is Andrew Miller. He might be the least famous forward on the Oilers
North American depth chart, and yet the club re-signed him this summer.
Why? Part of the reason may come from his second half performance.
Miller seemed to turn a corner, to establish himself, after New Year’s.
The Oilers had several prospects spike in the second half, and that
could bode well for the coming year.


The following numbers are pre-New Year’s and post, by player.

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Andrew Miller 2013    33GP, 5-12-17 .515
2014   19GP, 3-14-17 .895 

That shows genuine progress. Miller is a college
grad, somewhat similar in style and size to Mark Arcobello, and worth
watching in the coming season.

Anton Lander 2013    18GP, 9-6-15 .833
2014   28GP, 9-28-37 1.321

Lander stepped up in a big way during the season’s
second half, and earned his NHL contract for 2014-15. These numbers also
show he can deliver at the AHL level in offensive situations. Will he
be the one to take advantage of the lack of center depth? He seems the
least likely candidate, but you never know.

Tyler Pitlick 2013    15GP, 1-5-6 .400
2014   24GP, 7-9-16 .667

It was a big season for Pitlick, as he worked his way
to the NHL for the first time. This fall will be a defining moment in
his Oilers career, as there is a job waiting for him to win on the right

Brandon Davidson 2013    27GP, 0-2-2 .074
2014   41GP, 5-6-11 .268

For a defenseman like Davidson, who plays less of an offensive role, increased boxcars usually indicates more playing time. He has a very difficult road, but improved his NHL chances markedly this year.

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David Musil 2013    20GP, 0-3-3 .150
2014   41GP, 2-7-9 .220

As with Davidson, David Musil’s second half spike suggests he played more and was a bigger part of the team. For Musil, as an AHL rookie, that’s a very good sign.

Oscar Klefbom 2013    27GP, 0-3-3 .111
2014   21GP, 1-6-7 .333

Klefbom struggled in November and early December based on reports, and then seemed to take a step forward. He would eventually play his first NHL games, and the season overall was a success.



It’s important to resist overvaluing the splits, but they do offer some insight. Coach Todd Nelson was using men like Davidson and Musil more often in the second half (based on these numbers) and Lander, Miller and Pitlick were finding the range more often.

Can they sustain it? It’s a better question for these players to answer than the alternative. 

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

  • Craig1981

    “Lander stepped up in a big way during the season’s second half”.

    Maybe in the AHL, but in his nhl call-up I saw a player that reminded me of so many former highly praised oilers prospects that couldn’t hack it in the NHL, even with great players for linemates.

  • Rocket

    I’m really pulling for Pitlick this year.

    I can’t back it up with stats (cause I’m lazy) but it does seem like the Oilers are developing players better more consistently.

    With a solid coaching staff and (hopefully) improving scouting, The Oilers are heading in the right direction IMO.

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    really nice to see how far along our prospect development has come. Wasnt too long ago that we didnt even have our own farm club an expected just rob schremp to be the guy to save us.

    the guys in okc have done an amazing job. we’re stocking the prospect pool big time.

    We also recently bought the Bakersfield Condors. Guys that get sent down there will be given assignments and will be developed to play for the oilers. of course this may get us 1 out of the blue gem but it all helps.

    Seeing stuff like this is what gives me hope. One day we can trade our prospects for rental players to go on a long playoff run. imm not saying that will be next year or even the year after but we’re legitimately headed in the right direction IMO.

  • Rocket

    Well, the world is on the brink of universal war, planes are crashing on a daily basis and all I can think about is that there are 60 days to season opener. I really don’t care about analytics, I don’t care about prospects, I don’t even care about a 30 year cup reunion, ALL I care about is a season where we turn things around. I am starved of information – Mattheson’s post from June 28 is still on the Journal Oilers’ page, but I want NEWS, I want signings, I want more new players and I want HOPE AND FAITH. I want to see the players from last year upping the ante, I want to see Scrivens and Fasht become THE goalies of the year, I want to see the new guys coming through on their promises, I want to see Eakins doing a complete turnaround with his new staff and I want to see us beat the snot out of the Flames at season opener (and every other game this season) I also want the Canucks to lose to us every game they have lost at season’s end previously. Also, I’d like to win the lottery as well………

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Ah yes, the upcoming season! Kool-Aid be damned. How can one not look at the roster and not be happy to some degree that the team is looking better than it has for years? Just from a long suffering fan, I just hope the Oil can beat the snot out of the following teams:

    1/ The laffs….I have for my entire life, hated this team.
    2/ The habs….again, hated all my life.
    3/ The nuckleheads….grew to hate in the last five years based on their obnoxious fans.
    4/ Last but not least, the Flamers simply because they are Flamers!

    I can stomach loosing to other teams in the league but the above noted four…..argh!

    GO OIL!

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      I don’t give a toss what their names are, I don’t give a toss about their stats or their potential. I care about winning, I care about players who want to win – does that make me weird? I don’t think so – so Hunt, Miller, or whoever you are, win for the Oilers and you WILL be remembered, if not, welcome to obscurity.

  • Britts94

    Im going to write a middle of the night blog for y’all free of charge. First of all, and i mean this, Relax.
    Next. Taylor Hall is a top 10 player in the league and he plays for the Oil. When other hockey markets have a top 10 player they sleep easy. 2014/15 will be the first year he is solidified as such so yes this is different that last year. Nugents Hopkins, Eberle will be better as well.
    The way i look at it not only is the Oiler core better year by year right now but current cup champions and contenders are worse year by year. Dont need to look farther then Vancouver to prove that.
    Next. Forget about a High Draft pick next year. The race to the bottom will be fierce. Florida, Buffalo, Vancouver, Arizona, New Jersey and about 5 other teams will be dismantled by there GMs during the season next year to the extent that any amount of effort or good coaching will still fail. Calgary is not smart enough to do this.
    Next. The off season additions make the Oilers a true NHL team and do it in a way that wont unsettle the core. Most, if not all the new players, are under 30 and bring size.
    Next. I estimate that it will be a team contending for a playoff spot in 2014/2015 in a Stanley Cup Final type atmosphere. I estimate a near surety of a playoff run in 2015/2016 and finally…just in time for the new Rogers Place Oilers Arena a Stanley Cup run in 2015/2016. Then the modern day Oilers Dynasty begins once again 2016/2017, 2017/2018, 2018/2019, 2019/2020 Stanley Cup Champions.
    Pro Log : Alternate Jersey – Black
    : Hall (C) NugentHopkins (A) Eberle (A)
    : New Arena, New DJ, New Hot Dogs

    • OilPain

      What have you been smoking, bro? You’re going WAY too far in the future. I’d just concentrate on making predictions for this season, as we all know that the future is uncertain.

      • Craig1981

        Can’t believe your ratio of trash to props. It isn’t even a question. With all the complaining and hatred of some coaches, players, and management it surprises me.

        Malkin, Crosby, Stamkos, Keith, Petroagilio, Kane, Toews, Doughty, Webber, Getzlaf, Suter, Bergeron, Krejci, Ovi

        I can’t see anyone making a reasonable argument that Hall is better the FOUR of those players……and that is not including goalies.

        Like you said, he didn’t even make team Canada last year

        That said he is a really good player an maybe top 10 at one point in his career

  • Bi-Curious Gord

    That shows genuine progress. Miller is a college grad, somewhat similar in style and SIZE to Mark Arcobello, and worth watching in the coming season.

    Stop right there!

  • OilPain

    I think the Oilers should be real careful with Anton Lander. Some say he has no offence at the NHL level..same was also said about him at the AHL level..until last year.
    Maybe he’s a Detroit style slow bloomer..alot of Swedish players tend to me slay bloomers offensively..not because they dont have the skill but instead because theyre always taught defensive play first..or at least that how it was for a long time.

    Lander plays well defensively..he’s cheap.and will be cheap for another 3 yrs at least. I think he’s a keeper..he’ll never hurt his team.

    • Craig1981

      This will be the last chance for Landner to show he is an NHL caliber player. He turns 24 by the end of the upcoming season and if he hasn’t shown the ability to succeed at an NHL level by then he probably never will.

      • Craig1981

        For those of you who trashed this comment, what age or how long should a team wait for a player to show NHL ability before calling it quits? If not after 4 years and at 24 years of age, what would you suggest? 25, 35???

        • Do what Weight did?

          I would say the time to ‘give up’ on a prospect is when his development curve plateaus. If the guy is still showing improvement at 24, 25 or 26, then keep him. Everybody/every prospect is different.

          In Lander’s case, he still seems to be finding his offensive game at the AHL level. If the guy is a true professional; working out, working at meeting the goals the coaching staff establish with him, putting in the time, then why assume he’s a finished product at 24?

          • Wax Man Riley

            One must be careful to apply generalization to specific cases, but most forward’s peak years are from 24 to 30. That doesn’t mean Landner won’t be an exception, but you can’t wait for ever.

            With the limit of 50 contracts every team has to make decisions about when to give up on a prospect. What if one year hence the Oil have to make a decision to either give Landner a contract or a younger prospect? What should their decision be?

            No-one knows the answer to this question today. But I would suggest that it will be difficult to keep a 24 year old who has not shown NHL ability in place of a 20 year old whose potential is yet to be understood.

  • Craig1981

    On the subject of Taylor hall… he is hands down the best LW in the NHL. Imagine if he played in L.A. or Chicago…. Crazy.
    Taylor will be instrumental in making the Oilers mighty again.

      • Bob Cobb

        Well Points wise, Taylor Hall is the best Left Winger in the NHL. Go to the NHL Website, he’s number 7 in points overall and number 1 overall for all of Left wingers.

        In overall all game I wouldn’t put him at number one, his +/- is atrocious but it will get better. It takes time to learn the 2 way game, give the kid time.

      • Sorensenator

        No I will not rethink.

        Taylor Hall will be instrumental (not on his own though) in making the Oilers better. He is a leader, a top 10 NHL player, a future captain and a good candidate for the Hart trophy one day, so yes, no need to rethink any statement.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    If I recall correctly, Hall is top five in points per game over the last three years or so. Among the likes of Crosby, Toews, Malkin. The guy’s elite.

    • Craig1981

      Yes, with all the trade talk that goes on here (and the fact he really is one of the best players out there) I should of remembered.

      It is really to bad we let go of Omark and Hemsky so we can’t offer any of these trade proposals people came up with to Nashville and get him

  • Britts94

    Should’ve traded up for a 3rd round pick this year and drafted Leduc boy Brandon Hickey. Just skated and spoke with him breifly. He is gonna be a stud. (His brother plays in Leduc, and so do I, and he was out there at conditioning camp helping out. He’s insane.)