DECISIONS, DECISIONS

hamilton ferguson 2

This is Curtis Hamilton. He’s always been a personal favorite, owing to a scouting report that suggested he could bring a range of skills to the pro game. Injuries have impacted Hamilton’s career with the Oilers, and four years in, he’s at a crossroads. Hamilton’s future with the team is in the hands of Peter Chiarelli and dependent on the organization’s evaluation of a number of prospects. It’s going to be an interesting summer.

winquist ferguson 1415

THE COMPETITION

Josh Winquist (in photo) doesn’t have an NHL contract, nor does Kellen Jones. Those players, along with RFA’s like Hamilton, are no doubt in limbo at this time as they wait for the Oilers to make decisions on them and graduating juniors, college men and European players.

If you’re Peter Chiarelli, what do you value more? Among LW’s (Hamilton’s position) the club already has three players under contract for next year:

  • Ryan Hamilton, who will serve as veteran leader and cover for the younger players.
  • Kale Kessy, who looked very good in TC and early in OKC before losing the season to injury.
  • Mitch Moroz, who didn’t play as much as one would think, suspect Edmonton will want to see him as a regular in 2015-16. 

    Add to that two productive players signed to AHL deals last year:

    • Josh Winquist, a young man who had two impressive hot streaks during the year.
    • Kellen Jones, highly productive, including valuable PK minutes. 

      And the RFA’s:

      • Curtis Hamilton, who finished 63GP, 12-20-32, good for No. 6 in team scoring. 

      And the graduating group:

      • Anton Slepyshev, rumored to be signed soon and a skill winger.

      TURNING PRO?

      marco roy capture

      Add to the group above one Marco Roy (currently playing in the Memorial Cup), who is a natural center but may also play on the wing in his first pro season.

      Edmonton’s big league roster boasts some very nice LW options (Taylor Hall, Benoit Pouliot, Matt Hendricks) and some decisions that will come in summer (Matt Fraser).

      Where does Hamilton fit? Does he fit? It’s very difficult to say. At the AHL level, the Bakersfield Condors will probably run Ryan Hamilton on one of the two skill lines and Moroz plus Kessy on the third and fourth lines. That would mean a skill line LW job may be available.

      Is Hamilton the best option? No. I’d list Anton Slepyshev as best available and would further suggest that Josh Winquist may in fact be a better option for the skill job. What if the Oilers decide to move Kessy? That might make some room on LW for a two-way type, and in that case it would seem to me Hamilton would be the best option (followed by Kellen Jones).

      POSSIBLE LW DEPTH CHART THIS FALL

      1. Taylor Hall
      2. Benoit Pouliot
      3. Matt Fraser (or replacement)
      4. Matt Hendricks
      5. Luke Gazdic (all five NHL)
      6. Ryan Hamilton
      7. Anton Slepyshev
      8. Josh Winquist or Curtis Hamilton
      9. Mitch Moroz
      10. Kale Kessy
      11. Kellen Jones (AHL only)

      That would be my guess, with Jones being the AHL/ECHL swing man and the others receiving NHL (two-way for the AHL folks) deals.

      WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

      The bubble men for next season’s LW jobs are all the guys without contracts. Edmonton could walk them all, and we should probably anticipate it. Peter Chiarelli finds himself committed to Ryan Hamilton, Kale Kessy and Mitch Moroz and may dole out only one more contract (likely to Slepyshev). That would mean both Curtis Hamilton and Josh Winquist on the outside looking in, and Marco Roy unsigned (one would hope they trade him for a pick before Roy re-enters the draft).

      NHL EQUIVALENCIES

      These are NHLE’s using Rob Vollman’s numbers and offer interesting insight into the conversation.

      1. Anton Slepyshev 82GP, 17-11-28
      2. Ryan Hamilton 82GP, 11-12-23 (committed)
      3. Marco Roy 82GP, 11-10-21
      4. Josh Winquist 82GP, 8-11-19
      5. Curtis Hamilton 82GP, 7-12-19
      6. Kale Kessy 82GP, 8-8-16 (committed)
      7. Kellen Jones 82GP, 4-7-11
      8. Mitch Moroz 82GP, 3-3-6 (committed)

      Based on the names Edmonton has under contract, I’d say the AHL team needs a skill winger and a two-way type. I’d choose Slepyshev and Hamilton and would find a way to cheat and retain Winquist.

      Who would you choose?

      (All OKC photos via Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved).

          • Craig1981

            Most people just see his stats, but don’t realize he was 2.5 months from being in next year’s draft…. and the points he will but next year would have posters drowling at him

            • The GREAT Walter White

              I see a guy with the finesse of neidermeyer, the vision of gretz, the leadership of mess, the character of jesus, the hands of god, top speed of the flash, shot of ovechkin.

              Not to mention every scout/HOF/person involved in hockey calling him the next one.

          • The GREAT Walter White

            Don’t kid yourself, someone with that much grit and leadership isn’t going to be available at 16. I kind of feel like we should use the 1st overall on him instead of McDavid. All McDavid seems to do is score points, where’s his defensive conscience? I can see him falling to 16th overall possibly, but if not it won’t be a big loss.

        • The GREAT Walter White

          Hi guys.

          Flames draft pick Hunter Smith is still scoring Memorial cup game winning goals!

          What is that McLindros kid up to these days?

          Has anyone heard?

          WW

            • The GREAT Walter White

              Third overall pick he was! (And had to get traded to a contender because he was not getting it done on his own team , Imagine if Bennett was there !).

              The Flames have NEVER had a pick that hi….we must be doing something wrong down here …

              Weird huh?

              WW

              • YFC Prez

                “Hi” Walter.

                The flames have never picked that “high”.

                See the difference?

                I’m far from a grammar cop, but when you troll articles from other team sites make sure you double check your spelling.

                It’s very difficult to take you seriously otherwise.

                # Trolling 101

              • hagar

                Your jealousy is on your sleeve.

                I have never in my life gone to the flames site, let alone to spend 10 minutes per hour,per day, trolling.

                You are of course free to do whatever you want with your time, but I promise you, that you are a loser at life WW.

                The fact you call yourself WW as if to cling on to some mainstream popular character says it all.

                You are obviously a pathetic person.

                Please don’t look at my comments as a random attack.. you are LITERALLY a pathetic person. Please feel free to continue, but also know that you are a complete f’ing loser in everyone’s eyes.

                You aren’t some hero.. you are truly a complete and total dork. Nobody but a loser dork would ever have the time to troll another teams sites like you do.

                You sir, are a complete loser. Say whatever you want in rebut, but it will never change the fact that you are a total loser.

                Good luck with that you dork.

          • Seriously....Gord?

            Hahah…great joke walter…made my day. It’s good to see fans in Calgary still have a sense of humor.

            On a side note, when you turn 13, you’ll start to develop the cognative abilities to process a thought.

          • Craig1981

            Yeah, what’s a generational player compared to a mediocre prospect scoring less than a pog in his draft+1? Curtis Hamilton and tyler pitlick were both better prospects.

        • Craig1981

          If I was PC I’d value Moroz more than Hamilton. Call me crazy or whatever you want. I think he will produce if he is put in a bigger role. With the Oil Kings his rookie season wasn’t too bad but they kept relying on him for offense a bit more every year to the point where he was one of their top producers. I say take things slow with him the way the Oil Kings did and he could be an NHL regular in a few seasons

          • Wax Man Riley

            Hamilton had more pts in his draft+1 than moroz in his draft+2. Moroz had a better team. Hamilton moved from the 4 line to the 1 line at the wjc. Moroz got a transformer from his parents. Hamilton looks like a lost cause due to injuries, but we should try to keep him on an AHL deal. Moroz was a bust on draft day. Maybe he turns it around and becomes a 4th liner, but I bet we find better ones than him. Both probably bust, and there is a lot of competition around them from slepyshev, platzer, khaira, miller, roy.

        • Craig1981

          To me Moroz is a lot like Hamilton in what they may provide. The difference is Hamilton has had 3 years to show something in the Ahl. Whereas Moroz has had 1 year. Moroz also contracted mono. So if it comes down to it and you gotta cut 1? I’d cut Hamilton.

        • Craig1981

          Hunter Smith:
          19 yr Age Nhle .40
          57gm 14 EVG 21 EVA
          14/57 x .40 x 82 = 8 EVG
          21/57 x .40 x 82 = 12 EVA

          If he gets 12 min a night he is a 8Evg 20 Evp forward.

          • The GREAT Walter White

            Hey, i remember saying that at the draft. Oiler fans were busy thinking “big good.”

            I really liked penner, and love draisaitl, but I’ve always been afraid of how the oil treat those guys. I actually wanted bennett, but draisaitl has a shot at being the best in that draft.

            • hagar

              Penner played well with big boys like Perry and Getzlaf if you recall . Anaheim did same scenario/duplicated with another big boy in P.Maroon , as you are seeing in this years playoffs . Penner did not play as well with smaller forwards like Gagner and Cogliano , however . Might Draisaitl be best playing with other big forwards like Penner and Maroon had ?

              • Wax Man Riley

                Penner scored more goals in his career with Gagner and Cogliano than he did with any other linemates, soooo… not sure where you got that.

                I always liked Penner if you saw him for what he was: A big, skilled, lazy player that could consistently pop 20-30… with the Oilers anyway. As log as you had him on your 3rd regularly, he could actually fit anywhere in your lineup if needed.

                Remember when he moved to LA with the big boys? Didn’t perform very well, either.

              • Wax Man Riley

                Got news for you ! Strap on a pair of blades on my dog and she would look good playing along side Getzlaf and Perry.

                Penner did not play well…PERIOD!.. Had one 30 goal year by pucks bouncing off his shins.
                Cold hard fact, where is this out of ship, over weight slug these days ? You can fake it for only so long.

        • hagar

          I can’t even imagine how big of a dork WW is. Lol

          It boggles the mind to think what kind of a loser in life needs to spend this much time trashing on another teams’ site.

          Hey WW, you are a waste of space. Your life sucks. Lol

          What a loser.

          You obviously have zero friends. I would suggest getting some friends, but I think you already know that answer.. nobody likes you because you are a complete tool.

              • The GREAT Walter White

                I thought I would drop a quick line to my friends at Oilers Nation last night before heading out with a few of my (imaginary) friends.

                I just checked to see if anyone responded…!? WOW!!!

                What’s with the personal attacks?
                Sure they may be accurate… but they are also hurtful!

                Let’s stick to hockey, shall we?

                WW

                • HardBoiledOil 1.0

                  what did you expect, you’re bragging. Hunter Smith’s future in the NHL, if he has one, is a 4th liner if that, while McDavid at least has a chance to become the best player in the league.
                  and Leon has led his team to the Memorial Cup, so that’s great prospect #2 going far into the junior playoffs.
                  sorry, but Oiler fans are not envious of Hunter Smith or Sam Bennett or anyone else in the Flames organization. we have our own star players on the way in our own system. nice try though.

        • Armchair_Gm

          Edmonton could draft someone who could play next year in the Ahl like honka or nylander did last year. I think Evgeni Svechnikov could play in the Ahl.

          Chiarelli drafted David pastrnak last year and he started in the Ahl before making it to the Nhl. If I needed a skilled player to compliment my Ahl talent I would look to this years draft. Maybe Denis Malgin in the second round.