It’s no secret that the Oilers’ minor league affiliate in Springfield has been a disaster this season, and for that matter every season they’ve received players from the Oilers. However, like last year when players like Ryan Potulny stood out and had some success, there are players on the roster who have played well.
Since the numbers for the entire season are available in a bunch of different places, I’ve decided to focus solely on how the forwards have done in the 24 games since January 1st, to see if we can identify anyone who has turned it around. Lowetide did something similar on February 14, although he only focused on a few players, whereas we’ll consider the team as a whole.
I’ve included every forward who has played seven or more games in the table below, and projected their results over 24 games so that we’re looking at comparable time frames for each player.
Projected Statistics Since Jan. 1
|Charles Linglet – LW||24||8||14||22||0||No|
|Rob Hisey – C||24||8||9||17||-3||No|
|Liam Reddox – LW||24||10||5||15||-1||Yes|
|Colton Fretter – RW||24||8||6||14||-5||No|
|Chad Wiseman – C||24||2||12||14||-12||No|
|Slava Trukhno – LW||24||7||6||13||-1||Yes|
|Chris Minard – LW||24||3||5||8||-10||Yes|
|Colin McDonald – RW||24||3||4||7||-13||Yes|
|Bill Thomas – RW||24||0||6||6||-3||No|
|Ryan O’Marra – C||24||2||2||4||-9||Yes|
|Bryan Lerg – LW||24||3||0||3||3||Yes|
|Jason Pitton – LW||24||2||0||2||-2||No|
|Ryan MacMurchy – RW||24||0||2||2||-9||No|
|Geoff Paukovich – C||24||0||2||2||-9||Yes|
|Kip Brennan – LW||24||0||0||0||-6||No|
I personally don’t think there’s any doubt that Liam Reddox will be the first call-up if the Oilers need to add a forward. He played well with the Oilers until a Clarke MacArthur hit threw his season sideways, and he struggled in the minors for quite some time afterward, but he seems to have recovered fully now. We’re aware of Reddox’s defensive/energy abilities, but offensively he’s ahead of everyone save Linglet and Hisey – and neither of those players has an NHL contract (indicated by the far right column).
I’m confident that Bryan Lerg is done as far as the Oilers are concerned. He was a free agent out of NCAA and a good risk for them to take, but he hasn’t worked out. He’s undersized and despite his reputed defensive acumen he simply doesn’t add enough offence to care about. If I had to guess – and I’m only guessing – I’d say he takes up playing somewhere in Europe next season.
Chris Minard hasn’t been the same player since coming back from injury; he was dominant early but we don’t see that here. Of all the things Springfield has struggled with, his injury might be the most damaging.
McDonald, O’Marra and Paukovich are all similar players; big, physical and defence-oriented. They also share lousy scoring numbers and lousy plus-minuses, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Oilers elect to let all three go over the summer (with O’Marra the best bet to stick around).
Finally, Slava Trukhno has somehow put himself in contention for a post-trade deadline job with the big club. The Oilers options for a ‘warm body’ role are incredibly sparse at the AHL level and Trukhno might get a cup of coffee at some point late in the season.