The Oklahoma City Barons regular season is over, and there’s a summer’s worth of interesting things to ponder. We begin by looking through the offensive numbers with Desjardins NHL equivalencies. (photos of Toni Rajala and Kristians Pelss courtesy Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved).

Gabriel Desjardins has been working on NHLE for years and Robert Vollman and others have been moving the conversation forward. I’m using Vollman’s numbers for the "23 and under" group represented on the Barons.


  1. Toni Rajala 13-21-34
  2. Teemu Hartikainen 11-17-28
  3. Phil Cornet 12-13-25
  4. Magnus Paajarvi 5-20-25
  5. Anton Lander 9-11-20
  6. Kristians Pelss 3-17-20
  7. Ryan Martindale 7-9-16
  8. Tyler Pitlick 4-8-12
  9. Curtis Hamilton 6-5-11
  • Rajala has been incredible since the lockout ended, really driving a lot of the offense and posting very good numbers. If we compare him to last year’s NHLE for Linus Omark (12-30-32), it looks like the Oilers have another opportunity to look at an undersized forward who can make things happen.
  • Hartikainen’s NHLE is up over last season (10-13-23 a year ago) as is that of Phil Cornet (13-7-20) and Paajarvi (7-20-27). I don’t think Paajarvi sees the AHL again after this season for many years, and I believe Hartikainen will get a full NHL shot in 2013-14. Will it be with the Oilers?
  • Among those who saw improvement are Anton Lander (last year: 3-10-13), Martindale (0-5-5 in 11-12).
  • Pitlick (4-9-13) ran in place and Hamilton (4-6-10) did as well.
  • Kristians Pelss–a player mentioned in the past as a possible checking forward in the NHL if he continues to develop–had a nice run before injury impacted him. Definitely a player to follow next year with OKC.

The big story is Rajala. His season at 21 in the AHL was an eye opener even if it started late. 149 shots in 46 games (3.24 per game) is a big item. And it isn’t a fluke, either: Eetu Huisman tells us the following: In ’11–12, Rajala had 4.88 shots directed at net per 15, good for 4th in SM-Liiga.


  1. Martin Marincin 5-15-20
  2. Brandon Davidson 5-9-14
  3. Colten Teubert 2-4-6

Marincin had a nice season in OKC, even accounting for Justin Schultz being his D partner for a couple of months at the beginning of the season. Taylor Fedun is 24 so not part of this look, but his NHLE is also a good one (4-10-14), and Davidson has a fine number using the Vollman ledge. We shouldn’t expect too much from Teubert offensively, and he’s about par with last season’s NHLE(2-6-8).


The Oilers "big hits" this season from OKC are:

  • Paajarvi’s continued development
  • Hartikainen’s step forward
  • Anton Lander’s offense is more reflective of his SEL numbers run through NHLE.
  • Toni Rajala, a 4th round selection in 2009 who seemingly came out of nowhere to establish himself as a legit NHL prospect
  • Martin Marincin a 2nd rounder from 2010, whose uneven season shows just how hard defensive development can be for an NHL team. Even after a full season with significant successes, we’re all agreed he’s at least a year away from being ready.

We’ve discussed the disappointments (Teubert, Pitlick, Hamilton) at length but there’s a lot of good in this season, too. As Paajarvi, Lander and Hartikainen graduate, there seems to be a gap to Marincin, Rajala and the others. There is developing talent in the AHL, and some of these young men could end up being useful pieces to the puzzle or trade assets to move the club forward. 

The names who are emerging are not the ones we expected, but there are good arrows here.

  • Klima's Mullet

    Lowetide…so happy for you in your new on air role. Great news! In other news…MacT’s prayers are being answered right now as the Oil are in tank mode…please draft a big center

      • Klima's Mullet

        Fate is so cruel and I have a feeling Drouin will be there when the Oil pick. Will we have the courage to take him (undersized super skilled winger) or will prudence prevail and we get a sorely needed big stud pivot? (MacKinnon or Barkov or Monahan)

        • HardBoiledOil 1.0

          Drouin too talented to not go any lower then third. Hate saying it when we got to many forwards, if by Miracle chance he fell to 5th where we will pick, we’d be as stupid as a monkey not to take him. I think at 4th or 5th we are looking at Monahan or Barkov, and preferably Barkov.

  • DoubleJ

    Out of all those guys. Marincin is only guy worth following. I’m a huge oiler fan, but this team is run by a jackass. There’s nothing to cheer about until MacT proves he can do something.

    The way these guys treat players is insane. Why keep Peckham on the roster? Whitney constantly getting sat. Watch whitney play great next year for a different organization. How they treated Souray. They try to bury players that they don’t like. It’s disgusting. Everything is personal to them.

    Kruger system is a joke. Makes the team way worse then they are. He needs to go or it’s going to be another wasted year.

    Why would any player want to come here and deal with this guys EGO. 6rings

    I’m embarrassed to be a fan right now.

    • Whitney’s atrocious defencively, he’s not getting any shaft by this team. I would not compare to the Souray debacle. If Whitney goes somewhere and plays a couple more levels at a suitable level that’s great. There was no shaft with him. The only thing is why did they not just trade him at the deadline. I guess that’s because the hype he was worth a 2 or 3 was overblown, and the reality was they probably could not get anything or Tambo pooped the bed.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Dave Tippett would help i’m sure. He’d certainly raise the work ethic on this club, that’s for sure.

    Krueger’s just butter soft, like the rest of his club. Nice guys finish last.

  • Muji

    You know what’s weird?

    The organization was quick to address needs in OKC (e.g. defence: Brett Clark, offense: Jonathan Cheechoo, etc.), but didn’t do a damn thing at the NHL level.

        • Romulus' Apotheosis

          Except for that part about the umbrella company hiring competent managers everywhere except for where it is supposed to matter the most you’ve got a sound theory…

          • Spydyr

            The Oil Kings, OKC Barons and the Stockton Thunder…are below the President for life. They are not worth his valuable time. Therefore he does not mess with them. The results are plain to see.

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            Indeed, except that is merely a straw man.

            The case remains. The same umbrella company has managed to run several hockey teams extraordinarily well and one (the most important one, with the most $ at stake) extraordinarily poorly.

            The fact that this successful company has found competent managers in all hockey related cases except one is a striking fact.

            The fact that this failure has been allowed to fester, while these successes continue — offering a strong standard for what success looks like internally — is even more striking.

  • Bhooradley

    Love the avatar Klima! Champions!

    As for the Oilers, I REALLY want Barkov. Nichushkin’s ascent in the rankings and our inability to score +/or prevent goals is making it seem more and more likely…

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    LT do you think McT will give Rajala a shot ??? Right now i see your list shrinking as Hartski , Lander , Pitlik , Hamilton Tuebert could all be in play as extra pieces in trades . McT will have to do package deals to get something and that means assets or draft picks along with a Gags , Hemsky , N Schultz type trades . Interesting 3-4 months coming up .

  • RexLibris

    It is encouraging that somewhere in the organization the mental faculty existed to choose Pelss over the other pending prospects last spring.

    The flip side of that is that a 7th round Latvian prospect has had a better season, by the numbers, than a pair of 2nd round picks and a “steal” 3rd rounder.

  • otter2233

    Sure hope the Oilers can select Barkov, with any luck his shoulder injury will require surgery and the decision makers can have him play 80% of next season before actually getting it done…