Oiler Prospects Still Rolling

This is Anton Lander. After returning to Sweden following the World Junior championships, Lander has stepped up his offense and might be the club’s most complete prospect outside the NHL. How are the organization’s top prospects doing so far in 2011? 

The Oilers have a plethora of prospects playing well this season. Many of them enjoyed a strong start, but it’s a long season and prospects often flag in the second half. Here’s a look at some of the team’s top prospects and their progress since January 1st, 2011.

  • Anton Lander first half: 30gp, 7-7-14 (.467)
  • Anton Lander since: 11gp, 1-7-8 (.727)

Lander has improved his level of play (including faceoff percentage) and could be a strong candidate for the big team in the fall of 2011.

  • Martin Marincin first half: 33gp, 10-25-35 (1.06)
  • Martin Marincin since: 14gp, 3-8-11 (.786)

Marincin has trailed off since the new year (he’s -6 in that time, even overall). He’s one of the few with a down arrow offensively in the second half, but his complete game remains. An exceptional prospect.

  • Curtis Hamilton first half: 31gp, 15-27-42 (1.35)
  • Curtis Hamilton since: 12gp, 2-13-15 (1.25)

Hamilton is having a glorious season, including an impressive showing in the WJ’s. He was +27 before the break and is +11 since. Crazy stuff, he’s eligible to turn pro this coming fall and there doesn’t seem to be a good reason to stay in the dub.

  • Tyler Pitlick first half: 33gp, 15-21-36 (1.09)
  • Tyler Pitlick since:14gp, 7-10-17 (1.21)

Pitlick has battled some injuries this season and started slowly. However, his offense has improved and he’s slightly ahead of his first half split since January 1st.

  • Ryan Martindale first half: 34gp, 20-29-49 (1.44)
  • Ryan Martindale since: 13gp, 10-9-19 (1.46)

Martindale continues a terrific pace offensively for the Ottawa 67’s. The downside comes in knowing he’s the number 3 offensive weapon on his line (Prince, Toffoli).

  • Brandon Davidson first half: 37gp, 5-24-29 (.783)
  • Brandon Davidson since: 16gp, 2-8-10 (.625)

Slight falloff since January 1 (two points) isn’t anything to worry over, the young offensive defenseman is having a fine season on a poor team. How he’s a plus player on this year’s Pats is a mystery.

  • Jeremie Blain first half: 10gp, 1-8-9 (.900)
  • Jeremie Blain since: 15gp, 1-14-15 (1.000)

These are very impressive numbers and one of the things we’re going to have to do over the last portion of the season is figure out how complete a game Blain plays. Is he one dimensional ala MA Bergeron? His scouting report suggests he plays a more complete game, has size and plays with an edge. We may be talking about a real gem.

Marincin, Davidson and Hamilton (all WHL kids) are off a little but they were blazing early so a little falloff shouldn’t raise alarm bells. Lander–the guy playing pro–has really stepped up his game in the SEL since the World Juniors. At this point, with so many elite players graduating to the NHL this season, you can make an argument for Lander as the top prospect in the organization. My vote would go to Marincin, with Hamilton, Pitlick and Lander in the conversation.

Everything of course will change come draft day. Next: the OKC splits.

  • Beer + Wings

    Hey LT, was at the Oil Kings game tonight, I was trying to keep an eye on Marincin, and I saw some good things, smooth skater, lots of poise with the puck, but I did notice he’s a bit of a risk taker with the puck and saw him get caught flatfooted in his end end a couple times. A couple times he took a real long time to get his shot off and the shooting lne had evaporated and resulted in a blocked shot. I’m curious to see how he’ll adjust to the pro game; no doubt he’ll further improve his skating but his riverboat gambler style could be something to watch for him to have to change in the next couple of years.

    Just wondering if you had any thoughts on the matter.

  • I like Lander, too, but from what I’ve seen, he’s going to need at least a year in OK City. He’s got to learn the North American game, as so much of his game depends on smart play.

    He’s not particularily fast or skilled, so he’s got to get it right with his read of the game and that’s going to take time to learn.

    I see tough Hartikainen as a much more likely guy for the Oilers next year.