Oilers Depth Chart 2010

With the draft over and the first blush of free agency in the rear-view, this is an excellent time to have a look at the Oilers depth chart. It is striking to see just how much work is left to be done; I wonder if the Oilers want to address some of the obvious problems (G, veteran presence up front) this summer. A lottery pick becomes a distant bell with an improved lineup. It might be better to run with the kids.

Here is the depth chart (my list, your slotting may be different) but it gives us a general idea about where this team is heading. Strong roster options (based on management comments and logic) in italics.

 

GOAL

  1. Nikolai Khabibulin
  2. Jeff Drouin Deslauriers (RFA, filed for arbitration)
  3. Devan Dubnyk (RFA)
  4. Bryan Pitton

This is a mess for a couple of reasons. Khabibulin’s trial makes moving one of the kids less likely, meaning the Oilers may be forced to go with the three-headed goalie system for a time this fall. NK’s injury last season casts further doubt on the position, but if you’re the Oilers playing the two kids 60% of the time might be a way to "Denver boot" the 10-11 season.

 

DEFENSE

  1. Ryan Whitney
  2. Tom Gilbert
  3. Sheldon Souray (outcast)
  4. Ladislav Smid
  5. Kurtis Foster
  6. Jim Vandermeer
  7. Jason Strudwick
  8. Theo Peckham
  9. Alex Plante
  10. Jeff Petry
  11. Taylor Chorney
  12. Richard Petiot
  13. Johan Motin
  14. Jake Taylor
  15. Jordan Bendfeld

The Souray return will impact the depth chart, as Theo Peckham will need to clear waivers this fall. Should the club acquire a defenseman, that might spell the end of Jason Strudwick’s NHL career. I like the top pairing (Whitney-Gilbert) and if Smid-Foster can work together this team has a decent top 4D (much better than 2006 summer, as an example). If the team deals Souray for a defenseman, I’d prefer a "wide range of skills" type as opposed to a puck mover or a stay-at-home type.

 

CENTER

  1. Shawn Horcoff
  2. Sam Gagner
  3. Gilbert Brule
  4. Colin Fraser
  5. Andrew Cogliano
  6. Brad Moran
  7. Ryan O’Marra
  8. Chris Vande Velde
  9. Milan Kytnar

There’s a lot of good future here and this is a big season for the kids. If Gagner can take over some of the tougher minutes (and begin to relieve Shawn Horcoff of the heavy lifting) this position will be much better a year from now. Brule is a developing talent coming off a solid offensive season, but there’s not much evidence available to suggest he should play the tough minutes. Just so we’re clear, I have Brule listed as the #3C but would not want him near a checking-style line. Soft minutes and PP time are the ticket for him. Colin Fraser could help a wayward PK, and we should be watching Vande Velde with interest (Horcoff didn’t take much AHL time to be NHL ready).

 

LEFT WING

  1. Dustin Penner
  2. Magnus Pääjärvi
  3. Taylor Hall
  4. Steve MaCintyre
  5. Linus Omark
  6. JF Jacques
  7. Teemu Hartikainen
  8. Philippe Cornet
  9. Matt Marquardt

Not a veteran checker in the bunch, but some sublime talent. Penner is the Oilers best player based on last season’s results, and the two kids have the fanbase acting (with good reason) like the kids who saw the Beatles at Shea in 1965. This depth chart went from Penner and crap to something very special in a very short period of time. We can only hope for the same timeline in goal.

 

RIGHT WING

  1. Ales Hemsky
  2. Jordan Eberle
  3. Ryan Jones
  4. Zack Stortini
  5. Alexandre Giroux
  6. Liam Reddox
  7. Ben Ondrus
  8. Colin McDonald

Hemsky is a ridiculous talent and a healthy season from this player means the Oilers win more hockey games than a year ago. Eberle is establishing himself as a strong option, although kids listed at C and LW (Brule, Cogliano, Omark) might grab top 6 minutes. Jones and Stortini look like they’ll fight it out for 3line minutes unless the club addresses the issue (there are rumors–from Rishaug again–that Asham is a player of interest) in the next few weeks.

I usually miss a player or two, please pass along and I’ll fix later. Either way, this is a way better hockey club than a year ago if they can stay reasonably healthy. If they took the time to address #1 G, RH 2-way C and a veteran RW this team could make the playoffs.

Seriously.

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    Here’s what I got from the article: LT’s depth chart, and a bold prediction that the Oil might not suck if the cards fall right.

    Here’s what I got from reading all the comments the last 1.5 hours (good thing i got paid to do it): Nate will argue anything even if he doesn’t truly believe it but will defend anything he writes (obvious troll), Oil loc8or just wants attention, and someone pissed Archaeologuy off. Oh that and the word Horcoff was mentioned 472 times.

    • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

      In fairness I did concede to Archaeologuy that Getzlaf wasn’t the #1 center during the regular season…

      AND said I was wrong about Stortini making the NHL…

      I’ll admit when I’m wrong even though I rarely am.

      • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

        Haha, I suppose I’ll let you have that one. Even if I could almost feel the reluctance to do so. Especially after you called all of us hacks.

        For the most part the only hacks on here are the guys who feed you. There’s tons of really good posters here.

        Edit: Maybe not tons.