The Edmonton Oilers continue to go about the business of developing talent in Oklahoma City, and their prospects are moving up and down internal depth charts all day long in an effort to rise to the top. It’s an amazing process and can change so much—even in a 30 days. Here’s this month’s update.


  1. Ben Betker 27, 2-5-7 (WHL) November run: 13, 1-3-4 and showing well. His numbers don’t reflect his overall ability, but reports have him showing well. Up arrow.
  2. Greg Chase 23, 14-11-25 (WHL). In the last month, Chase has cooled (7, 1-2-3) offensively as his entire team seems to be suffering through a massive slump. It’s my guess Chase will have another jump in performance in the next while, he’s certainly a big part of the team’s offense from what we’re reading. down arrow
  3. Oscar Klefbom 15, 0-2-2 (AHL). 6, 0-1-1 this month, the boxcars are never going to tell you the entire story with this player. I like the Jon Willis quote, the one where he said Klefbom was going to play in the NHL, but not yet. Seems about right. Status quo.
  4. Taylor Fedun 4, 2-0-2 (OILERS). He made the show! This month, Taylor Fedun’s hard work and diligence paid off with a recall to the NHL. He played well, and is back in the minors (8, 2-5-7 since last month) and having a major impact on games in the AHL. Up arrow.
  5. Teemu Hartikainen 30, 10-12-22 (KHL): 10, 4-3-7 in the last month, Hartikainen has played a lot of hockey already this season. He’s playing big minutes and getting good results, especially in the last 30 days. Up arrow.
  6. Kellen Jones 16, 7-12-19 (NCAA): 9, 5-6-11 this month, a very nice run and overall he’s having a strong season. We still don’t hear a word about him from the organization, but there’s a story here. Up arrow.
  7. Jujhar Khaira 16, 4-5-9 (WHL): 8, 1-3-4 in the last month, he’s battled injuries and has not been as effective as hoped so far this season. A big player who should be noticeable for all kinds of reasons, he had a quiet month in November. Down arrow.
  8. Anton Lander 15, 7-5-12 (AHL). He’s 7, 5-1-6 this month and looking more and more like an NHL player. Oiler fans are having a hard time understanding the reason behind Will Acton’s usage in the NHL, and part of it might be due to the need to give Lander playing time in the AHL. If that’s the plan, it appears to be working. Up arrow.
  9. Phil Larsen 8, 1-4-5 (OILERS): Made it all the way to the NHL this month, and displayed impressive offense and chaotic defense at the big league level. He’s injured now, but has earned another opportunity with the big club when he’s healthy again. Up arrow.
  10. Martin Marincin 18, 1-4-5 (AHL): Enjoyed an uptick offensively (10, 1-3-4) this month and certainly appears to be on track as an NHL prospect. Marincin is going to have to manoeuvre past some quality talent in order to get a regular NHL job before 2015. Up arrow.
  11. 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.No rank (injured)
  12. John McCarron 11, 3-11-14 (NCAA): Had an enormous month (9, 3-7-10) and is putting together a terrific season with Cornell at age 21. He has another year left, but the Oilers might attempt to sign him and turn McCarron pro next fall. Up arrow.
  13. Mitchell Moroz 24, 16-8-24 (WHL). This month (8, 4-2-6) has been up and down for both player and team, but Moroz has been able to score enough to keep pace and lead his team in goals. Played in the Subway series, outside chance at the WJ’s. Status quo
  14. Darnell Nurse 24, 8-18-26 (OHL). He’s been on fire in November (11, 5-6-11) and is stepping up in a big way. Nurse could make the WJ team, but if he misses it’s a reflection of the overall depth of the position more than any shortfall in the performance. Up arrow.
  15. Linus Omark 20, 10-9-19 (AHL). 10, 3-5-8 in November, he’s the straw that stirs the offensive drink in Oklahoma City, and one would think he’s earned a recall should the Oilers lose a skill winger to injury or trade. Up arrow.
  16. Tyler Pitlick 3, 1-0-1 (OILERS). Pitlick hasn’t played in the last month, due to an injury sustained shortly after making it to the NHL for the first time. Major blow to a player who had the look of someone who could help out on the 4line. No rank (injured)
  17. Kyle Platzer 24, 7-6-13 (OHL). 11, 3-2-5 this past month, as his playing time tanked and the boxcar numbers went away. It’s tough to blame him for lack of progress, but that’s the issue when good players are part of exceptional junior teams. Status quo.
  18. Dillon Simpson 12, 1-5-6 (NCAA). A strong month (8, 1-4-5) has Simpson looking very good for a pro contract in the spring. He’s close to graduating now, and the Oilers surely have a strong interest in getting his name on a contract in the next few months. Up arrow.
  19. Bogdan Yakimov 29, 5-5-10 (KHL). Yakimov has cooled considerably (10, 1-1-2) in the last 30 days, and part of that is opportunity and playing time. Overall, his season is certainly a success and it’ll be interesting to see if he plays for Russia at the WJ’s. down arrow.

Up arrows two months in a row: Betker, Fedun, Hartikainen, Jones, Lander, Larsen, Marincin, McCarron, Nurse, Omark, Simpson. The two college kids who are doing well offer fascinating possibilities.


  1. Erik Gustafsson 25, 0-8-8 (SHL) He’s 13, 0-5-5 this month, and that’s a very nice number for the Swedish Elite League. Gustafsson’s flown under the radar since being drafted, but this is a nice season he’s putting together in 2013-14. Up arrow
  2. Martin Gernat 9, 0-3-3 (AHL). 5, 0-2-2 this month, he’s showing flashes of good play but isn’t getting enough ice time in the AHL. This is a ghastly turn, a result of too many Oilers being sent down to OKC. Oilers need to fix it as soon as possible. Status quo.
  3. Joey Laleggia 14, 6-6-12 (NCAA). Laleggia went off this month (6, 3-5-8) and this is his third season of college, more was expected from him. After this month, I’d say he has a legit chance at a contract (although it is unlikely to come until summer 2015). Up arrow.
  4. Frans Tuohimaa 11, 3.32 .884 (SM-Liiga) He got light up in four games this month and his current numbers are poor. Plenty of time to recover, but it was not a November to remember. Down Arrow. 
  5. Andrew Miller 19, 2-7-9 (AHL). He’s 10, 1-4-5 and showing fairly well, but Miller so far doesn’t resemble a player heading to the NHL. It may take a year or so (ala Arcobello) for him to show well. Down arrow
  6. David Musil 8, 0-1-1 (AHL) 3, 0-1-1 this month and like Martin Gernat this player simply isn’t getting enough playing time for the Barons. Has played a little in Bakersfield (ECHL) but this is ridiculous. Status Quo. 
  7. Daniil Zharkov 30, 3-0-3 (KHL): 10, 1-0-1 this month and reduced playing time for the young winger. He’s playing 4line minutes when he gets them, and isn’t overwhelmed, but nothing is happening. Oilers probably want him to see more playing time next season. Down Arrow. 
  8. Brad Hunt 14, 1-5-6 (AHL) In November, he went 8, 1-3-4 and played ahead of at least a couple well regarded prospects on defense. I’m not certain the Oilers have any real plans for him, but he’s getting at-bats and that counts for something. Up arrow. 
  9. Aidain Muir 16, 5-9-14 (USHL) A nice month (8, 3-7-10) has his boxcars looking very nice, and his style (tough, physical) and size make him an interesting prospect to follow. Up Arrow.
  10. Brandon Davidson 16, 0-1-1 (AHL). 8, 0-0-0 this month and -10 overall, Davidson is still getting starts and the coach has all kinds of options—which tells me remains among the 6 best D in OKC. Status quo. 

Moving up to the positive side of things: Gustafsson, Laleggia, Hunt, Muir. I have literally no idea which of the four would be considered the most valuable prospect, but it’s a wildly different group of four.


  1. Anton Slepyshev 21, 2-2-4 (KHL). In November, the gifted Russian wenr 8, 1-1-2 which represents an improvement but is a disappointment overall. He scored 7 goals in the KHL last season, and Slepyshev is not delivering the season expected of him. Down Arrow.
  2. Jackson Houck 27, 12-9-21 (WHL). After a tough beginning to the year, Houck’s last 30 days (13, 10-5-15) has been a breath of fresh air. His goal scoring alone this month is worthy of notice. Up arrow.
  3. Evan Campbell 9, 0-0-0 (NCAA). Crickets. Down Arrow.
  4. Travis Ewanyk 20, 2-0-2 (AHL). 10, 2-0-2 this month, and he’s played well according to reports. I don’t think he’s going to show much offensively, but there might be a 4line role player here. Even role players need to show some offense, though. Status Quo.
  5. Kale Kessy 18, 1-1-2 (AHL). 8, 1-1-2 this month. Like Ewanyk, it doesn’t really matter what else you bring to the game–when you’re a forward and can’t post crooked numbers it isn’t going to work. Status Quo.
  6. Tyler Bunz 4, 3.15 .914 (AHL). All of these numbers are from November, and they’re good. Now, we need to see this over two seasons, so let’s not get excited, but a definite positive. Up arrow
  7. Joey Leach 17, 0-1-1 (ECHL). 13, 0-1-1 in Buck Owens country. Status quo
  8. Cameron Abney 6, 0-0-0 (ECHL). 4, 0-0-0. Status quo.
  9. Curtis Hamilton 3, 0-0-0 (AHL). All three games are late November, he’s back and that’s the best sign of all. Hamilton had a nice junior career, it would be nice for him to show something before his entry level deal expires. Status quo.
  10. Marco Roy. 10, 2-12-14 (QMJHL). An outstanding start to his season which was delayed by a training camp injury. Outside chance at WJ’s, enjoyed a strong start. Up arrow

Up arrows to Jackson Houck, Tyler Bunz and Marco Roy. That’s 18 up arrows (compared to 20 last month) and 11 of those good arrows managed it for two months in a row.


The Oilers added two prospects this month, Roman Horak (7, 1-4-5 with OKC) and Laurent Brossoit (3, 2.76 .901). I’ll count them as status quo for the December look.


For players like Anton Lander, Marco Roy, John McCarron and Darnell Nurse things are looking up. For others, things haven’t gone as planned, and even though there is plenty of time there’s also some urgency at this point in the season. For the men on expiring contracts who are struggling, this is a difficult time.

(all Barons photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)

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

    Good update LT …Thank You!

    It’s a long list. To think…these kids were All Stars and MVPs in Midget Triple A, and Provincial Junior Hockey Leagues. IMO we can narrow it down to 3…… Klefbom, Nurse and Marco Roy.

    The NHL is a tough nut to crack. And that is as it should be.

    Still fun to track them though!

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

    I can’t seem to find the postgame article for the Oilers vs Blackhawks game

    I wanna see Klefbom get some games in the NHL. Oilers aren’t going anywhere this year, so why not have a sneak preview? Even a cup of coffee would be cool, as I haven;t seen many OKC games this year (any actually).

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Last summer, MacT said he wanted to use OKC to develop the young players more. Unfortunately, it was not always the case, as Eager, Grebs and Jones have all been there. I fear the lack pf playing time is gonna harm the learning curve of both Gernat and Musil.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Remember all the sure things/blue chumpers the Oilers had…..Paajarvi, Lander, Omark and Klefbom 4/5 yrs ago.

    Oilers/media sure did a fine job of polishing those turds. Oilers will be fortunate if even 3 (from the list included) of those kids go onto have any sort of marginal NHL career.

  • Do what Weight did?

    Thanks LT. Is there any chance you could include each player’s position the next time you do a prospect update? Whether you can or not, I like getting a look at what’s growing on the farm. Keep up the great work.

  • Aeodhagan

    A shut-out? Wow, bring out the champagne somebody, of course, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know with good goaltending you get good results! If the Oil have this type of goalies consistently, they won’t be sitting last place in the standing! Bryzgalov, ultimately, might not be the answer, but an upgrade nonetheless!

  • Aeodhagan

    Speaking of prospects, really impressed by Greg Chase and Jujhar Khaira’s work tonight. Their line along with Morgan Klimchuk really dominated the Russians out there every time they were on the ice. Chase ended up with 2g with 3-4 line mins, and Khaira (2a) was a workhorse on the pk and pp. I think we’ve got a real Thomas Holmstrom type of player here if he can keep it up. I don’t know what kind of player we’ve got with Chase but he always seems to be in the right place a the right time.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    i absolutely HATE the Evan Campbell pick! wasted pick as far as i am concerned! when they picked him, i said to myself….who? why the HELL did the Oilers pick this guy AHEAD of Greg Chase?? i’m pretty sure this guy would have been on the board still come the 7th round, where he should have been picked, but even if he wasn’t, who cares? i know he lives in Kelowna, but this love affair Stu MacGregor has with players playing in B.C. leagues can sometimes be annoying!

    • Mike Krushelnyski

      Wow. Calm down, it’s a late round pick. Teams take flyers in the late rounds, sometimes it works out sometimes it doesn’t. This isn’t what sinks a franchise.

      By the way, we got Greg Chase…. who cares what the order is? And Evan Campbell was substantially less of a reach than Aiden Muir….

      I understand not liking the pick, but I don’t think it warrant’s capslock and exclamation points.

      As a wise man once said, “Serenity Now.”

  • northof51

    Of all the more fringe type prospects, I think that Dillon Simpson is the most intriguing. He has been trending in the right direction and has the hockey sense and pedigree that can’t be taught. If he can get a little faster and continue to get stronger, he could be a real player someday in the NHL

  • Aeodhagan

    The turnover at the NHL level this off season will open up a few opportunities. Not as many as last year but I think we’ll see at least 4-5 positions open come training camp.

    The AHL team is currently in a bit of a quandary with guys like Eager and Labarbera in the minors. Next season that will end and the Oilers will not have that issue.

    What excites me is the possibility that the Oilers succeed with IB and DD in net. Goodness the trade deadline may have the Oilers holding a very valuable piece in either IB or DD.It may be early to think pie in the sky but if IB can return to form he could be a major asset.

    With Hemsky,N Shultz and a plethora of other assets at MacT’s call the trade deadline may hold the key to bring in an asset that the Oilers could dearly use.We”ll see.

  • northof51

    L.T. Gets the UpArrow for these updates. Chase scored twice against Russia in the Subway Series last nite. One was set up beautifully by Khaira. Arrows up. Once in the pros I hope Chase continues his gritty play. With the addition of players like Chase and players like David Perron already in place, I hope I’m seeing more of a gritty, in your face group.

  • Gordie Wayne

    Hey LT,

    Great work on the article (that must have taken you forever to compile).

    Lots of good positive up arrows and really excited about Nurse, this guy is exactly what the Oilers need – can’t wait to see him in Oilers silks next year.

    One question for you, what is the status of Hartikainen with respect to his contract and whether or not he can return next year. I really wish he would have stayed because this is the year he would have been given his shot.

    • Lowetide

      I believe Hartikainen signed a 2-year deal in the KHL, but they usually have an out clause after year one. If the Oilers wanted him back, I suspect something could be done to get him released from the second year.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    so someone tell me how Evan Campbell is substantially less of a reach than Aiden Muir is? i didn’t really like ether pick to be honest, but fair points about them being later round picks and we got Greg Chase anyways.

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    Nice to see Hartikainen succeeding in the K. If he can maintain comparable offense and learn to use his size in the NHL, he could be a good replacement for Hemsky next year. Letting him go to the KHL might have been the best thing for him, development wise.

  • oilerjed

    I would like to see them send Curtis Hamilton to Bakersfield and get him some top line minutes there. To see if he can re-discover his scoring touch and build up his confidence playing bigger minutes. Two or three months and if he does well, then bring him up to OKC. If he doesn’t play well with Bakersfield then you know all you need to know.

  • oilerjed

    @ LT

    How come Martindale gets no rank for being injured and yet Pitlick gets a down arrow for the same reason? I understand the wolrd is still turning, just curious as to your rational.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Since we are looking at Kessay, I thought this little gem about Rieder would also be interesting for comparison:

    “Portland Pirates rookie Tobias Rieder has also had an incredible start to his season. Rieder missed the start of the season with a broken foot, but has not shown any signs of rust, at least where scoring is concerned. In his six games in the AHL, Rieder has scored six goals, three on the power-play. In the two games since then, Rieder continued to put up points, recording an assist in each of the contests. While his point-per-game production is likely unsustainable as the season progresses, Rieder is absolutely a player to keep on an eye on, thanks to his knack for being around when scoring happens.”

    Rieder, one could argue, is currently outperforming all of the Oilers forward prospects. Lovely.

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a thousand more times:

      I’m very skeptical that MacT makes that trade. It’s got Tambo’s stink all over it.

      I also doubt Ewanyk gets a contract under MacT.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Great write-up on the prospects………I was wondering if we have too many prospects to effectively deal at least from a development prespective.

    LT, are you aware of any NHL team that owns both a AHL and ECHL team? I coud see many advantages from a development prespective.

  • Zarny

    I always enjoy an update on the prospects.

    Mostly to think about which the Oilers should trade.

    Petry and Schultz aren’t exactly long in the tooth. A D core that also includes Klefbom, Nurse, Marincin and Simpson is very young.

    Great to see Omark doing well. The better he does the more we’ll get in return. Unless we trade a top 6 F. In that case hopefully he can fill in.