October 26 2013 07:29PM
The Edmonton Oilers farm system is developing players, but most of the top end Barons prospects currently are defensemen. With today's injury to Tyler Pitlick, the club's minor league system is perhaps primed for a 'defenseman traded for a forward' deal that addresses the club's need for more skill forwards. Who should it be?
In last night's Oklahoma City Barons game, the club lined up like this:
- L1: Anton Lander (prospect) between Linus Omark (former NHLer trying to get back) and Matt Ford (29-year old career AHLer).
- L2: Joel Broda (minor league prospect) between Andrew Miller (new college signing) and Derek Nesbitt (31-year old quality AHL veteran)
- L3: CJ Stretch (24-year old pro trying to get a foothold in AHL), Austin Fyten (22-year old new pro) and Justin Maylan (just signed ECHL player)
- L4: Travis Ewanyk (prospect in 1st pro season) between Kale Kessy (same as Ewanyk) and Erick Lizon (minor league enforcer).
The Oilers have several Barons on their roster due to injury (among them Pitlick, Ryan Jones, Ben Eager and Ryan Hamilton) and of course Curtis Hamilton remains on the injured list.
THE DEFENSE IS LOADED
(Phil Larsen. Larsen and Gernat photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)
All the while, the blueline boasts impressive quality and depth. Phil Larsen and Taylor Fedun are callups at the ready, and Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin and Brandon Davidson (who was in fact recalled earlier this season) are all working toward their NHL dream (Jon Willis talked about Klefbom being close earlier today).
Beyond that, first year pro's Martin Gernat and David Musil are developing in the AHL, and men like Dillon Simpson and Erik Gustafsson may turn pro this fall.
On the blue, it's a helluva pipeline.
OMG, ANOTHER LOWETIDE TRADE!
Hold on for a second. The Oilers have too many defensemen, we've talked about that in the past and it remains true. We saw evidence the other night when Phil Larsen played forward, and at some point the Barons are going to need their players back--or a trade could happen.
Legit prospects do get traded for each other in the minor leagues--the Oilers have dealt Cody Wild, Danny Syvret and others in this manner--and I do think we might see that kind of trade in the near future.
Defenseman for forward. It just makes sense.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Probably nothing--I predict about 100 trades a year that don't happen--but the Oilers organization is running on empty for depth at the forward positions.
Something's gotta give.