In our second look at NHL equivalencies during the Christmas season, we’re off to Oklahoma City in order to find some signs of offense. A youngster like Travis Ewanyk (in photo) is playing 4line minutes, are there any signs he can play someday in the NHL? Let’s have a look.


I’ve started to use Rob Vollman’s equivalencies for AHL players, he staggers the number based on age. That makes sense, since a 20-year old posting a point-per-game is clearly better than a 27-year old doing the same thing. Here are the NHL equivalencies for men aged 19-22 on the Barons (per 82 games):

  1. C Anton Lander 22-14-36
  2. C Roman Horak 13-14-27
  3. D Martin Gernat 0-18-18
  4. C Ryan Martindale 6-11-17
  5. R Tyler Pitlick 4-10-14
  6. D Martin Marincin 6-7-13
  7. L Curtis Hamilton 0-9-9
  8. C Travis Ewanyk 4-3-7
  9. L  Kale Kessy 3-4-7
  10. D Oscar Klefbom 0-5-5
  11. D David Musil 0-5-5
  12. D Brandon Davidson 0-3-3

Lots of good information here. First, Anton Lander! His final season in Sweden featured some solid offense, but it’s been a miserable time for him in North America. He started to turn the corner last season when the NHLers went home, and that is continuing this season. Roman Horak is the new hire, I liked him in Calgary and believe he should get a shot in Edmonton (probably next season). Martin Gernat is beginning to emerge as a viable two-way option for the Barons, and his number at 20 is encouraging. Among the rest, I like the Marincin number but the Klefbom number suggests we might be looking at Smid-level offense from the young phenom.

(Phil Larsen. All photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved).


This group has added experience to their skill set, and so a little more air is let out of their tires using the Vollman method. Per 82 games:

  1. L Linus Omark 18-19-37
  2. D Phil Larsen 5-32-37
  3. D Taylor Fedun 5-17-22
  4. D Brad Hunt 5-16-21
  5. C Andrew Miller 6-14-20
  6. C CJ Stretch 6-11-17
  7. C Will Acton 9-5-14

No surprise that Omark posts the best number, but a big surprise that Larsen’s offense is so mammoth. Now, this is in fewer than 10 games, but the young man has been on a pace in the NHL that would put him past 30 points in a full season. Fedun is a solid AHL player looking for a chance, Hunt is intriguing and Miller, Stretch and Acton are also in photo. In that group, only Acton is a pure defensive forward, so the other two are in a little trouble as prospects.


This is the group that is either trying to find NHL work or at the end of their NHL run before heading to Europe. It’s unlikely any of this group ends up in the NHL for an extended period of time. Per 82 games:

  1. L Ryan Hamilton 7-10-17
  2. R Matt Ford 6-8-14
  3. R Derek Nesbitt 6-7-13
  4. D Denis Grebeshkov 3-5-8

Hamilton is a guy I thought might have some NHL impact, but foot speed exposed him and he had poor timing in the injury department. Grebeshkov’s skills have eroded since leaving the NHL, I’m surprised he isn’t back in Russia.


It’s a dog-eat-dog world when it comes to getting clearance from other prospects, but this season I would suggest that Barons Lander, Gernat, Marincin, Larsen and Fedun have done it. There’s a lot of defensemen on that list, but they lack experience. As has been said many times, the odds that Edmonton cashes one or two of these young men for a more experienced player is high.

The CHL, college and Euro group is here.  I’ll do a wrap up post in the coming days.

  • Concur

    From your young group I can see 2 maybe 3 getting regular time in the NHL next season. Lander, Horak and Pitlick, in that order.

    From your middle group, 3 maybe 4 with one not being with the Oilers already, in Omark, Larsen, Fedun and Hunt, also in that order, but Hunt will probably start in the AHL because his contract allows it.

    From your final group I do not see any of them finding regular time next season.

  • Lowetide

    Let’s hope for all our sakes that some of these guys pan out in the NHL. We all know how the Oilers developing skills are. We also know about their draft record.

  • Word to the Bird

    If Klefbom can only put up Smid offensive numbers, would he really be a top 2 defenseman? If you look at any blueliner that is considered a top two defenseman in the NHL, you can see that they put up at least decent numbers

    • He’s going to be Smids replacement. And he will be a decent upgrade. Not really going to be a game changer for this team, but he is the strongest defensive prospect we have. He’s also the best skater outside of Larsen.

      Klef will be a solid #4 for many years if he isn’t traded first, but dont expect him to be the difference between us and the playoffs. I’m not sure why LT uses the label Phenom. Not sure anyone other than Hall deserves that label.

  • Word to the Bird

    Klefbom is going to be a defensive D. There is nothing wrong with that. He has size and can skate and make a pass. You can eventually pair him with Justin Schultz.

    Somebody has to be able to defend and kill penalties on the D.

    That, hopefully, will be Klefbom.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    I liked some of the above mentioned players when they were drafted by us, but now I don’t see a hell of a lot. other than junior player Nurse, who was a great choice and our best hope for a star d-man in the future, Klefbom is likely the only player in OKC who could become a star. Lander appears to be a bit slow for the NHL game as does Musil, Gernat seems to have great offensive abilities, but still has a lot to learn defensively, Marincin, who I have been a fan of since he was drafted, didn’t look like anything special when he was here briefly….the rest are support players for the bottom pairing d-men/3rd and 4th line down the road. I also suspect that Abney, Hamilton and Martindale may not be in the organization next year.

    • Spydyr

      J. Schultz would look and develop better if he has a true top pairing defensive partner to help him out and show him the ropes.Unfortunately every Oiler defencman is playing a higher pairing then their abilities.

      The time is coming at the trade deadline or over the summer to move one of the kids in a package for defensive help. As the record shows the balance on the team is not right.

      My choice would be Eberle and Gagner and a prospect for a true number one point man.

      The legendary three for one coming this way for the first time since the days of Slats.

    • Not sure I agree with you on this. But I do think it’s close.

      Larsen has NHL speed, there’s no doubt about that, and he is putting up quality offense, but he seems to have a worse stick than Jultz in the d zone, and he also seems to keep having his shots blocked from the point, which often results in an odd man rush.

  • Word to the Bird

    All I want for the New Years is the boys to stop feeling sorry for themselves! I want Mac to go on an epic journey and never come back until he finds a true #1 defenceman(just like Lowe did)! And I want the misery to stop! We been circling this mountain long enough! Lets start to climb!

    • Serious Gord

      If you are referring to pronger, He pretty much fell in Lowe’s lap as the blues couldn’t afford to extend his contract under the new cap restrictions while edmonton had plenty of room.

      • PlayDirty

        That is pretty much the only way you are going to get a top d-man via trade. Don’t discredit the Pronger trade as having fallen into Lowe’s lap based on the cap – that is why and how trades for top d-men happen. There has to be some sort of extenuating factor or the team with the asset is not going to make the deal.

        As for the original post, I have a hard time buying into NHLE’s. Landner’s AHL numbers might show he is capable of scoring 36 pts but nothing I’ve seen from him in the actual NHL leads me to believe he is capable of ever scoring 22 goals.

        • Serious Gord

          You are confirming my point – that lowe didn’t really have to work or search that hard – the blue were – cap-gun-to-the-head motivated sellers. And the oil were members of a very short list of possible partners.

      • NewfoundlandOil

        But the key here is that he fell onto the Oilers lap and not another team with cap space at the time and the pieces to move.

        It is over simplistic to suggest it was a gift from the Blues. Right place, right time for sure but that is probably half an NHL trade anyway. IMO Lowe deserves credit for this acquisition regardless of the current state of the team.

        Why not just say, the Oilers acquired Pronger at the perfect time along with other players and put together a Cup run. Which is to say that perhaps they can do that again.

        As for now, identify the player and go out and get him and yes please victimize a team in the process.

        • Serious Gord

          As I recall – and it has been a very long time since the trade – Lowe was the first and maybe only GM contacted about pronger. There were essentially no eastern teams able or willing to take pronger – they either had no cap room – TO, NYR for example – or no money – Carolina, FLA etc.

          In the west St. Louis was loathe to trade to any team in their own division, the southwest had no candidates much like the eastern conference – that left just the teams in the north west who had need and the cap room – EDM had both, no one else did.

          It also bears mentioning that it was not considered a clear-cut win at the time. I came a blog post comment feed from that time and the opinions were very much split. While it was acknowledged that he was the best player in the trade, he had serious baggage – thought to be a PIA and a negative in the room and most significantly very injury prone. And several thought that what EDM sent the other way – brewer et al was pretty good. One wise commentor noted that things might be different for pronger under the new upcoming refereeing edicts that were ( and did) change the amount of body contact away from the puck.

          In conclusion – the trade has reached mythic proportions for many – giving far more credit to Lowe than he deserves and when you take away the over estimation lowes record as GM is on balance a disaster.

        • camdog

          Pronger was Lowe’s high point and low point. Got him for a song and then gave him up for about the same. Both ridiculous trades, but the panic to unload Pronger was unnecessary. Player wants trade/ player can wait for the right deal.

  • Concur


    If you are packaging Eberle, Gagner and a prospect for a #1D you are giving up too much, either Gagner or Eberle has to change to a pick #1 or #2 even if you are getting Weber back. that should be enough. Well maybe Gagner wouldn’t do it, but Eberle, prospect and a pick should get you Weber. I still wouldn’t do it though, I like Eberle too much. He is the quiet point getter on the team and too valuable. Gagner, prospect and a pick could get a #1D but not of the same caliber as Weber. That is the trade I would be looking for, but do it twice and give up Hemsky or Yakupov.

    Cringes at what the team might look like next year…

    • Spydyr

      ” Gagner, prospect and a pick could get a #1D “

      Even if the pick is next summer lotto pick that won’t get you a player like Erik Karlsson , Ryan Suter , Drew Doughty or Alex Pietrangelo. You would have to give up one of the kids and more to get one of them.Again my choice would be Eberle.

      You are wayyyyyyy over valuing Gagner.

      • Mikey

        No I think he is being realistic. No one, I repeat, no one, would ever trade Erik Karlsson, Ryan Suter, Drew Doughty or Alex Pietrangelo right now.

        You are better off tring to get a Vlasic, Giordano, Byfuglien, Yandle type player. As Kevin Lowe would call them “Second tier” first pairing D. Which Gagner, a prospect and a pick has a chance of getting.

        • Spydyr

          The team needs a “first tier” pairing defencemen not a “Second tier” first pairing defencemen.

          Did you expect Pronger to be traded here?

          Did you expect Gretzky to be sold?

          Anyone repeat anyone can be moved.

          • Mikey

            Of course the team needs a ‘first tier” D man. No where did I say they didn’t. You missed my point. My point is. People don’t trade top of the top D at or near their prime.

            Nice examples. One of which happened a long time ago for non hockey reasons, which was also not for a top pairing D. The second one happening again is almost as likley as Edmonton making the playoffs this year.

          • Mikey

            Both were in their prime, too bad Chara wasn’t traded. He signed as a UFA. You really shouldn’t hit yourself. Try using google to get the facts.

            So you can only name one time, it seems. One in a million. That’s what the oilers should keep waiting/ hoping for?

          • Mikey

            Brain Campbell, Dion Phaneuf, Jay Bouwmeester, Dustin Byfuglien, Jack Johnson, Dennis Seidenberg, Marc Methot, Fedor Tyutin, Luke Schenn, Ryan McDonagh.

            Are the top NHL D men that were traded in the past few years, that are still active. Out of them, McDonagh was traded way before anyone really knew what he would be like. Campbell and Byfuglien were traded because of cap reasons.

            And how many of these men would you consider “First tier” D men?

            So the strategy should be to find a “Second tier” first pair D man, or find a up and comer.

            Referance: http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/07/09/how-tough-will-it-be-for-the-edmonton-oilers-to-acquire-a-top-nhl-defenceman/

  • Serious Gord

    I don’t normally comment on speculative trades, but gagner is essentially a negative asset.

    He is worth far less than his contract, thus unless the trade partner has lots of cap room and there are no other choices on the market, EDM would have to take an equally negative asset in return. And weber – even with that insane contract is a much bigger positive asset in the short term than gagner, eberle, a prospect and a pick. And take eberle out of the equation and you don’t get even an average 1d.

  • Slapshot

    Anyone else listen to the Stauffer – Mactavish interview? Mactavish said that we should expect outcomes like the St Louis (Jersey toss) game because we are still developing and are on track to having a great team,He also said that Stu Macgregor is doing a good job finding players,which player other than a first rounder have these scouts found that has a legit shot at making the Oilers and helping the team out? After listing to it,I came away that this organization is drinking the Kool Aide big time!!!

  • Word to the Bird

    Keep Hemsky. There I said it.

    Keep Yakupov. He may be Russian but when he’s at the top of his game he is a gamechanger.

    Trade Gagner. He could thrive on a team that could make up for his defensive lapses.

    Trade Eberle. He is the poster child for what is wrong with this team. (Soft, lack of care in defensive end.)

  • Slapshot

    Lowetide, you think the odds high that the Oil trade one of these prospects for a more experienced NHLer? I am going to have to see that before I believe it.

    Also, Klefbom will not reach the level of hype that Oilers’ management has been selling, but given their track record, why would anyone be surprized?

  • Rdubb

    Lowetide, what the hell is this “Vollman’s equivalencies”?
    Are those stats “possible” NHL numbers should they get a chance to play on the big club?
    Or did I TOTALLY miss something there?
    Another question, who is this Vollman, some sort of stat guru, math genius, or just some dude living in his parents basement with way too much time on his hands?
    PS – keep up the good work on not only this site but also on your radio program…I listen to you every day I am driving (which is VERY often) when I am within range of the stations frequency. It’s good to see/hear that you are not on the Oiler payroll and say what you feel and allow people like me to bitch and complain when needed…
    Thanks bud


  • Mikey

    I realize this comment is about as off topic as I could get regarding ‘equivalencies’ but here goes.

    I just read Staples article in the Journal about how the Oil managed to trip over their own feet and lost Jan Hejda to a quicker thinking and quicker reacting Scott Howson of the Columbus blue jackets and former assistant GM of those same Oil. Hejda also deals with how the Oil management and coaching almost drove him out of Hockey with the way they managed him.

    If you want the details of the article I would suggest you read for yourself. My point is that is just one example of the numb skull thinking of Lowe and MacT.

    I also read the comments of MacT about how in his opinion the Oil games have been entertaining to the denizens of Wrecksall this season. This was also written by Staples and can be found on the Journal page.

    My question is …is MacT and upper Oiler management on crack? With that mentality running the operation we may never see playoffs again no matter how many first round kicks at the cat these dopes have.

    Happy freaking holidays.

    • Serious Gord

      Thanks for this:

      A number of points/comments:

      1. Staples got his info on hedja from reading a Denver paper – no one in the Edmonton journo community had this story. And they had six years to look into it.

      2. This is not the first time a player has been driven out of town by the Lowe/MacT combo. The list is long. And it’s a list that likely doesn’t include several others where the story has never become public – (see point one above for a hint as to why or who might be the culprits. Also keeping mum about management conduct is usually a very good way to keep ones career and reputation in the NHL). It is becoming a large enough body of evidence to be comparable to and perhaps even exceed that of the leafs during ballard’s tenure as owner.

      3. One of the common refrains of those who support oilers management is that it is execeptionally difficult to attract established free agent talent because of EDM’s geographic challenges. While there is significant basis for that argument (and likely all those reading this can make personal testimony in support), there seems very likely to be a Perhaps even more powerful deterrent – management’s ineptitude, incompetence and lack of professionalism. Perhaps players and their agents are using the location disclaimer as an easy cover what they really think – that being “I’m not playing for those clowns”; “why would I sewer my future and risk being handled like souray, comrie et al?”

      • Slapshot

        You make some very good points, I am pretty sure players like Hejda,Souray,Comrie, and Penner to name a few, let their teammates know how it is to play in Edmonton and those players relayed the information to their agents,Edmonton is probably at the bottom of the list for most NHL players and it has to do more with management than with the city itself,look at Detroit, the city is the murder capital of America,crime rates are very high and yet players do not think twice about playing there, its because their ownership and management group,they do not have a idiot who shoots off his mouth about how many cups he has won and that he knows a thing or two about winning when the Oiler’s have been a bottom feeder for the past 7 years.Lets face it, if you could play in the NHL knowing what you know about Lowe, would you want to play for him? I know I wouldn’t.

  • Slapshot

    Wonder how long Stauffer and MacT, rehearsed their interview before putting it to tape.

    Let a real journalist do an interview, instead of your in-house Kool Aide production.

  • Slapshot

    I too think that the main reason for getting rid of Lowe is because of the very bad reputation he has with his peers, agents, and especially players.

    Too many players have gone from Edmonton only to become a success on their next team. The list is long and the type of players we now covet, were once Oilers…….it’s so sad to see. Souray, Satan, Stoll, Glencross, Hedja, Smid, Smyth, …….you get the idea, were all run out of town for no real reason. It only takes a few players to spread the word that the Oilers organization is toxic to your career. One wonders if players like Riley Nash refused to sign because of all these rumours??

    This is why Lowe has to be fired…….the man is toxic, plain and simple!

    • camdog

      Rama, and to think all this time he let everyone believe it was the climate and the city that kept them from not wanting to be an Oiler.[ No uglier city than MotorCity, and Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg are not exactlly lining the beachs in December.]Seems these cities attract decent players.

      As long as Katz is wearing that old No.4 jock strap over his head,,.. Lowe is here to stay.

  • camdog

    For years I have been waiting for the Jason Chimera story. He’s another player that had differing opinions then Lowe and Mact. Has anybody heard his story?