The Oklahoma City Barons sent some good defensemen to the NHL, and the good ones weren’t in the minors long. As the Bakersfield Condors get ready to take flight, how long will it be for the next crop to be ready?
The most successful (in terms of NHL games played) Barons blue is Jeff Petry. He played just over one-half an AHL season before becoming an NHL player. Here’s the list of OKC defensemen who have played a season’s worth of games in the NHL—plus their GP—and their AHL GP total upon their big league arrival (in brackets):
- Jeff Petry 314 (49)
- Justin Schultz 203 (34)
- Martin Marincin 85 (127 and possibly counting)
- Oscar Klefbom 77 (57)
- Brad Hunt 14 (207 and counting)
- Brandon Davidson 12 (150 and counting)
- Taylor Fedun 11 (200 and counting)
- Jordan Oesterle 6 (69 and counting)
- David Musil 4 (126 and counting)
- Darnell Nurse 2 (4 and counting)
I would define “NHL player” at 100 games, your mileage may vary. The top players in this group—Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz and Oscar Klefbom—arrived in the NHL in under one AHL season. Among the second group—represented by Martin Marincin, Brandon Davidson and Taylor Fedun—we’re looking at basically two or more AHL seasons, and that’s if they make it (we’re not certain about these gents).
The Oilers are under new management, so the numbers may not apply in the future. That said, Darnell Nurse fits (imo) into the first class of defender (less than a year) and if that holds true we’ll see him later in the 2015-16 season. Brandon Davidson and David Musil look like they’re progressing on the Marincin plan.
Here’s a list of SJS blue and how long it took them to arrive under Todd McLellan:
- Jason Demers 361 (103)
- Justin Braun 287 (43)
- Matt Irwin 153 (181)
- Derek Joslin 116 (201)
The Sharks before McLellan did have a special player (Marc-Edouard Vlasic) who made the show as a regular at age 19. Under McLellan, Justin Braun would fit in the Petry timeline and I think that’s probably a good match for Nurse. It should be noted that the Sharks were extremely patient with Demers.
Based on the Oilers and McLellan’s past, I think Nurse gets significant time later this NHL season. Brandon Davidson pretty much qualifies as Matt Irwin as we speak (in terms of minor league time) and we should assume his continued presence in training camp is based on McLellan putting a specific value on him. He could play in the NHL this season, too.
What does this mean for the other Bakersfield blue? Well Musil will be in the Irwin range soon and Jordan Oesterle is a year away. Dillon Simpson will be in the AHL this season and I don’t see Laleggia avoiding at least a full AHL season. For our purposes, Nurse and Davidson are the interesting players for 2015-16.
Photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved. I wrote about McLellan’s rookies in San Jose here.