FIVE CONDORS WORTH TRACKING

The Edmonton Oilers have borrowed liberally from their minor league team this season. Injuries and performance served as the back story for recalls of Leon Draisaitl, Darnell Nurse, Iiro Pakarinen, Andrew Miller and Jujhar Khaira. With all this activity, how much is left? Are there any NHL-calibre talents in Bakersfield this December?

FIVE IN BAKERSFIELD

There are five players in Bakersfield we should look for at some point this season in Edmonton.

Anton Slepyshev has only three points in 10 AHL games, but the 2-1-3 took place in the last four games and suggests he is settling in. Slepy doesn’t have a bunch of skilled linemates, so—like Leon Draisaitl earlier this season—may find it difficult to find chemistry on the farm. A strong run in the minors gets him a recall, I would expect.

In the ‘gosh, that looks bad people!’ category we have Griffin Reinhart, who was supposed to help solve the problems on defense but instead was demoted. Reinhart was injured for six games early in the year (October 21-29) but was unable to stay in the lineup after his return. I would bet we see him back in the NHL soon, certainly no later than the trade deadline. On the other hand, Peter Chiarelli, in Boston, was known as a GM who would change out pieces not long after acquiring them, so that is also something to monitor.

Laurent Brossoit may be the most substantial prospect in Bakersfield, and it sounds like Peter Chiarelli is going to slow-play the young goalie’s progress. I can tell you Chiarelli handled the Providence Bruins most promising players in that way, including the ridiculously qualified David Krejci in 2006. I think Brossoit is a legit prospect, but goalies are tricky to track.

In late November, Bogdan Yakimov was hurt in practice and tonight he returns to action. Before the injury, Yak 2.0 would have been considered in the group with Jujhar Khaira and Iiro Pakarinen in terms of possible recall, so the injury may have been very costly for this player. Among the group of three forwards mentioned here, the Russian may have the most offensive potential. A strong showing over the next few weeks could punch his ticket back to the NHL.

Kyle Platzer is beginning to show good form after a slow start to his pro career. We don’t have access to time-on-ice information (that is a vital piece of information, despite what some will tell you) so we can only assume Platzer’s playing time has increased since all of the callups. He was 1-2-3 on November 27 and that is a good sign. He is quite promising because of his range of skills.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

funny

The Oilers have been ordering up from the farm and we may see a long period where no one gets the opportunity. I would guess that the trade deadline will see some room shake out for some of the prospects, and if injuries or slumps hit the big clubs in the next few weeks any of these men could be in Edmonton at that time. The Condors play tonight, as the auditions continue.

Question: Who in this group has the most promising long-term future?