It was September 2010, and Edmonton Oilers fans were happily unaware of what the future would hold. That September, the Oilers sent 29 men to Penticton as part of their rookie roster. It was easily the best group of prospects this century, and one of the best in team history
- Taylor Hall—Number one overall and a brilliant player from the moment he arrived.
- Jordan Eberle—Arrived NHL ready, after owning WJ’s in a big way.
Jeff Petry—College defenseman had a wide range of skills.
- Magnus Pääjärvi—He wore No. 82 and was fast as lightning.
Martin Marincin. Here’s what I wrote at the time: This kid could be a solid NHL player.Guy Flaming filed this report from the Oil Kings tournament in St. Albert earlier this month: Marincin
has lots of room to fill out his 6’4 frame as he checked in at 187 lbs
but unlike some of his counterparts, he didn’t look like a guy getting
used to his size. Marincin was comfortable, wasn’t perfect but didn’t
make a lot of big mistakes and he was physical in an efficient way as
opposed to a big demolishing guy. I’m told he has a booming shot but I
didn’t see it this weekend. One scout told Guy that Marincin would
be a better player than Oil King 1st rounder Mark Pysyk and called him a
“scout’s dream.” Interesting player to watch.
- Tyler Pitlick—There was a lot of excitement about Pitlick in 2010 fall. Red Line had called him a “long-limbed forward with farmboy strength.”
- Brandon Davidson—He was behind in 2010, and still is, but the young man just keeps on working hard. One of my favorite Oiler prospects because of it.
- Teemu Hartikainen—He was a big winger with skill and skating issues. Still is.
- Ryan Martindale—Skill center, I never knew what to make of him. Red Line hated him, and everyone said he was inconsistent. I still don’t know what to make of him.
- Chris VandeVelde—Similar to Hartikainen, a big player with speed issues. VandeVelde was also shy offensively.
Olivier Roy—He was heading to camp with some promise.
- Alex Plante—First-round draft pick whose wheels wouldn’t turn.
- Johan Motin—He was adjusting to the pro game, and making progress. By this time, Motin had already played in his lone NHL game.
- Milan Kytnar—He was touted as a solid two-way center, but didn’t spend his entire entry-level deal in NA pro’s.
Curtis Hamilton—In the fall of 2010, we discussed his health. The thought was if he could remain injury free, Edmonton would have a two-way winger of note.
- Jeremie Blain—Offensive defenseman with skill, he had some moments.
- Tyler Bunz—Lots of good ink at the time of the rookie camp, there was no goalie well clear of the rest.
Philippe Cornet—We marked him as a tweener with an edge, and that’s what he became.
- Cameron Abney—Enforcer who had quite the reputation, but a hand injury would derail his career.
Bryan Pitton—He was two years into his pro career and badly needed to show well. Kind of like Tyler Bunz now.
Jordan Bendfeld—This camp was close to the end of the line.
Drew Czerwonka—Coke machine, Oilers’ draft, rugged winger.
- Chase Schaber, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)—Skill C with some toughness.
Mike Thomas—Big winger had a good season in junior, was looking for work.
James Livingston, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)—Gritty winger with skill.
Dallas Ehrhardt, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)—Training camp invite, huge kid.
- Nolan Toigo, Vancouver Giants (WHL)—Tough defender who could fight.
- Dominik Schlumpf, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)—Slender blue from Switzerland.
Photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved
Kristians Pelss, Rija (Belarus Jr)—Stu MacGregor at the time: “We
saw him at the U-18 World Championships when we were in Belarus. He
played extremely well, he has some talent. He’s not a big body, but he
is a guy we feel has real offensive talent.” RIP.
Milan Kytnar photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved
THIS YEAR’S LIST
In the next few days, we’ll see the rookie list. Sometimes they arrive late because invites go out, and players have a choice about which team’s camp they will attend. We can expect Leon Draisaitl, Darnell Nurse, Bogdan Yakimov and other recent draft choices to be there, and it’ll be fun to see Greg Chase (who wowed the crowd a year ago) and his progress.
It’s a waiting game. The list will be out soon. We know Vladimir Thkachev will be one of the undrafted/unsigned players to attend, but there will be more.
The 2010 list was exceptional. Hall, Eberle, Petry, Paajarvi plus Marincin and possibly others on the way. This look back reminds us of one true thing: it’s best to wait five years to make a call on a player. Martin Marincin’s progress in 2013-14 is surely an example of it.