hall spitfires common

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

THE 29

  1. Taylor Hall—Number one overall and a brilliant player from the moment he arrived. 
  2. Jordan Eberle—Arrived NHL ready, after owning WJ’s in a big way. 
  3. Jeff Petry—College defenseman had a wide range of skills.
  4. Magnus Pääjärvi—He wore No. 82 and was fast as lightning.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.”
  7. 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. 
  8. Teemu Hartikainen—He was a big winger with skill and skating issues. Still is. 
  9. Ryan MartindaleSkill 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. 
  10. Chris VandeVelde—Similar to Hartikainen, a big player with speed issues. VandeVelde was also shy offensively. 
  11. Olivier Roy—He was heading to camp with some promise.
  12. Alex Plante—First-round draft pick whose wheels wouldn’t turn.
  13. Johan Motin—He was adjusting to the pro game, and making progress. By this time, Motin had already played in his lone NHL game.
  14. Milan Kytnar—He was touted as a solid two-way center, but didn’t spend his entire entry-level deal in NA pro’s.
  15. 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.
  16. Jeremie Blain—Offensive defenseman with skill, he had some moments. 
  17. Tyler Bunz—Lots of good ink at the time of the rookie camp, there was no goalie well clear of the rest. 
  18. Philippe Cornet—We marked him as a tweener with an edge, and that’s what he became.
  19. Cameron Abney—Enforcer who had quite the reputation, but a hand injury would derail his career.
  20. Bryan Pitton—He was two years into his pro career and badly needed to show well. Kind of like Tyler Bunz now.
  21. Jordan Bendfeld—This camp was close to the end of the line.
  22. Drew Czerwonka—Coke machine, Oilers’ draft, rugged winger.
  23. Chase Schaber, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)—Skill C with some toughness.
  24. Mike Thomas—Big winger had a good season in junior, was looking for work.
  25. James Livingston, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)—Gritty winger with skill.
  26. Dallas Ehrhardt, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)—Training camp invite, huge kid.
  27. Nolan Toigo, Vancouver Giants (WHL)—Tough defender who could fight.
  28. Dominik Schlumpf, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)—Slender blue from Switzerland. 


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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.”


Milan Kytnar photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved

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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.

    • YakCity1039

      Marincin, Klefbom, Nurse, Lagesson, Schultz and Gernat will be our top-6 D for the future. Davidson and Musil will be there too. Too sexy of a group there.

      • Craig1981

        Plante, Petry, Peckham, Chorney, Syvret, Young will be our top-6 D for the future…….said some guy 5 years ago.

        Lets just wait and see who pans out. If we got a #1 D-man and two solid 3-4 D out of that there should be no complaining.

        • HardBoiledOil 1.0

          ^i doubt it, but that group from 5 years ago didn’t have a future #1 in it and we all knew it. not sure if we do now either, but, despite his problems defensively, Schultz has already started to prove himself at the NHL level and Nurse at least has a **CHANCE** to become a #1 or very close to it.

          • Craig1981

            I do admit none of them do have the potential upside as Nurse, but other than that I believe the hope from Oiler’s nation were close.

            Hockey’s future Rated Chorney very high as they did Petry. They were both 2 of the top prospects in the system.

            Syvert was coming off being the captain of the Memorial cup winning Knights and was a stud at would Juniors

            Peckham played with an edge and was loved for his toughness.

            Plante was a 15th overall….I wouldn’t say expectations were much lower than Klefbom at 18th overall.

            Like I said I do like our prospects now more than before, but I do believe anyone thinking 6 prospects will turn out is misguided, and a 50% success rate for top 4 D would be far greater than 5 years ago

            • Dan 1919

              Well said, there seems to be an alarming amount of ignorance around prospects in this city. Many seem to think because a teenager is highly regarded that they will pan out without issue (Yakimov or Kharia) and hence an NHL team can be built and based around players who aren’t even in the NHL.

              Until this team realizes that an NHL team needs to be built, and prospects have to come in and win positions, they will continue to flounder in the basement.

              Not getting a center this year because Draisaitl will save the day, then assuming Yakimov will come in next year to provide added depth is just sheer reckless.

              Unless they’re one or two overall, this idea of slotting in a teenager into an NHL spot needs to be completely vanished, even for the high picks like Draisaitl.

            • HardBoiledOil 1.0

              though i will agree that a lot of fans think most of our prospects will turn out to be productive NHLers, i believe the Oilers are indeed trying to add depth to certain positions in the system to create a competition….just look at the center and defensive depth we now have in the system, especially on defense where Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin, and soon Musil and Simpson, will all want a spot on the NHL roster. that’s some good depth in the system!
              and both Draisaitl and Yakimov have EARNED their praises by people on the Oilers who have watched these kids a HELL of a lot more than we fans have. to suggest that because Leon wasn’t taken #1 or #2 so he can’t “save the day” when he was only taken a few spots lower at #4 is ridiculous! and nobody expects Leon to be a savior either. i’m guessing he may have similar success to what Sean Monahan did last year as an 18 year old.
              and Yakimov is a big potential 3rd or 4th line center with some skill who has earned his praises by developing at a rapid rate. we should be happy that some of our prospects are developing rapidly instead of having to wait forever for them. if Leon and Darnell Nurse make the team this year, it will be because they appear to be ready and not because they are being “fast tracked”.

            • Zarny

              Have to agree with Dan 1919 here. What the Oilers have done this year on the defence IS building the team with NHLers and forcing the prospects to win the job by getting and being better. The plan may not work with the newbies as they’ve had their own problems on previous teams, but if not they can be replaced, they know it and therefore have more incentive to shine. Either way the team is likely to have someone playing better, and if the prospects don’t win the job outright, there’s plenty of call-ups when the inevitable injuries occur.

              Oilers handling of the C position is quite the opposite. Both 2C and 3C are vacant, with NOBODY with proven NHL experience to step in. The AHL fill-ins didn’t do the job last year (though Arcobello wasn’t bad to start…) so how can you expect better this year? Again, Arco is a possible, but the other, nothing. The team is going into camp giving the job already to Draisaitl before he even steps on the ice. Thats not earning anything! There are no other options, and God forbid, injuries….? Your comparable to Monahan last year may WORK OUT that way in the end, but he truly earned it at the start of the season, being their top scorer early on. Once proven then space was made. even saying that there was a LOT of learning along the way.

              The Oilers are being reckless and likely will suffer for it during the season. Hopefully they are learning (D prospects)….

            • oilbaron

              “The team is going into camp giving the job already to Draisaitl…”

              I love it when I see comments like this. Fact is no one knows what the Oilers plans are and to say things like Draisaitl is being given a spot are just plain wrong. Depth or no depth.

            • HardBoiledOil 1.0

              Well, technically you are correct. We don’t know wheat the Oilers plans are. What we do know is it is less than a month from the start of camps, the Oilers have no proven NHLers for either the 2C or 3C spots at this point . Their only current options are AHLers who have played, albeit fairly poorly in the NHL last year, a couple of young Russian prospects who I believe have never played in N America yet, and whose numbers aren’t inspiring, and a raw 17 yr old draftee who does look like the best of the bunch. Barring an upcoming trade that looks to me like giving Draisaitl the job, even if he doesn’t earn it through play in camp, but you can call it whatever you want.

            • Dan 1919

              You’re right, we don’t know and are hoping they still trade for a C. And if they don’t trade for a C, you’re potentially right again, maybe Draisaitl isn’t ready then 2C is Arco and Lander on 4C?

              Those very scary thoughts are what the whole conversation is about… hopefully they still trade for a 2C.

              Glad I could clear this up.

            • Zarny

              Your reply epitomizes the very problem Dan 1919 refers to. Look at the depth at C Edmonton has in their system?

              Other than Nuge they have nothing but maybes. Draisaitl and Yakimov have literally proven nothing at the NHL level. They have earned nothing.

              You “guess” Draisaitl will have similar success to what Monahan did last year.

              The key word there is guess, which brings us full circle back to Dan 1919’s critique that too many fans simply assume high draft picks will work out and “save the day”.

              Monahan only had 34 PT in 75 games last year. Gagner was deemed an unmitigated disaster last year with 37 PT in 67 games. By far, his worst season and your guess is that Draisaitl will be worse than that.

              It was a weak draft class this year and Draisaitl is not considered to be an uber elite prospect like Hall, Tavares, Stamkos etc.

              It’s entirely possible that Draisaitl ends up with 21 PT like Ryan Johansen’s first year in the NHL. It’s entirely possible, if not probable, that Draisaitl could be 3-4 years away from actually being a 2C in the NHL.

              Where would that leave the Oilers? Relying on Arcobello? An undrafted player who didn’t make the NHL until he was 25 and has a whopping 42 NHL games experience?

              Sorry but the Oilers are the antithesis of depth at C. If you remove Nuge they literally have the worst roster of C’s in the league.

            • Czar

              The teams has improved from last year, what do you want MacT to do to get a 2C?

              Give up the farm?
              Next years 1st?
              Trade Petry?

              2C are not being given away for nothing.

              Lets see what we have after training camp, and if our C depth doesnt work out, I believe MacT will do something.

              Personally I believe Arco has better defensive game and can make a take a pass. and will do fine with quality teammates.

              I dont see a point in trading for a 2C (it will take a lot to get one) if we are not even close to being a playoff team yet.

            • Czar

              Perhaps the team has improved, time will tell. A lot of moves have been made, for sure but the overall impact is still in doubt. Hopefully they are positive moves as it would be nice to start seeing some progress.

              As far as what to do, there are many options, but few if the assumption is you don’t want to basically change(lose) any of the players you a already have pencilled in to the lineup. Considering the farm team depth is limited(still developing) at this point that’s probably a good strategy.

              Your most telling comment is the last, and I agree with it, it seems the Oil are still quite a ways from a play-off team. If that wasn’t the case giving up future high draft picks/top prospects, which would allow them to keep the rest of the line-up intact, wouldn’t be such an issue.

      • HardBoiledOil 1.0

        ^it’s funny that with an already crammed defensive prospect list, the Oilers added another middle of the road, left shooting d-man. why? what will make him more special than the other mid level d-men in our system? i still don’t get that pick.

    • Craig1981

      I like Vladimir Thkachev. If nothing more to play in the AHL for a few years. Omark and Rajala did not ever make a mark in the NHL, but it was nice having scorers on the farm team with other developing players.

    • oilbaron

      Am i the only one that has noticed that the stat line on Marincin says he was 6’4″ 187lbs in 2010? The oilers website lists him at 6’4″ 188lbs today!HES ONLY GAINED 1lb??? WTH?

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      ^i have to agree with Harry. **IF** Draisaitl actually were to be “given” the 2C job, he would have already earned it by the fact that he appears NHL ready, physically and mentally at only 18, and Lander and the other center prospects appear not to be yet.

    • Spoils

      2010 Rookie List fast forward four years – missed playoff bottom dwelling team… makes it harder to be excited about this cohort.

      But then I take a sip of the summer Kool Aid and I feel hope that we take a step forward this year.

      I mean remember Nuge tearing it up in the WJC shouldn’t that generate confidence for when they are all playing against players that are younger or the same age…

      So to be clear – playoffs this year and next, contenders in 2017… Stanley

      That is my version of the dream.

    • Zarny


      Yes, on paper the team has improved from last year.

      No, a 2C is not given away for nothing. And yes, I expect MacT to pay the price. It wouldn’t require selling the farm but it might cost Petry or more likely one of the D prospects like Marincin or Klefbom.

      Considering there is a logjam with Nurse, Marincin and Klefbom all playing the left side that seems rather logical.

      Your comment about Arcobello goes back to Dan 1919’s original comment about assuming. He’s played 42 NHL games after not making the NHL for 7 years since draft eligibility. Maybe Arco does work out. The fact you have to preface the statement with “maybe” is underscores the Oilers lack of depth at C perfectly.

      I like Arcobello but go take a look at David Clarkson’s career arc. Undrafted and took the long road to the NHL but still had considerably more success than Arco at a younger age. He’s managed 1 good year when Elias and Parise figured out how to bounce pucks off his a** and then back to earth.

      It is beyond foolish to assume a player like Arcobello will be consistent and not regress given that the overwhelming majority of undrafted players who don’t make the NHL for 7 years do just that.

      And here is the thing…the Oilers are close to being a playoff team. They are a bona fide 2C and a top pairing Dman away from it. Take a look at the Dallas Stars last year. Now put Ryan O’Reilly on the Oilers 2nd line and tell me the Oilers can’t compete with them.

      The only way the Oilers aren’t close to being a playoff team is if they assume a rookie and a 26 y/o with 42 NHL games experience can pull the load at 2C and 3C.

      • Dan 1919

        1Cs & 2Cs you have to draft your own, unless you get a lucky deal like Dallas, high risk, and high reward move. Seguin wasn’t a proved NHL when he got traded, he was a question mark, although Elite, he barely played center in Boston, and even before Dallas got him, they were very close to a playoff team the year before that, they barely got in last year. I would have done that deal also.

        We know Seguin is a Hall-Elite level guy, but he cant win a faceoff to save his life.

        Right now I don’t think any team is given away a potential 21 Year old 1C.

        So my bet is for Mac-T to wait and see if any trade is available, if not then we know that he will do something if the team does indeed get exposed in this area, just like he did with the Goalie Situation last year.

        As for Arco, if you have seen him play, we know that when aligned with skilled players, he has produced, his advanced stats are great, and he can win a faceoff, yes he is small, but he can skate and make a pass. For me that’s enough for now, until we find another 2C.

        Every one knew Clarksons best year was abnormally, crazy SH%, on a SCF Team, Man am I glad we didnt get this guy.

        I don’t think Arco will regress, his on his prime years, but I also dont think he will really improve.

        This is Arco’s and Lander’s last try to prove they belong in the NHL.

        Don’t get me wrong. I’d love a Vet 2C, but I don’t want to give up Nurse, Marincin or Klefbom.

        To get a 2C it would probably take next years 1st, Perron, and one of the three D-men above at least.

        I dont care about next years 1st, because honestly I want to win now.

      • Dan 1919

        “Your reply epitomizes the very problem Dan 1919 refers to.” Exactly what I was thinking as I read through. “Earned their praises…” Great that’s exciting, but they didn’t earn them in the NHL, what I thought I was saying??

        I find your point about them being a playoff team the most interesting because I agree, a few key (and doable) moves and they could be at least competing this year, then maybe make a convincing case next year.
        But going in with this roster right now, could very likely result in a useless basement season. Then what, saying it will be better when Yakimov get’s here… sure it will. At some point they need to build a team.

    • Striker10

      Very excited to see the new crop of Oil rookies in Penticton. I went in 2011 to see Nuge and Lander, Lander looked awesome, scored a sweet goal in one of the last games. Hopefully he can find his legs at the NHL level. Looks like a great crop this year, hockey is almost back!

    • Zarny


      No it’s not an absolute that you have to draft 1C and 2C’s on your own.

      Dallas didn’t get lucky. They traded for an elite young player who was in the conversation with a stud like Hall to go 1st overall in the draft. No one this year was considered evenly remotely as good as either Hall or Seguin.

      LA didn’t get lucky with Carter or Richards either. CBJ didn’t get lucky with Dubinsky. Nor TB with Filppula. The Rangers didn’t draft Brassard. The Hurricanes didn’t draft J. Staal. The Blues didn’t draft Stastny. And the Ducks didn’t draft Ryan Kesler.

      Perhaps MacT is going to wait and see; Oiler fans should really hope that is the case.

      I have seen Arcobello play. When aligned with great players he contributed zero goals and picked up 10 A while riding Hall, Eberle and Perron’s coattails. The Oilers also started 4-25-2 while Arcobello was playing as the 2C. If that is enough for you then don’t complain when the Oilers start off slow and have problems at C.

      Obviously not everyone knew Clarkson’s year was an anomaly or else the Leafs wouldn’t have given him that contract and the Oilers wouldn’t have been chasing him either. His shooting % that year was only 13.2% That is certainly very good, especially for Clarkson, but it’s still lower than Crosby’s last year so it’s hardly freakish. Clarkson simply had a really good year as a 27 y/o which is right in the middle of his prime.

      What it would cost to get a 2C depends entirely on who it is. Guys like Dubinsky and Brassard are not Carter and Kesler. Sean Couturier would not cost next year’s 1st, Perron + one of the D prospects. There are many other 2C or at least proven 2/3 C that wouldn’t cost that either.

      • Zarny

        “LA didn’t get lucky with Carter or Richards either. CBJ didn’t get lucky with Dubinsky. Nor TB with Filppula. The Rangers didn’t draft Brassard. The Hurricanes didn’t draft J. Staal. The Blues didn’t draft Stastny. And the Ducks didn’t draft Ryan Kesler.”

        I agree with you there, most of these guys were Traded for or were a FA singning.

        FA dont usualy want to come to play here, to a losing team, thats a fact.

        -Carter didnt want to play in CLB. got traded to LA for JACK JOHNSON

        -Dubinsky was a piece in a trade for NASH, who didnt want to play in CLB

        Not a fan of filppula, FA singing

        -Brassard was a piace in a trade for GABORIK.

        -Staal just wanted to play with his brother, Pengs couldnt afford him

        -Statsny FA Signing

        -Kesler FA Signing

        I used Caps for player just to point the kind of assets you have to give up to get one.

        since there are no good FA Cs to sign, then thats what we have to pay.

    • Kevin McCartney

      I’m going to be in Penticton again this year for the tournament. Last year I think I saw the Oilers’ squad getting ‘THUG LIFE’ tattoos behind the rink. I’m looking forward to the more skilled group this year.

      I’ll be asking for input on what you folks want to hear about before I hit the road in a couple weeks, but feel free to drop me a line any time on twitter @kevinmccart with any requests/thoughts.

      • Zarny

        Lineups for each game and scoring . Dominate players in each game . General assessment on Oilers such as speed , grit and physicality . Oiler disappointments . The good and the bad .

    • Zarny

      The young stars tournament is one of the highlights of the year for this oil fan. I’ll pass along observations every night. Nurse had a tough start to the tourney last year so a dominant performance is the expectation now. If he can’t control the game against juniors and young pros, he can expect the take a job away from an NHL vet