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.

  • Crackenbury

    LT,

    Don’t forget that even if they acquire another d-men in the Souray deal they can always push Strudwick up front. It’s not ideal, but it gives them options in case one of the kids isn’t quite ready and needs some time in OKC.

  • Skidplate

    Craig Anderson stood on his head..

    Kyle Quincey had an outstatding breakout season

    Stastny, Duchene, O’Reily are a legetimante 1,2,3 centers…

    Comparing the Oilers to last years Avs is an insult to the Avs.

      • Crackenbury

        So exactly where was I wrong in regards to the Avs last season?

        Matt Duchene will be the Avs #1 center before the next Olympics and O’Reilly is a perfect #3 Center…

        @ $500 000 Kyle Quincey played about 24 minutes a night…

        Craig Anderson was out his mind last year.

        The Oilers 2010 won’t catch anyone off guard.

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          Not so much that post, more just you in general.

          Anyways, their is some similarities between the two clubs, an infusion of young talent for one. Now a suprise performance or two and who knows.

  • Skidplate

    Am I wrong or is Hemsky’s injury similar to Horcoffs’s? If so, I think we can forget about Hemsky being healthy or anywhere near his best this season.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    The huge question mark right now is goal. Depth in defense, and C/RW are issues, but running out the three-headed monster and having Khabi not play or go down to injury makes this a lottery team. If it were intentional, one might call it the L.A. model for a rebuild.

    But JDD/DD for even a couple weeks will be enough to kill any playoff hopes, I think–even if we add a couple vets at C/RW and defense.

    • striatic

      No where is LT’s blog did he say the Oilers would make the playoffs, all he said is if a few things were to happen they might make the playoffs.
      Whats the deal with you NATE ? Can’t you friggen read or understand what you read all you do is whine and complain about everything,all your fancy e-mails on the radio and all your fancy posts on the internet,trying to make it sound like you know everything about the Oilers and hockey and how they should rebuild the team.
      Well let me tell you something ASSWIPE! your not the only one with an opinion but the difference is most of us listen to others and understand what we read and hear.So why don’t you get a clue.

      • Dear Tool,

        Read the VERY LAST SENTENCE from the blog.

        “If they took the time to address #1 G, RH 2-way C and a veteran RW this team could make the playoffs.”

        Seriously.

        That’s where LT suggested it could be possible.. Now that we’ve confirmed I infact read the blog. Eat it.

        I listen to others, it just so happens that I’m right more often than most of you hacks.

        • Crackenbury

          It’s kind of funny and interesting to note that after telling us all how much more right you are than the rest of us hacks that you’ve admitted twice just on this page and article alone about being wrong.

          (ie: check post #161 and #173)

          LOL

          • Maybe I’m thinking out of the box but I value a players performance in the playoffs over the regular season which is why I said Getlaf was the Ducks #1 center when they won the Cup.

            Stortini was fawn his first year in the NHL.
            Dude’s come a long way ..

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            Nate, please stop right there…you’re going to dig yourself a hole…

            This thinking of valueing a players performance in the playoffs over the regular season is going totally against your thought process of Seguin over Hall.

            Quit while you’re ahead

          • Chris.

            Seguin’s 26 points in 20 playoff games isn’t terrible.

            Do you realize that Toews hasn’t scored 70 points in a regular season yet but how valuable he is?

            Taylor Hall will probably be an 80 point player eventually which is fantastic but centers are more valuable.

            Seguin at 68 points is more valuable than Hall’s 80-85

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Sorry Nate but I believe it’s the opposite…#1 centers have more opportunities to produce points than do #1 wingers.

            If you have an 80 to 85 point winger then a center of equal talent should produce more than that…

            So I would disagree with your assessment that a 68 pt center is equal to an 85 pt winger…

            It’s actually the other way around

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Hmmm, don’t remember saying I would take Kane over Toews…show me where I said that.

            Like you mentioned before…I’ll take the guy who peforms in the playoffs, the guy who wins…who is there when the chips are down…who is proven to bring it when the game gets more pressure packed..

      • Bryzarro World

        We can’t really blame him on his views… for this we will have to lay the blame on his parents. They chose to stay together even after they found out they were related. Nate is the result of that union so I just ignore and pity him.

  • Crackenbury

    The Oilerdon’t have a true #1 goalie, #1 Center, or #1 Dman…

    Start the parade!

    Saying Hemsky’s going to need a healthy is an understatement..

    Since the lockout Hemsky’s missed 96 games to Souray’s 103….

    Not much seperating the two but a bandaid perceptions..

    Oilers =25th overall

  • Crackenbury

    Spezza would look good in that lineup. Is that horse dead after the Senators paid out his bonus? Are teams not allowed to send money back as part of a trade anymore?

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    LT, I think you mean that Fraser can help on the PK (unless I’m missing something).

    I remain very doubtful of playoffs – we just don’t have the defensive jam to compensate for the first-hand learning that the kids’ll be doing.

    To be an Oilers fan is to dare to dream, though, so… you never know.

  • Bar Qu

    I would prefer not a playoff team, but entertaining hockey and a 25th place finish.

    There is lots of goals going both ways based on what we see here – I can’t see a Vandermeer-Strudwick pairing being much help to JDD in keeping the puck out of the net and Hall is going to finish some of those sweet PP passes from either Hemsky or Gagner.

    Traditionally the Oil have iced a team with fatal holes in the line-up and perhaps this year they continue that tradition. But it is nice to see this line-up is significantly better than the one iced last year so a little bit of hope is not undue.

  • Bar Qu

    yeah, i believe playoffs if they had solid options at the positions mentioned. why not? if you ride good goaltending and everyone plays a system correctly anything is possible in this league.

    health is the biggest issue. Hemsky needs close to a full season, Horcoff needs to bounce back and the Defense needs to keep shots to the perimeter (along with improved special teams play). long list to make the playoffs but i guess we’ll have to wait and see how this roster looks along with everyone elses to make a final read. hell, if the Avalanche made the playoffs last year…

  • Crackenbury

    Wow, a playoff team? DO you really think so?

    I figure 11th or 12th and a shot the year after. Too many holes this season. Smid and Foster as the second pair doesn’t do much for me.

    Not done yet though, I guess we’ll see what Souray brings and I presume Cogliano is done too. Those two might bring a little to shore up the roster.