CONDORS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR IS….

brossoit williams3

A year ago, Laurent Brossoit was an easy choice for top Oilers rookie in the AHL. This season? It is a far more difficult decision. With 10 games to go in the season, here are your candidates.

LAST YEAR’S TOP FIVE

  1. G Laurent Brossoit 49GP, .916 2.65.
    Easily the class of the group, Brossoit is the best goalie prospect in
    the Oilers system since Devan Dubnyk (who was a quality prospect).
  2. C Bogdan Yakimov, 57GP, 12-16-28.
    The giant Russian showed well in TC then headed to Oklahoma. It took
    some time, and his season was interrupted by injury, but he led rookie scorers. His .491 point-per-game total wasn’t a strong number for a
    rookie in the AHL.
  3. D Jordan Oesterle, 61GP, 7-16-23.
    Puck-moving college defender, a little older (22) than some of the
    other kids and had some chaos in his game. He did get a recall to the
    NHL as a rookie pro.
  4. D Dillon Simpson, 66GP, 2-14-16.
    Simpson was a rookie pro (despite being just two months younger than
    David Musil) but improved as the season wore along. 
  5. C Jujhar Khaira 51GP, 4-6-10.
    Along with Yakimov, Khaira impressed everyone with size, speed and
    skill in training camp. Unlike Bogdan, the offense didn’t come in the
    AHL in year one.

THIS YEAR’S CANDIDATES

LAURIKAINEN

  • G Eetu Laurikainen 13gp, 3.32 .904. The Finn took his
    time to adjust, but a late run got him over .900 and I imagine in
    position to fill the backup role next season in Bakersfield. He had some injury issues this year. If Edmonton uses Laurent Brossoit as the NHL backup—which is possible—Laurikainen could find himself in the starting role in 2016-17.

roy capture

  • C Marco Roy, 34gp, 6-5-11. He is a new pro and a former
    second-round pick, but the scoring didn’t come in year one. The TOI issue is always a problem when we evaluate, but he didn’t score a lot in the ECHL either (10gp, 1-5-6). I think Roy probably has more to give, but it may not be as an Oiler: He is without an NHL contract.

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  • C Kyle Platzer 40gp, 5-10-15. Injuries and lack of
    usage (no idea why the Oilers do this, drafting and signing players and then having them sit) but he tracked better than
    Khaira last year (and about even with Josh Winquist of a year ago). His
    two-way acumen should get him more work next season. Only 40, 2-8-10 at
    evens, .250.

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  • D-F Joey Laleggia 53gp, 7-17-24. On defense, he has coverage issues (as reported by Scott Zerr and others) plus some of
    those points came as a forward. Still, he is an intriguing prospect, and
    his 5×5 numbers (53, 7-10-17 .321 points-per-game) show he is a solid
    offensive option. Interested to see if Edmonton tries him at forward
    again at some point down the line. His offense is comparable to Jordan
    Oesterle as a rookie, as is his chaos. Fun player to watch.

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  • W Anton Slepyshev 39gp, 10-7-17. Has slightly superior 5×5 stats
    (39, 7-7-14 .359 points-per-game) to Laleggia, who of course is a defenseman. At 6.02, 187 he appears to have some
    of the things Todd McLellan wants and he did win a job out of TC. 90
    shots in those 39 games. His offense is in the range with Yakimov’s a
    year ago. That is not the kind of number that suggests an offensive NHL future.

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WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

I think it is a close race this season between Slepyshev and Laleggia. I also think last season gave Edmonton a far stronger group of rookie pro’s. Is there a Jordan Oesterle among this year’s rookies? If there is, I can’t see him from here. Then again, Oesterle himself wasn’t a clear choice last spring either.

(All photos by Mark Williams)

    • Poke Check

      Since neither McDavid or Davidson have played enough games, the nod obviously goes to Nurse (albeit with Pakarinen in hot pursuit). Durability above all other considerations!

      /jk

  • How has Dillon Simpson been as a pro soo far? I had high hopes for him but I’ve had trouble finding info on his developement? Could we expect him to be on the roster once the deadline next year comes?

    • Jaxon

      True, but Caleb Jones (late blooming brother of Seth could be very useful asset in CBJ trade!), Ethan Bear (Tank RD who can score!), and Ziyat Paigin (6’6″, 209 lbs, KHL NHLe: 47pts!) look like they could be absolute steals.

  • Oil drop

    Well I don’t know about rookie of the year.

    But douche of year maybe. I was told about a tmz article where a bunch of oilers prospects tried to convince some bar stars to get on the team bus from l.a. to Bakersfield and couldn’t despite telling them they were star nhl players

      • Oil drop

        If it’s true…which it is I found the video after posting that. It speaks to a distinct weakness of character.

        I get they are young guys. But come on they lied needlessly about being nhl players when they could have had same result saying the we’re pro hockey players.

        Also let’s face it it is not like hockey players at that level have any difficulties getting some tail.

        The douche bag act in my mind makes me think less of them and makes me wonder what our prospects are learning and from which posers

  • toprightcorner

    Shows they really need to work on organizational depth. Nurse should have been the AHL rookie pro if they had kept him there to develop like they should have. Hopefully the Oilers can get to the point where talent is over ripe on the farm and they can make the step to the NHL easier instead of trying to develop with the big club. Drafting really needs to improve.

    • Oiler Al

      Drafting is such a crap shoot….. Its always “only if “.

      In 2007 Oilers took Plante in the first round.
      Montreal got Suban in the second round.In fact there were 10 D-men taken in the 2007 second round, and Suban is the only one that is in the NHL.

      I know there are hundreds of these type of examples.

      Oilers should have built their team from the backend, but the joy of picking first and chasing shiny marbles cost them the rebuild. Today they are willing to trade [excl.#97] all those marbles for a D- man.

          • RJ

            The BPA rule makes perfect sense, except it’s pretty difficult to discern who the “best player” is until five or ten years after the draft.

            Yak was the consensus BPA, and even the fans of Yak City can agree that he is not the best player from that draft. Or Shea Weber going 49th. After the fact, we can agree he was BPA, but not on draft day.

  • Jaxon

    I would say, of the skaters last season, Yakimov showed the most promise when he ended his season with 12 points in his last 13 games (derailed by injury I believe), which sounds similar to Slepyshev’s rookie season. Yakimov should have gotten more at-bats this year for that performance. Not sure what happened this season. It looks like Slepyshev has turned a similar corner to end this season, as has LaLeggia.

  • Jaxon

    With the forwards they have on the oilers I’m pretty happy with Yakimov and Slepyshev pushing for 3rd and 4th liners duty. If they add Puljujarvi at the draft they might wind up with a Slepyshev Yakimov Yakupov 4th line eventually. Poor Yakupov, but that is a pretty skilled line with some decent size. They might have a feast against weaker competition.

      • Jaxon

        I was referring to the fact that 4th liners often play against other 4th liners, which are often fringe NHLers. Yakupov actually has improving fancy stats (better defensively) and has more than enough skill to score against fringers as does Slepyshev. Yakimov has the size and skills to help get them the puck. I’d like to see them play together someday.