques

Guys with better than no chance: Spurgeon, Schremp, Stone, McDonald, Lefebvre, Hrabal, Sestito, Roy

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#24 socaldave
April 25 2009, 02:23PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Jonathan Willis wrote: Jay wrote: So much wrong with this list. Feel free to expand on that comment. Yes, please do.

Good job, Jay - I'd run and hide too, if JW and Robin called me out like that.

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#25 socaldave
April 25 2009, 02:24PM
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good shout on Brule - man, I'm excited to see this guy once he's got his stuff together. Could be a pretty sweet 3rd line addition, no?

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#26 oilerdago
April 25 2009, 03:20PM
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JW: I think Omark's deal w/the KHL is 2 years, but there's an out after year 1, when the Oil expect him to come over. Longterm, I think this could be ok as my sense it the Oilers did not want another small forward on the team next season.

I tend to agree w/your assessment's, with the possible exception of JF Jacques. Actually have to admit I was impressed with the few minutes he got this season - the light appears to have come on for him and give the long lay off, this has to be one of the pleasant surprises in an a system that did not have much going right for it this season.

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#27 Jay
April 25 2009, 03:35PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Jay wrote: How can you consider a player not property on a non-NHL deal a prospect? What are you asking here? Many players are prospects though not signed to NHL deals (one example would have been Evgeni Malkin while he was in the KHL). If you mean players like Fisher and Perugini, the fact of the matter is that the Oilers only have 50 NHL contracts to give out, so often players they’re interested in but not crazy about get AHL contracts.

I'm merely pointing out players signed to AHL and ECHL deals are really a reach to be considered prospects and not projects. IMO, a shorter list is really in order. Having a player on a PTO or an ATO as a prospect is silly. And correct me if I'm wrong. Any player can be a prospect in any league if there's some connection or affiliation. Why isn't Aaron Sorochan on the list? Jonas Gustavsson? Brian Ross? Floyd Whitney? Ok, Floyd is retired. Or Shane Willis is less of a prospect than Jeff Lee? Willis misses the list on an AHL deal and Lee makes it with a ATO? There's a consistency gap.

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#28 Archaeologuy
April 25 2009, 03:46PM
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@ Jay: last time I checked Jonas Gustavsson had absolutely no affiliation with the Oilers, so how could he be considered one of their prospects?

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#29 Jason Gregor
April 25 2009, 03:47PM
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JW,

After conversations with many people who watched the Falcons, Cody Wild is no where near the talent of Chorney right now.

The +/- of Chorney was awful, but most of that was in the first half of the season. Biggest knock on Wild is his hockey sense. Chorney is much closer to being NHL ready than Wild. I got that from five different scouts and coaches in the AHL.

And JF Jacques will make the Oilers next season. I'm not sure if your rankings weighed in what type of NHL player the prospects would be, but if it is based on who will play the soonest, then he has to be in the top two. If it is overall potential then I understand why he isn't a top ten.

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#30 Jay
April 25 2009, 03:49PM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

I would debate the inclusion of Lee and the exclusion of Willis as glaring. But, a 50 man list is over-reaching. I too would debate the ranking of several players. Peckham as a #1 prospect I think is ridiculous. He's going to struggle to be an every day NHLer, really should be behind a few guys in the system for defenders nevermind forwards. Surebet? Where's quality and projection? Stone maybe taking some time to develop, but he's probably the 4th best forward prospect the organization has at this point. I think Dubnyk is a much overrated prospect, as many of the Oilers prospects are and would not have him in the top 10 or 15. And is Deslauriers suddenly not still a prospect, with his 540 minutes played? Not Willis with 174 games? Nor is Nash ahead of Brule? If we had Rick Nash sure. And not to make this post 7 pages long would rate many players elsewhere. Really who wouldn't.

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#31 Jay
April 25 2009, 03:52PM
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@ Archaeologuy:

Why not, they are interested in him. He's barely less a prospect as Jeff Lee and his ATO.

Hell why is Dragan Umicevic not there? Over Mat Glasser?

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#32 Archaeologuy
April 25 2009, 03:55PM
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@ Jay: Well why dont we just consider Tavares as the Oiler's best prospect?

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#33 Jay
April 25 2009, 04:10PM
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@ Archaeologuy:

I couldn't disagree with you. But, in this list is does seem to either included drafted players under 20 and not undrafted players under 20. So I would have to say no.

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#34 Jason Gregor
April 25 2009, 04:16PM
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Jay wrote:

Stone maybe taking some time to develop, but he’s probably the 4th best forward prospect the organization has at this point. I think Dubnyk is a much overrated prospect, as many of the Oilers prospects are and would not have him in the top 10 or 15

What do you like about Stone? Eberle, Brule, Nash and Jacques are automatic better prospects at this point. What Stone will be is depth for team in case of injury, nothing more.

As for Dubnyk what makes him so overrated. He was their best player in Springfield by a mile for the first 50 games. He fatigued a bit, and he has to cut down on the soft goals, but what makes him overrated?

And because the Oilers are interested in a free agent, Gustavsson, doesn't make him a prospect. The Oilers are one of ten teams that are talking to his agent. I would agree that 50 prospects is too long, because in reality in the next five years from today maybe ten of these guys will be regulars.

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#35 Chris
April 25 2009, 04:17PM
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I look at this list and shudder... There currently isn't a lot for Oiler fans to look forward to.

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#36 Mike76
April 25 2009, 04:20PM
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McIntyre is on a two way deal. He does not make the list when Lefebvre does?

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#37 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 04:20PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

It's a combination of what kind of career I expect the players to have and the likelihood of them having it. I agree that Jacques is much closer to the NHL roster than some people above him on the list.

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#38 Archaeologuy
April 25 2009, 04:21PM
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@ Jay: I wasnt being serious.

You cant include people that the Oilers dont have the rights to as prospects of the organization. It's absurd.

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#39 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 04:21PM
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@ Mike76:

Because MacIntyre spent the entire year on the NHL roster. Lefebvre spent the entire year in the AHL.

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#40 Jay
April 25 2009, 04:26PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

I'm no fan of Dubnyk I think he's big, but slow side to side and prone to weak goals regardless of playing time.

I think you know that Gustavsson was used in jest.

Stone? He's a veteran, developed in the minors. He's big and phsyical and has touch. And he's only exceeded by Brule in terms of readiness, IMO. 4th line type role player, I'd but him over Jacques. Wouldn't you?

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#41 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 04:27PM
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@ Jay:

Willis is ancient and has no possibility of making the NHL roster. He's not a prospect, he's a career minor-leaguer.

And is your anger seriously because the list is too long? You're upset that there's too much information?

More than 40 players on that list obviously prospects, and I wanted fifty so I included guys like Lee and Van Buskirk. I wanted to do an exhaustive list of prospects in the system and that's what I did. If you want to bicker order, that's fine, but if you're seriously upset because there's too many players on the list you need to take things less seriously.

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#42 Jay
April 25 2009, 04:28PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

If he's not a full time NHLer is he not by definition a prospect?

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#43 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 04:31PM
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Jay wrote:

He’s big and phsyical and has touch. And he’s only exceeded by Brule in terms of readiness, IMO. 4th line type role player, I’d but him over Jacques. Wouldn’t you?

Ryan Stone has put up .636 PPG in his AHL career. J-F Jacques has put up .699 PPG in his AHL career.

On top of that Jacques is bigger and a better skater. Why would you put Stone ahead of him?

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#44 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 04:32PM
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@ Jay:

Tony Hrkac just came out of retirement. When you list of Minnesota Wild prospects, feel free to include him.

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#45 Jay
April 25 2009, 04:32PM
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Anger? That's silly. Seriously are you offended??

Willis is 32. Bjurling is 30. 31 the limit in being washed up and a career minor leaguer\playing in Europe?

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#46 Chris
April 25 2009, 04:55PM
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You would think that after years and years of hovering near the top of the NHL Detroit would start to look a little thin prospect wise... How do these players compare to what the Oilers have in the pipeline?

1)Jackub Kindl. D. 6'3" 200lbs. Blue Chip Prospect. All the tools to be a top pairing NHL D-man 2)Brendan Smith. D. 6'2" 184lbs. Another blue chip prospect. Tremendous offensive upside. Recorded 6G 14A in 16 OPJHL Playoff games in 2007 3)Daniel Larsson G. 6' 170lbs. 2008 SEL Rookie Of The Year. 2.29GAA .921 SV%. (Better than Dubnyk) 4)Jan Mursak. LW. 5'11" 167lbs. Small and skilled. Unlike Schremp/Omark has tremendous speed. More than a point/game guy last season with two differnt teams in the AHL. 5)Justin Abdelkader. LW. 6'1" 215lbs. October 2008 AHL Rookie of the Month, 2007 Frozen Four Most Outsatanding Player, etc, etc.

*screaming angrily waiving a gun in the air*

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#47 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 04:55PM
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@ Jay:

It's a judgement call on everybody. Goaltenders get more leeway for age than anyone else, then defensemen, and lastly forwards; since I think that's the reverse order of how long it usually takes them to develop.

Willis has, IMO, no shot at an NHL job. He was an occasional healthy scratch and didn't perform all that well. Bjurling has very little shot at an NHL job, but if he plays lights out in Sweden next season there's a chance he could come over.

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#48 Jonathan Willis
April 25 2009, 04:59PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

The +/- of Chorney was awful, but most of that was in the first half of the season. Biggest knock on Wild is his hockey sense. Chorney is much closer to being NHL ready than Wild. I got that from five different scouts and coaches in the AHL.

Fair enough; I spent a lot of time on trying to decide what order to slot them in. What eventually made me decide was how peoples plus/minus went when they were paired with Chorney- Roy got that role off the start, and the two of them sank together. Peckham's and Wild's both looked much worse with him than apart from him.

Five coaches/scouts is a lot, though.

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#49 Jason Gregor
April 25 2009, 05:23PM
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Jay wrote:

Stone? He’s a veteran, developed in the minors. He’s big and phsyical and has touch. And he’s only exceeded by Brule in terms of readiness, IMO. 4th line type role player, I’d but him over Jacques. Wouldn’t you?

Not a chance I take him over Jacques. Stone can't skate near as well as Jacques, he isn't nearly as tough. Jacques finally understands what he needs to do to stay in the Show. When he fought Parros he sent a message to the organization that he is finally ready to do whatever it takes to stick. He also has the ability to make the big hit, and now that he finally scored last year, I think he will relax and could be a solid 8-10 goal scorer, which would be great on the 4th line.

Stone, if they re-sign him, will be a depth guy for this team, but I don't see him ever becoming a regular. Jacques beats him in every intangible area.

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#50 Jason Gregor
April 25 2009, 05:30PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Fair enough; I spent a lot of time on trying to decide what order to slot them in. What eventually made me decide was how peoples plus/minus went when they were paired with Chorney- Roy got that role off the start, and the two of them sank together. Peckham’s and Wild’s both looked much worse with him than apart from him. Five coaches/scouts is a lot, though.

The downfall of trying to figure out how how players are developing is the lack of games on TV. I can't force myself to watch games on the web, so a lot of the time we can only go on stats. The stats do give a pretty good assessment, because who cares how the guy scores as long as he scores. That is why I call the scouts and coaches, because they get to see the guys and can give us a bit more insight into the intangibles of players. And it is interesting how even scouts who watch these guys regularly will have vastly differing opinions on certain players.

We could have a great debate on here if we picked ten players we think will play more than 30 games for the Oilers in the next five years. Because we both know that if 20% of this list eventually make it that will be a high number.

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