Every new season brings us a fresh batch of surprises (good and bad) from the prospects bubbling under. This season, Edmonton, Calgary, Sault Ste. Marie and faraway Neftekhimik are sending good arrows, while the down arrows come from Quebec, Vancouver and Californa. How good are these kids? Let’s have a look. 


Bogdan Yakimov is a KHL regular as a teenager, and is productive too! He leads the up arrows group along with Greg Chase and Mitchell Moroz.

  1. Greg Chase 16, 13-9-22 (WHL): 8th in league scoring, 4th in goals and he plays the game like Bobby Clarke. That’s a good set of arrows! Let’s not go crazy here, but Chase early on looks like an incredible draft steal.
  2. Darnell Nurse 13, 3-12-15 (OHL). Big, tough defender is enjoying a strong season, and his boxcars are improved due to added powerplay time. The news I’m reading is all good across the board.
  3. Mitchell Moroz 16, 12-6-18 (WHL). A very strong start for the 19-year old, who finally got that one month audition on a top scoring line and delivered in spades. A sign of progress? People lamenting his trips to the penalty box for fighting because it takes his goal scoring away for 5. That’s a terrific arrow.
  4. Bogdan Yakimov 19, 4-4-8 (KHL). This is a big man who is playing his first KHL season and posting numbers with 3line playing time. A very strong arrow.
  5. Tyler Pitlick 3, 1-0-1 (OILERS). Yesterday represented the highest high (goal!) and the lowest low (knee injury, Jeebus) for this player. On the positive end of things, he parlayed a strong pre-season and AHL early year into an NHL opportunity and took advantage of it. Many, many people who had been detractors for a long period began to soften their stance toward this player. Hopefully, he gets a chance to build on what he’s done.
  6. Oscar Klefbom 9, 0-1-1 (AHL). The boxcars are never going to tell the story, but everyone who has watched him in OKC suggest they wouldn’t be surprised if he gets recalled soon. Our own Jonathan Willis is quickly becoming the gold standard in terms of the Barons info, and he says " if he keeps playing the way he has, he’s going to earn a spot with the Oilers." Story is here.
  7. Anton Lander 8, 2-4-6 (AHL). Playing well, getting good reports, has been named captain and got a recall to the NHL. I don’t think there’s any way to call this a subpar start.
  8. Dillon Simpson 4, 0-1-1 (NCAA). As with other defensemen of his type, the crooked numbers are not reflective of ability. Reports have him stepping up in minutes and in difficulty of opponent, and he’s now the captain. His team has struggled a little at the start of the season.
  9. Taylor Fedun 10, 1-3-4 (AHL). I think he’s NHL ready, and probably better than one or two of the guys the Oilers are playing in the NHL. We’ll see, but when the shakeup comes I expect he’ll be in the NHL.
  10. Teemu Hartikainen 20, 6-9-15 (KHL). Enjoying a strong first season in the KHL, it cannot be lost on the Oilers that he’d come in damn handy if he were on their North American roster.
  11. Linus Omark 10, 7-4-11 (AHL). Did not impress in Edmonton and had a slow OKC start, but 4 goals in one game this weekend confirm this guy can shoot lights out in every league not named the NHL. Since the club has recalled about 5 wingers before him, Omark is extremely likely to be in another organization in the next months.
  12. Kellen Jones 7, 2-6-8 (NCAA). I have no idea if he remains in their plans (a new GM means reject all signals) but Jones is having a very nice start.
  13. Phil Larsen 7, 1-6-7 (AHL). Looks good, very good in the AHL and one wonders when he’ll get a recall to the NHL, or possibly dealt for forward depth. A good hockey player.
  14. Jujhar Khaira 8, 3-2-5 (WHL). Effective in a button down framework with Everett, he’d be higher on the list but a recent injury has him sitting.
  15. Martin Marincin 8, 0-1-1 (AHL). Has struggled a little and doesn’t appear to be getting the same level of offensive opportunities this year. Still, he’s a big, mobile defender knocking on the NHL door and has been healthy and working on consistency.
  16. John McCarron 2, 0-4-4 (NCAA). Easily forgotten, but the big man is enjoying a very nice start.
  17. Olivier Roy 2, 2.53 .921 (AHL). Early, not enough data, but that’s a nice start for a guy who has almost no competition in the system at his position. If Roy can play more–say 30 games–this season,  and be effective, I think the Oilers may look at him as a legit starting option at the AHL level next year.
  18. Ryan Martindale 4, 1-2-3 (AHL). Had a terrific start to the year but injury has impacted his season. A healthy Martindale did some good things this fall.
  19. Kyle Platzer 13, 4-4-8 (OHL). Fast start and now things have slowed with the return of higher draft picks. Still, good to know he has that kind of ability and a player to watch this season.
  20. Ben Betker 14, 1-2-3 (WHL). Offense is never going to be his game, but the reports I’ve been reading are of a big defender with surprising foot work. A nice early season.


  1. Erik Gustafsson 15, 0-3-3 (SHL). It’s difficult to grade defensemen playing in Europe (their boxcars tend to be unimpressive) but I’m reading about an inconsistent season so far. His team is having a good season.
  2. Martin Gernat 4, 0-1-1 (AHL). An imaginative player with a lot of raw materials, we’re probably looking at three years at the AHL level for Gernat. Still, he’s such an interesting player, with natural ability, that even through 4 games the chatter is there.
  3. Joey Laleggia 6, 3-1-4 (NCAA). This is a player who does rely on his offense for value, and it’s been about on par or a little below previous levels. This is his third season of college, more is expected.
  4. Frans Tuohimaa 7, 2.44 .915 (SM-Liiga). Running in place compared to last season, Oilers may want to see a little more before bringing him over next fall.
  5. Andrew Miller 9, 1-3-4 (AHL). He has some nice things, but needs to show more of them.
  6. David Musil 5, 0-0-0 (AHL). A tough mark because defensive defenseman only show up when the puck is in the back of the net. However, there have been positive and negative comments so far, and we should expect that from a rookie blue in the AHL. So, keeping him here for now is the right call.
  7. Daniil Zharkov 20, 2-0-2 (KHL) He’s playing 4line minutes in the KHL and not getting killed, but he’s not scoring much either. I’ll consider that a neutral result.
  8. Brad Hunt 6, 0-2-2 (AHL). Having a tough time establishing himself on a deep Barons team at his position.
  9. Aidain Muir 8, 2-2-4 (USHL) Playing a tough, physical style and posting decent scoring numbers. We’ll see how this season rolls out, but I’m counting him as a neutral season, I thought he’d post more offense.
  10. Brandon Davidson 8, 0-0-0 (AHL). He’s been recalled once and that’s a good thing. On the downside, he’s -7 and the people I’m reading all talk about others more than Davidson. I’m unsure about him at this point.  


The down arrow list is led by injured forwards Curtis Hamilton and Marco Roy. Despite being 2nd round talents, neither player has been able to send their career north this season due to injury.

  1. Anton Slepyshev 13, 1-1-2 (KHL). More was expected from the offensive winger, his scoring slump from last year’s playoffs continues.
  2. Jackson Houck 14, 2-4-6 (WHL). The expectations were higher for Houck, whose team is off to a terrible start and him with them. Plenty of time to recover, but the -10 and boxcars have his arrows down.
  3. Evan Campbell 4, 0-0-0 (NCAA). Slow, slow start for UMass-Lowell, we don’t know TOI totals but he has 2 shots on goal. Not alot happening here.
  4. Travis Ewanyk 10, 0-0-0 (AHL). This may seem harsh, because the word we hear is he’s effective as a defensive center. However, you have to score–at least a little–and Ewanyk has been unable to get on the scoresheet. And we’re 10 games into the season.
  5. Kale Kessy 10, 0-0-0 (AHL). Like Ewanyk, it doesn’t really matter what else you bring to the game–when you’re a forward and have no points after 10 games at any level that’s a tell.
  6. Tyler Bunz 3, 3.39 .893 (ECHL). It doesn’t seem to matter what part of California he’s playing in, the results are not there for the young goaltender. He is being recalled to OKC to replace Richard Bachman today.
  7. Joey Leach 4, 0-0-0 (ECHL). He’s in tough, but can’t be happy with a California career detour.
  8. Cameron Abney 2, 0-0-0 (ECHL). He’s clearly on the lowest rung of the Oiler organization.
  9. Curtis Hamilton, injured. Not only injured, but unable to take advantage of the new opportunities made available to others in his draft class. No word on return date.
  10. Marco Roy, injured. This is an outstanding young forward unable to play. Frustrating.


It’s been a solid to very good beginning to the season. Greg Chase is the big mover here, I don’t really have a recent Oiler forward comparable (not one so deep in the draft, anyway) for how much he’s doing at such a young age. Moroz is trending, the first rounder Nurse is looking like a very strong candidate for NHL employment a year from now and there’s enough in the AHL so far to be considered progress.

Early signs? Good to very.

  • Admiral Ackbar

    Great overview on the prospects……….I’m very excited with the progress of Chase, Yakimov, Kharia, and Nurse.

    Now the question is would we be worse a team if three or four of these players were promoted to our current NHL team? I’m talking next year of course.

    • Lowetide

      I think we’ll see Klefbom and Nurse on next year’s team, pretty sure that’s true. Yakimov is becoming a very interesting player and Khaira too for the same reason (big, strong, skilled).

      Chase will spend the final year junior driving people crazy and scoring seemingly at will. I’ll tell you, we don’t have much in the database for Chase–late, late, LATE pick kicking out the jams like this.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    This organization’s a joke. A bunch of wingers go down, Omark, a winger, scores 4 goals in one game and they don’t even give him a chance, instead calling up another center? What more can someone do.. 5 goals?

  • Spydyr

    Two things:

    1)If theses kids are as good as you make them out to be how will they all have space on the big club.

    2)With this much talent in the minors why is the big club so bad?

    • Lowetide

      1. It’s a long long way from prospect status to NHL player. Still, the arrows are good imo on 20/40.

      2. Lots of reasons. Injuries, new systems, execution (I’m in favor of it), inexperience of youth, stubborn behaviour, talent, et cetera

      • Spydyr

        2)I was thinking very weak goaltending.A coach being out coached.Special teams that went for very good last year to bottom third this year.Not enough hitting.Not much grit in the top six outside Perron.Very little net presence in front of the other teams goal.A second line center that is small for a grade nine kid.A soft defence.Teammates that don’t stand up for each other.A atmosphere where losing has become expected and tolerated, et cetera.

          • Spydyr

            “the bottom line is 3-8-1 isn’t close to good enough.”

            On that I’m sure everyone can agree.Now what can be done to change that?

            How much longer does Dallas get?

            How long can Mac-T wait till he has to pick up a goalie?

            Inquiring minds want to know.

          • Lowetide

            I don’t think they fire the coach this season, they’ve done enough of that for a long while. Goaltending is tough, because in order to make a move you need a clearly better option. Anaheim might have an extra but why in hell would they send him to EDM?

          • Spydyr

            Not sure how long they can wait before doing something, anything to try and salvage this season.

            If they do fire Eakins I could see Mac-T finishing off the year behind the bench like Sather back in th day.

          • Spydyr

            Bring in Brent Sutter……..he is one hour east of Edmonton.

            This is the guy that should have gotten the job in the first place…….instead we went from Mr. Grumpy to Mr. Tactical to Mr. Motivation to Mr. Fitness.

            Now it’s time to move to Mr. Coach!

          • Alsker

            Rather see MacT finish the season doing HIS job. If a player wont/cant/ fit the system..move them!!! Doesnt matter who it is, enough of the white glove treatment, either do as your told or get lost!!!Start with all the guys who turn a blind eye to a teammate in need. You need to change the culture, rid yourself of the excuses and the BS.

          • a lg dubl dubl

            That’s been my argument too, a top tier goalie is not getting traded from any team. There isn’t much out there that the Oilers can get that would be an upgrade on DD

          • Spydyr

            Mac-T tried for the goaltending upgrade this summer.In hindsight not hard enough.IMO I cannot see him making the same mistake next summer .Unless Dubnyk finally proves he is the man and he has not done that since 2004 so that again IMO that is a longshot.

          • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

            Like you LT, I too am generally a glass is half full guy…….but In my humble opinion, I think that Spyders analysis of the make up of this team is closer to reality than your analysis…..and the ultimate advanced stat…..wins vs losses….is the evidence.

  • Lowetide

    Hopefully chase and moroz both get one more season in the whl. Hamilton, pitlick, and martindale all scored at dimilar levels, and were overwhelmed when they hit the ahl. Take the eberle approach. Give them one more year after they look ready. Nurse had better be going back too, dmen take longer, we know this.

  • Spydyr

    LT: thanks for the update, a lot of up arrows which is excellent. I’m mostly excited for Moroz, Chase and Yak#2. These 3 kids have a legit chance. They are what we need now, who knows in 3 yrs time what we will need. It never hurts to have a Alex Burrows type of player whom Chase may become. May end up being the best 7th rounder the Oil ever made. Here’s to hoping.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    The more I think about it, the more I’m wishing they took Galchenyuk. I’m sure Yak will have a great career but a 1C/2C of Nuge and Gally would look good right about now.

  • Spydyr

    give us a top end goalie and we are 6-5-1 instead of 3-8-1,lots of difference there.granted more than that needs to change,but MACT needs to start with a tender and go from there,we can have all the talent in the world and we wont go anywhere with a pair of DDs and a french LA BRA!!!!!!!!!!!!(unless were on the beach)

  • Lowetide

    Bachmans starting tonight,outa make it 9-1 kings,I am a true oil fan but its time to start posting on kijiji for a real goaltender!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Spydyr

      This just in The Kings have a just announced promo for tonight.Free sunglasses for the first 10,000 people through the gate.Not for the bright California sun but for the bright red light that will be going off behind Bachman.

      Man, the team is desperate,trying just about anything to fix the goaltending in house.If Bachman does not work is Bunz next?

      • pkam

        I wouldnt jump to that conclusion just yet. Stranger things have happened. Give the guy more starts than one before hes written off.

        Its aboit fricken time we get a little luck from the hockey gods

  • #ThereGoesTheOilers

    It’s been depressing to say the least with the start we’ve got off to, but this has got to be delusional. Fire Eakins? Yes, a fifth coach in as many years would be a step in the right direction.

    There are plenty of problems, but I fear Eakins isn’t one of them. For example, MacT probably did his utmost this summer, but fell short of achieving what all winning teams have in common:

    -Keith, Doughty, Chara, Lidstrom, Pronger, and so forth.-

    Having a legitimate #1 defensive pairing would make a world of difference. The further you look down the list of winning teams, the more abundantly clear this becomes.

    And besides, if we had some consistency in net we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  • Lofty

    You guys are crazy if you think ANOTHER coach will be fired. 4 coaches and they all couldn’t get this team going. The problem in my opinion is that our core is made entirely up of kids who are growing into their respective positions.

    Until they play like NHL regulars 100% of the time and both offensively and DEFENSIVELY this team is going no where.

  • pkam

    Fire Eakins after 12 games? We had 4 coaches in 5 years with similar result. 3 of them are NHL veteran coach, and 1 NHL rookie coach who has tons of European experience and coached an over-performing Swiss team with lot of success.

    So who is next? Brent Sutter? I don’t mean to trash him, but he couldn’t bring the Flames to playoff 3 years in a row, could he? So what happen if the team can’t make 500 in the next 12 games? Fire him and hire another coach? Obviously some poster thinks changing 4 coaches in 5 years is acting too slow. At this rate, we can have 7 coaches in one year. If 5 coaches in 6 years isn’t a Guinness World Record, I am pretty sure 7 coaches in a season would be.

    • Spydyr

      Sure, wait till the end of the season or let the next season go down the tubes too.

      If he is not working out he is not working out.It is irrelevant how many bad decisions where made coaching wise before he was hired.At this point he appears to be yet another bad decision by “the braintrust”.

  • Citizen David

    Our prospects look great! Yakimov and Kharia and Moroz are the sorts of players we need up front and Nurse and Klefbom will really help our back end. Marincin, Larson, Simpson, Gernat, Fedun, Chase, Roy, the pipeline is set to start pumping good players onto our team every year.

  • Citizen David

    Clifford deliberately stuck his knee out-no call? This league has bush league reffing that refuses to protect players-what effin bs-also where is eakins response to clifford-effin get gazdic out and pound on him-f me

    • pkam

      Perron is an absolute beauty! Put Clifford flan on hia ass!!

      MacT made a great trade there. Hopefully he does just as good with his next moves. Remember, hes less than one year on the job and inherits a team that was built terribly by Lowe then Tamby.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Yak is learning……..first goal of the season….monkey off his back….and he does a subdued…Joe Sakic type of non- celly……..

  • Wax Man Riley

    What does it all mean? After being a fan of The Oilers, I know this:

    ScarJo is amazing.

    Greg Chase has a future.* Darnell Nurse also has a future.**

    *knee injury

    **shoulder surgery