The Edmonton Oilers have been blessed with some of the finest teenagers on the planet these last three years. NHL equivalencies courtesy Gabriel Desjardins has offered clues each summer about the cold winter evenings and the young men who would score at a worthy clip. What do the Desjardins’ NHLE’s suggest for this season?

SUMMER 2010 (for 10-11)

The Oilers drafted Taylor Hall, and Jordan Eberle turned pro. Sweden’s Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson crossed the pond because he looked ready to. NHLE’s from 09-10 season, all in 82gp notation and those who played 40+ NHL games the following year are in bold:

  1. R Jordan Eberle 22-24-46
  2. L Taylor Hall 17-29-46
  3. L Magnus Pääjärvi 16-22-38
  4. L Linus Omark 20-15-35
  5. C Chris Vande Velde 13-21-34
  6. L Philippe Cornet 10-17-27
  7. L Teemu Hartikainen 12-14-26
  8. R Toni Rajala 11-15-26
  9. C Robby Dee 13-12-25
  10. C Ryan Martindale 8-16-24
  11. C Milan Kytnar 8-14-22
  12. C Anton Lander 9-12-21
  13. L Liam Reddox 9-9-18
  14. C Tyler Pitlick 9-8-17
  15. L Curtis Hamilton 7-8-15
  16. R Colin McDonald 6-5-11
  17. C Ryan O’Marra 6-3-9
  18. L Drew Czerwonka 2-4-6
  19. R Cameron Abney 2-3-5
  20. L Matt Glasser 2-3-5

Five kids who were (mostly) outside the NHL in 09-10 played a significant amount in the league the following season. Desjardins’ equivalency pegged Eberle and Paajarvi pretty well, Hall overperformed by some distance, and the other two (Omark and Reddox) didn’t play enough to cover the number. I’d say Desjardins did a pretty good job telling us what to expect from the group.

SUMMER 2011 (for 11-12)

  1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 11-27-38
  2. Anton Lander 14-20-34
  3. Curtis Hamilton 10-23-33
  4. Liam Reddox 18-14-32
  5. Ryan Martindale 13-18-31
  6. Tyler Pitlick 12-15-27
  7. Colin McDonald 19-7-26
  8. Teemu Hartikainen 9-14-23
  9. Toni Rajala 9-13-22
  10. Tobias Rieder 9-10-19
  11. Drew Czerwonka 5-11-16
  12. Ryan O’Maara 1-14-15
  13. Phil Cornet 4-10-14
  14. Kristians Pelss 5-8-13
  15. Milan Kytnar 6-7-13
  16. Chris VandeVelde 6-3-9
  17. Travis Ewanyk 5-4-9
  18. Cameron Abney 3-5-8

Desjardins identified the players who would make the NHL grade in 11-12, although Nuge’s PP prowess (which was historic for a first year player) and Lander’s 4line struggles made their estimates moot.

SUMMER 2012 (for 12-13)

  1. Nail Yakupov 18-22-40
  2. Tobias Rieder 17-17-34
  3. Kellen Jones 13-21-34
  4. Linus Omark 14-11-25
  5. Toni Rajala 14-11-25
  6. Magnus Paajarvi 7-21-28
  7. Teemu Hartikainen 10-13-23
  8. Phil Cornet 14-7-21
  9. Kristians Pelss 11-9-20
  10. Drew Czerwonka 9-11-20
  11. Daniil Zharkov 11-7-18
  12. John McCarron 6-12-18
  13. Jujhar Khaira 6-11-17
  14. Tyler Pitlick 4-9-13
  15. Milan Kytnar 5-7-12
  16. Chris VandeVelde 4-8-12
  17. Antti Tyrvainen 4-8-12
  18. Ryan Martindale 3-9-12
  19. Tanner House 4-7-11
  20. Curtis Hamilton 4-6-10
  21. Mitchell Moroz 6-3-9
  22. Travis Ewanyk 2-7-9
  23. Cameron Abney 1-2-3

Yakupov is the third #1 overall in a row and his NHLE is right there in the range. Rieder had a dominant season in junior and has surged as a prospect since his draft day. Jones, Omark and Rajala are undersized on a team with too many already, and Paajarvi/Hartikainen are side by side as usual in their efforts to establish themselves at the NHL level.

Among the other prospects, Daniil Zharkov and Jujhar Khaira score pretty well, as does older prospect John McCarron.


The Yakupov numbers pop and Rieder is an interesting player. Desjardins’ NHLE suggests both Paajarvi and Hartikainen are a little shy offensively and the Oilers once again have a plethora of undersized wingers with skill. Unfortunately, they’ve already acquired their quota.

The top end of the three year look-see (Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi, Nuge, Lander, Yakupov, Rieder) is strong. Very strong.

  • Boourns99

    Is it time to package some ‘undersized skilled forwards’ and get some size and skill up the middle? Not having a FIST line centre with size has been an Achilles heel for far too long.

    Any more rumblings in Anaheim re: Getzlaf? He’d sure look good in Oiler blue. We’d overpay, but the returns could be awesome.

  • Reg Dunlop

    Interesting article, thanks for this. However, I notice my name is not on the list. Is there no equivalency formula for table hockey?

    The quickly developing Rieder, after another year in Kitchener and one in OKC, may just solve any salary cap issues if he makes Hemsky or even Yak expendable. Hemsky will likely be history by then and Yak may well bring a substantial return.

    Nice how I have a player yet to play a game already traded. I don’t dither.

  • horndog77

    It should be no problem for Edmonton to package multiple players to some team for a centre with size or a top 4 defensemen. This team has alot of players right now and it would make sense to make trades to better this team to take a step foward.

    • toprightcorner

      I would think they want a top 4 damn first. Solidify the backed then tweak for size. Adding a big center with this backend won’t help the club get much better if we can’t keep the puck out of our own end.

      Big centre will likely be the target at trade deadline or next off season.

  • vetinari

    PLAYING GM FOR THE DAY . I make a blockbuster trade to the ISLANDERS for Tavares (main ingredient ), Reinhart and Streit – for Eberle , Whitney , Peckham , Hemsky , Gagner , Belanger and O’Mark . I believe we have the depth to make it happen and one of our top 4 would have to be sacrified .

    Who else would like to see us target Tavares ? What deal could possibly lure him away ?

    • toprightcorner

      Keep dreaming. Why would Snow be interested in injury riddled players and players that have no market value?

      Ebs out scored Taveres in first 2 years of the league so other than position, they are very close in value.

      Your also trading $22 mill (after ebs new contract) for $12 mill in contracts.

      Throwing more names in does not make a trade more desirable!

      • Lowetide

        Of our current cluster, I believe Eberle may be the best of the group. I am surprised that his name is the primary one tossed out in fantasy trades. Ebs has been clutch his entire career and is already one of the smartest, shiftiest, sniperest (Trademark :)) players in the league. We may have Sakic junior on our hands and don’t even know it. I’m not sure I would trade him straight across for Tavares at this point.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Lander? MP and TH? When will Tambo make the move to get rid of Eager and Belanger. Make way for the players that need to be here rather than the players that are not.Pelss is the player I think I will be most interested in watching in OKC this season. Rieder one more year in the OHL. The Oilers have a great corps of prospects to fill out OKC’s roster.It should be a run and gun team in OKC this year.

  • Interesting to see that 3 of our top 5 offensive forward prospects are undersized. Obviously Yak makes the team and Reider has another year of maturing before getting a look.

    Omark is trade bait as everyone knows. I have not heard a lot about the other 2. Does anyone know if they are on any other teams radar? Do they need another year to bring up their numbers and their value or would they have any value at this time. Obviously as stated we have lots of small talented players and I would not be wasting spots and time developing more small players unless they are elite talent.

    Could they be packaged and traded for a bigger prospect with good talent?

    • JDP

      Heard the rumor that a Canadain team might offer sheet him but no mention of Edmonton but I think that would be a perfect fit. It would also free up hemsky to be dealt and I would think that CLB would have a lot of interest in him. If that is the case I would think that a package with Hemsky would be looking to get a Tyutin back.

  • vetinari

    I’m waiting for when our GM decides to cash in a few of our youth for some quality veterans to fill some holes on the team.

    Frankly, I think the next phase of team development will be what makes or breaks Tambi– either he properly identifies team needs and fills them or we continually dwell in the draft-and-develop model.

  • JDP

    TOPRIGHTCORNER . Surprisingly most deals are not just a swap of one player each . Most require additional picks, futures , draft choices , etc. and additional negotiation before a deal is struck . Injury riddled players a might harsh i would say in your analysis . They all appear to be healthy coming into next season .