The Edmonton Oilers are over a week away from the beginning of their regular season, but their prospects are getting started in junior and Euro leagues. Early returns are very encouraging.
2013 ENTRY DRAFT
- Darnell Nurse remains in Oiler camp, impressing everyone with his exceptional play. Likely to be sent down in the next few days.
- Marco Roy has an injury so will miss the weekend Q games for the Armada. He enjoyed a solid training camp and should post good numbers in junior this year.
- Bogdan Yakimov is 6, 1-3-4 in the KHL and has a faceoff percentage of 68.8%. It’s early, but the 18-year old is doing well in one of the best leagues in the world (he’s posting that offense on 9.5 minutes a night).
- Anton Slepyshev is 6, 0-0-0 and struggling so far in the KHL, and doing it in 9.5 minutes a night. He has 5 shots on goal, but needs to post some crooked numbers.
- Jackson Houck had some injury issues in TC but is playing tonight for the Vancouver Giants in their WHL season opener.
- Kyle Platzer backed up his impressive training camp with 2 goals for London in their first OHL game tonight. It’s way too early to get excited, but he’s certainly showing up early and often in good ways.
- Greg Chase was one of the few Hitmen who showed up against Edmonton tonight in their season debut, he was physical early and scored two goals as he ignited a comeback late. A player to watch all season long.
2012 ENTRY DRAFT
- Mitchell Moroz had a good training camp with the Oilers, scoring a goal against the Jets in the game before he was sent down. With the Oil Kings, Moroz has been elevated on the depth chart, playing on the big line and scoring a PP goal. Moroz may finally get a chance to play on a skill line all year, after two seasons on the checking line.
- Jujhar Khaira has been injured but will play for the Oilers against Vancouver tomorrow night at Rexall.
- Daniil Zharkov has a goal in 6 KHL games, playing 8.5 minutes a night.
- Erik Gustafsson has no points in three SHL (Swedish Elite League) games.
2011 ENTRY DRAFT
- Oscar Klefbom has performed well but looks shy of an NHL job at this point.
- David Musil, Travis Ewanyk and Martin Gernat showed some nice things in main camp but are now heading to OKC for their AHL training camp and minor league assignment.
- Frans Tuohimaa has played 1 game, allowed 1 goal and has an insane .954SP in the SM-Liiga so far this season. That won’t last, but it’s worth noting.
2010 ENTRY DRAFT
- Tyler Pitlick has been solid in pre-season for the Oilers, and may actually be in the extended mix for 4th line employment. If he can build on the momentum–something he’s been unable to do in previous seasons–there may be a chance to salvage a career.
- Martin Marincin is coming off a very good AHL season and has shown plenty of quality in pre-season. Likely one year away, he is on track for NHL debut some time this season.
- Curtis Hamilton same old same old, injuries have impacted his pro career all down the line.
- Ryan Martindale showed flashes during training camp, he seems to be more impressive in TC than at any other time during the year.
- Tyler Bunz was not impressive during pre-season, and had a poor year in 12-13, but goalies develop in very strange ways. He’s still a prospect.
- Brandon Davidson has overcome so much since turning pro it’s tough to believe he’s only entering his second season at that level. Turned some heads during training camp.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Miles and miles to go, but these kids are playing hockey for keeps. The long process of proving value to the NHL parent team is underway for another year. It looks very strong along the blue, with some interesting forwards. Goaltending is an area of great need for Edmonton, something that will no doubt be addressed in the months to come.
I’d count Klefbom, Marincin, Nurse, Yakimov, Chase and Platzer as players who are showing well early.