LOST DRIVE-IN

lander ferguson

The Bakersfield Condors announced their TC roster today, lots of ECHL players and a few PTO’s as things get rolling for AHL clubs. Looking back to last season, the Oilers had some success in the development department and a few men will break camp with the team this season. What can we say about this year’s AHL team and their future?

The Bakersfield Condors released their TC roster, with more to come. Source

Among the players we’ve heard about, this is how things look before Draisaitl, Nurse, Davidson, Slepyshev and others are sent down (or not). 

EARLY CONDORS

I’ll be watching men like Bogdan Yakimov and Josh Winquist, players who have been there before. It’s important for their careers to progress this season. It’ll also be fun to see rookie pro’s like Greg Chase and Joey Laleggia. Eric Rodgers from Tend The Farm did fantastic work a year ago in an effort to give us an idea about who was performing well in OKC. 

rodgers forwards

rodgers defense

This is sorted by forward and defense (thanks, tips!) and gives us an idea about how well each player was doing offensively and overall by using estimated time on ice. Men listed from last season’s team who are worth watching this year: Andrew Miller, Josh Winquist, Bogdan Yakimov, Jordan Oesterle and Brandon Davidson. Anton Lander and Oscar Klefbom graduate to the NHL for good this season (we hope). 

WHAT SHOULD WE BE LOOKING FOR?

Over many AHL seasons I’ve looked at, there are certain things that appear to be universally true. Source

  1. Men who are over 30 and come out of the minors to establish (0r re-establish) themselves are pretty much a thing of the past. Among current Condors, Ryan Hamilton is the only player who is 30 and has a chance to make the NHL this season. These players usually bolt to Europe by 30, credit to Hamilton for pursuing his dream. 
  2. Pretty much everyone who is in the AHL past (say) 21 has some issues and is going to do some meandering (this is universal from 1965 through 2015). A player like Lander a year ago (or like Musil this season) is running out of time in terms of a natural progression from AHL to NHL. Musil will be waiver eligible next fall, so this year is important for him—needs to be an early callup an show well. Men like Tyler Pitlick are into the meandering portion of their careers. 
  3. No minor league regular is likely to do anything incredible like play in 1,000 NHL games. Martin Marincin and Anton Lander should have years of great productivity, but spending that much time in the minors usually means a shortened NHL career—the bell curve starting at a later age, lower career trajectory. (Much like point No. 3).
  4. If you haven’t established yourself as a prospect of interest by 22 you are in trouble. Exceptions are college men. Big seasons for Musil, Gernat and Kessy. College guys like Simpson and Oesterle have a little more time. 
  5. A large group of players on the current team could be described in the “tweener” division. Hockey people sometimes call them ‘JAG’ or just a guy (or so I’ve been told). Brandon Davidson probably fits the description.  
  6. Daniel Cleary, Fernando Pisani and Jason Chimera became productive players in the toughest league on the planet. THEY are the stars in this study. As an Oilers fan it took me forever to learn this point. I’d be hoping like hell to see Marc Pouliot turn out as a scorer but by year three in the minors he needed to buy in to the idea that his future would be as a complementary two-way player (he did not do it). This is Lander’s outer marker, in my opinion. That’s a productive investment for an NHL team. The Oilers don’t develop these men often, and have a hard time seeing them good until they’re beating them while representing another team. Hopefully this changes under the new regime. 
      • Semi

        I could be mistaken, but fairly certain they are free to move up and down as long as they don’t play 10(?) games or are up for 30 days (Not sure if that’s in a row, or total).

  • Kevwan

    Dubynk, Petry, Marincin ….. Trained, watched over and basically given away.

    Lander, Klefblom …. We will see…

    Not much from the second best hockey league in the world.

    • For Pete's Sake!

      You’re right. Previous management gave up on way too many of these kids too soon.

      You could add names like Cogliano, Brodziak, Matt Greene, and many more.

      Hopefully that trend is changing and the Oilers have more patience in the future.

      Klefbom and Lander are a good sign though.

      • Joy S. Lee

        Okay, Pete, I have a question for you: Woogie mentioned Dubnyk, Petry, and Marincin, to which you added Cogliano. Looking at those four players, tell me, do you (or anyone, for that matter) think that each one of them would have been better served with one to two years [more] time in the AHL?

        (Though, in Petry’s case, I think it’s largely a condition where he had no one better than himself – or comparable – on the PRO team [Oilers] to mentor him; let alone on the farm.)

        Weren’t they all basically thrown to the wolves? Or should I even include Dubnyk in that group? Just wondering what the overall general consensus might be. I think they would have been developed far more stringently in the Red Wings system, for example, and produced much better results – because they would have been ready – than they did while here. They earned their stripes the hard way, which makes them a good prospect if they have talent, since they have been battle-tested in a unsupportive, chaotic environment. Give them a supportive and stable environment, and they could flourish. It’s a good gamble for the new team. Good discussion, but things are different now, thankfully it’s all changing. And, from the top down, which means the environment is different now, too. No sense beating the drum to death since Chiarelli and McLellan seem to be implementing that supportive and stable environment as we speak… it’s all good, going forward. As Lowetide suggests, the farm team is beginning to look like a real, bona-fide NHL farm team. (Kind of wish I could see what Todd Nelson could have done with them, but that, too, is water under the bridge.)

        • Lowetide

          Dubnyk, Petry and Marancin all developed in the minors so….your point is?

          I must also point out that most comments on this site and others didn’t think Dubnyk nor Petry were worth a bag of pucks at one time.

        • For Pete's Sake!

          Petry and Marincin definitely needed more time in the minors.

          Petry in particular was terrible the first couple of years he played here. It really took him some time to find his game. Would have been better if he’d had the opportunity to learn those lessons in the minors.

          Cogliano as well had to learn that his role is as a checking winger rather than as an offensive centre. He didn’t figure that out until after he was traded to Anaheim unfortunately.

          If we’d let him develop a couple of more years in the minors he could have figured out his role here and we’d have an excellent speedy checking winger.

          Oh and then there’s Justin Schultz who many of us here have given up on because he was thrown to the wolves too early as well. If we trade him now, who knows how he would turn out for another team?

          Justin is a guy who definitely could have benefitted from playing a year or two in the AHL.

    • Kevwan

      Dubnyk traded for Hendricks.

      Return for Petry basically netted Talbot.

      Return for Marincin more or less was Gryba.

      That’s a decent return and far from giveaways imo.

  • Joy S. Lee

    Looking at that lineup, can’t help but think that Platzer between Cristoffer and Chase could be something special. Just a hunch, but they are all a little like dogs after a bone – Platzer’s a little more cerebral, but that’s good because he’d be in the middle and have the most responsibility – and each one brings something a little different and some talent to boot. I think they could drive teams nuts. I’d love to see it, just to see whether they gelled together. Anyway, just wanted to put that out there. Cheers.

  • Joy S. Lee

    Oh, and something else I noticed in amongst the numbers posted from last year’s team… two guys who didn’t play a ton of games, but put up exceptional pro-rated numbers: From the forward group, Iiro Pakarinen, and on the D-side Klefbom’s pro-rate to make everyone else’s OFFENSE seem piddly, at best. I expected Klefbom’s strength to be defense, but it looks like he was an offensive juggernaut in OKC in those 9 games. Furthermore – could be wrong, but if memory serves me right, he started slowly! Look closely at the smaller number of games that these two played, and project them against the guys with GOOD numbers, it makes theirs look kind of gaudy.

    Todd Nelson said something to the effect that he’d be shocked if Pakarinen wasn’t in the NHL before long, so he may yet get another shot once he works past his injuries in the AHL. Like someone said, it’s nice to have options, isn’t it?

    Just to be clear, in speaking about Parkarinen & Klefbom’s numbers, I am actually referring to TEAM GOALS FOR while they were on the ice as the comparison. Klefbom scored only marginally higher than Hunt in PTS/60, but blew his and everyone’s doors off in terms of EV GF while he was on the ice. Hunt was on for 53 EV GF in 62 games…highest on the team. Klefbom’s EV GF over 63 games would project out to 119!

  • Rocklobzter

    Hey LT,
    Do you think if Draisaitl ends up in AHL, although signs are pointing he starts the year in the NHL, would the organization have him play center, or wing?

    • Lowetide

      I think they project him long term as a C, so that’s my guess. Playing wing is easier and Leon doesn’t seem to have an issue with it. Maybe he’ll play RW with Slepyshev and Yakimov? That would be the biggest Oilers line in a long time.

  • Klam

    People seem to forget that to have a farm system like the Redwings and bring prospects along slowly means you have a competitive team and a playoff team. Otherwise you are looking at those difference makers too early to try and be a competitive team or a playoff team.

    We were hurt so bad by not having an actual feeder system in place. Without having prospects in our system and being able to evaluate them, work with them, hurt us for years.

    We are just starting to see the value in having a really strong AHL team, and hopefully a strong group under that level as well.

  • For Pete's Sake!

    Ugh, slow day. Um… what does everyone think of my fantasy Team? It’s a cap league:

    Forwards: Tavaras, Kessel, Kucherov, Semin, Okposo, Oshie, Maroon

    Defence: Headman, Lindholm, Maatta, Klinberg.

    Enforcer: Kassian

    Rookie: Larkin

    Goalie: Jones