The last time we looked at the AHL-to-NHL pipeline through Oklahoma City, Jeff Petry was the only clear NHL calibre player to begin his pro career with the Barons. Has this improved since September?


In September, the list of Barons/former Barons who had played in the NHL looked like this:

  1. D Jeff Petry 156 games
  2. C Anton Lander 67 games
  3. R Linus Omark 65 games
  4. L Teemu Hartikainen 52 games
  5. C Chris VandeVelde 28 games
  6. L Phil Cornet 2 games
  7. C Mark Arcobello 1 game
  8. C Milan Kytnar 1 game

Petry was the only “established” NHL player and the rest of the group appeared to be on the outside looking in. Hartikainen was in Russia, Omark was in no man’s land and the organization had kicked Chris VandeVelde to the curb. 


  1. D Jeff Petry 212 games*
  2. C Anton Lander 79 games*
  3. R Linus Omark 78 games*
  4. L Teemu Hartikainen 52 games
  5. C Chris VandeVelde 45 games*
  6. C Mark Arcobello 42 games*
  7. D Martin Marincin 20 games*
  8. D Taylor Fedun 4 games*
  9. R Tyler Pitlick 3 games*
  10. L Phil Cornet 2 games
  11. C Milan Kytnar 1 game

The three new arrivals are  in bold, and those with asterisks (all but Hartikainen, Cornet and Kytnar) have played at least one NHL game. We’ve seen some movement this season:

  • Jeff Petry continues to establish himself as an NHL player
  • Anton Lander has been building a resume for NHL employment with the Barons, and has played 12 more NHL games
  • Linus Omark is on his second organization, this might be his final NHL chance 
  • Teemu Hartikainen has been traded to Toronto, and may get his second chance in the fall
  • Chris VandeVelde caught on with the Flyers and has been used sparingly this season
  • Mark Arcobello made a clear step forward this season and may have an NHL career 
  • Martin Marincin made his NHL debut and moved up the depth chart smartly. He may be here to stay 
  • Taylor Fedun played his first NHL games and Jon Willis has been sending back encouraging reports 
  • Tyler Pitlick looked better in the NHL than he did in the AHL, and then lost a substantial part of the season to injury 


We know prospects don’t develop in a straight line, and some of them meander in and out of traffic before arrival. In the previous three seasons, OKC Barons prospects played 372 games, or an average of 124 per season. That works out to about one and a half roster players per year (124 divided by 82). 

So far this season — and there is some distance to go — the graduated Barons have played 166 NHL games, or just past 2 full roster players. It’s taken some time, but the hard work being done by Todd Nelson, his staff and these young hockey players is beginning to deliver NHL players. 

As Jonathan mentioned in his article this morning, the organization must choose wisely in regard to waivers and roster spots. Craig MacTavish sent away Teemu Hartikainen, Linus Omark and Chris VandeVelde, and all found NHL interest. It’s likely Anton Lander, Tyler Pitlick and others will see similar results should it come to a waiver situation in the coming months. 

(Marincin photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved).

    • Zarny

      The Oilers aren’t going to find answers on the waiver wire.

      I’m not saying don’t look but the 28 teams only have some better players and those guys are going on waivers.

        • Zarny

          Overpay? Yeah a 4th line of Jones-Smyth-Hendricks @ $5.6M is a tough pill.

          Hey you should always take a look but I haven’t seen a name yet I thought they should pick up.

  • Mason Storm


    Assuming everyone can translate as required, but I believe you meant to say that everyone with an asterisk (in the second set of names) has played at least one NHL game *this season*.

    Not to be the grammar police, simply wanted to help out those who might end up confused.

  • Mason Storm

    1 more year of pain after this (hopefully not, but they’re sticking with Eakins for a while). The positive is that Todd Nelson gets another year there growing the young guys, then he can come up from OKC and coach the Barons in the NHL.

  • Lowetide

    @ Lowetide

    Bit off topic here as Justin Schultz has been with the big club since the start of last season but, given the shortened season, it wasn’t all that long ago that he was in OKC and so there’s maybe a loose application to the topic here. It seems the negative chatter towards young Justin Schultz has decreased the past while and, looking at his boxcars and stats the past 20 games compared to the 1st 30 tells a nice story:

    1st 30 games:
    3G – 9A – 12 Pts
    24 of 30 games saw him play less than 24 mins/game

    Last 20 games:
    5G – 7A – 12 Pts
    All but 6 of last 20 games have seen him play 24 mins/game or more (and 3 of the 6 games under 24 mins have been the last 3 games of the schedule)

    In the past 20 games, he’s playing more than at the start of the year and seeing his plus/minus improve dramatically while maintaining the same points pace. Maybe the chatter is going away the same way as his defensive play is progressing forward? Possibly a sign that he’s slowly figuring out things at the NHL level?

    • Lowetide

      I think that’s true (although he was terrible against Buffalo). It takes a long time to learn defense in the NHL, even if you have all the tools. 200 games in, Petry still has some issues. Tough damn positions.

  • Comrade GT

    In 20 games Marincin has become better then half of our defensive core. He does the little things so well and isn’t soft on the puck like most of our “established” NHL players. Occasionally he makes a noticeable rookie mistake, however he usually bails himself out unlike Potter, Petry,and Larsen whose mistakes always find the back of our net.

  • Zarny

    To be a contender the Oilers need players developed in OKC to not just make the jump to the NHL but contribute. Ideally in ways guys like Hall, Nuge etc can’t/don’t. Like Andrew Shaw in Chi or Jake Muzzin in LA.

    Petry will be fine. He’s not Duncan Keith. He shouldn’t be playing on the top pair. None of the Oilers D should be. Marincin looks good. Small sample size but one of the best sledgehammers on the team.

  • Zarny

    Ya know LT, none of these guys are going to appreciate your reference to Hitch with the Raymond Burr pic..If it isn’t busting out of a bikini top…..they just don’t care. Perhaps you should have shown Grace Kelly…..sigh

  • Does anyone think if MacT makes a “bold move” for a Dman this year, we still go for Ekblad if available at the draft?
    Does the emergence of Marincin, with potentially Nurse, Klefbom and Fedun fighting for a roster spot make more sense to draft Leon Draisaitl (who’s basically Gabriel Landeskog 2.0)?

    • Lowetide

      Not sure where you have heard that Draisaitl is anywhere near the player Landeskog is. But i sure haven’t heard it. All I hear is big but SLOOOOOW. Landeskog is a 19yo captain of an NHL team.

  • Lowetide

    To say that Todd Nelson and his staff are starting to deliver NHL players is a glass-half-full optimist’s take on the situation. If the glass is half empty, then the NHL club has lower standards / fewer NHL-caliber players and has had to call up players from the AHL more often this year than in previous years. Playing NHL games for the Oilers does not mean you are a bonafide NHL player.

  • Lowetide

    Interesting article about one of the Caps young dmen. Might be applicable to the Oilers plans with our young d prospects we have coming, and something to think about.

  • Lowetide

    I posted this under Willis’ article as well.

    Lander is a point per game AHL player with leadership, defensive acumen, faceoff skills and pedigree. If he were on another farm team, we would be drooling all over him as the answer to our woes. I say give him a legitimate chance now that he has matured into the player we had hoped for 2 years ago. He was very poorly managed back then. Thankfully, he had the fortitude to persevere – let’s not screw it up again by getting rid of him or playing him improperly. Give him a defined role and some time with actual NHL players. It make not work but a bird in hand is better…