Oil Futures: Plenty on Display at WJ’s

It’s safe to say that the Edmonton Oilers have already had a major impact on the World Juniors this Christmas. Taylor Hall and Magnus Pääjärvi  are not scheduled to appear (their tour is on the left coast), but the future of the Oilers will be on display in Buffalo.

There are two Oiler prospects on the Canadian roster this Christmas. We’ve been spoiled over the last couple of years because Jordan Eberle made this is personal stage; Eberle’s WJ career is probably the most famous in the history of the tournament. His heart-attack goals with no time on the clock will be remembered forever.

  • Olivier Roy showed well in the summer evaluation camp and was splendid in goal in the pre-tournament against Sweden. He will find out if he’s the starter tomorrow evening, and it looks like a 50/50 bet at this point in time.
  • Curtis Hamilton is having a fine season with Saskatoon of the WHL. He has moved up the depth chart at this tournament, and is getting some solid PK time. His range of skills make him a regular on a solid forward group for team Canada.

Magnus Pääjärvi is an NHL rookie this season, so won’t have a chance to represent his country at the World Juniors. Team Sweden is a strong contender though, with an Oiler prospect front and center:

  • Anton Lander is playing in the SEL (30gp, 7-7-14 E) and is the captain of Team Sweden for the World juniors. He’s not a flashy player like Pääjärvi , but plays a sound positional game and is regarded as a quality 2-way center.

The Edmonton Oilers have been blessed with many Finns over the years. One of their prospects will represent Team Finland this week.

  • Toni Rajala is a very skilled winger. Sublime passer and puck handler, size is his issue but the young man has plenty of gumption. His SM-Liiga season has been average, and I’m looking forward to seeing how well he plays this week. A fun player, he’s always near the action.

The Edmonton Oilers have a young prospect who could be special representing Slovakia this Christmas.

  • Martin Marincin’s scouting report suggested a possible shutdown defenseman but few predicted the offensive kicker he’s suppled in the WHL. Marincin is killing it for Prince George, among the league leaders in boxcar numbers for defensemen (1st) and rookies (2nd). Last WJ’s was impressive for him, this one should see him deliver at a higher level.

NOTE: There are still decisions to be made (injuries, etc) so stay tuned. The players listed here do represent the cream of the Oilers prospect list at the teenage level (leaving aside Hall and Pääjärvi ).

Up next: The players (by team) we should be watching for relative to the 2011 draft. There are some outstanding prospects this year.

  • EasyOil

    Hope the Oilers prospects do well at the tournament, they all have the potential to be stars on their teams, though I suspect that Hamilton will be the least heralded due to the nature of his role.

    LT, what are your thoughts on Pelss, who just finished the Div.1 WJCs with 2G and 2A in 5 games – despite being ejected for most of the first game – and helping Latvia back into the top level of competition? (he set up the GWG in the final)

    Also, how nice a season is Drew Czerwonka having?! For someone who was deemed to be even worse than the Abney pick, he really looks like he can actually play the game… Another Stortini maybe? He might be benefitting from a strong Kootenay team but he clearly isn’t being left behind…

    Hesketh on the other hand… such a disappointing season for him, thought out of many of our 2009 picks he could be a real steal…

  • EasyOil


    I have not seen anyone argue the Czerwonka pick was “worse” than the Abney pick.

    It would be a tough argument to make, given that Abney was selected 3 rounds earlier with a couple of pretty decent prospects taken right around Abney’s number.

    Abney – 82 OV

    Connauton – 83 OV
    Eakin – 85 OV

    • EasyOil

      I’m afraid I cannot provide any sources, but I distinctly remember the draft coverage provided by various blogging sites (here, C&B etc.), and many commentors too, saying he looked as though he was in the same bubble as Abney (all size, no skills). True, it was an initial reaction, but all the same he was mentioned in the same breath as Abney. But as LT mentioned, it didn’t matter because 166 OV is where you’re supposed to draft these guys and Drew is clearly miles ahead of covering the bet.

      Of course, I may have dreamt it. You’ve made me doubt myself now. But yes. Look at Drew.

  • Ducey

    Bad news for those in the “Arson for Larsson” set,

    Buffalo just lost Derek Roy, their leading scorer, for the season. The Sabres are only up 2 points on the Oilers despite playing more games.

    Also, Parise is out longer than expected.

    The Oilers might wind up finishing last in the west but 7th or 8th worst overall due to the block of struggling teams in the East.