The Edmonton Oilers signed Tyler Pitlick today. It was a good deal for team and player—more AHL money, less NHL dough—and he is back for a year. Pitlick will probably enter training camp as a Condor but could see a recall during the year. Let’s have a look at the signed Bakersfield group, and what they might look like in the fall.
The Oilers recalled a lot of Condors in 2015-16:
- C Leon Draisaitl 72gp, 19-32-51
- R Iiro Pakarinen 63gp, 5-8-13
- D Darnell Nurse 69gp, 3-7-10
- D Jordan Oesterle 17gp, 0-5-5
- L Jujhar Khaira 15gp, 0-2-2
- L Luke Gazdic 29gp, 1-0-1
- D Griffin Reinhart 29gp, 0-1-1
- R Rob Klinkhammer 14gp, 1-0-1
- R Anton Slepyshev 11gp, 0-1-1
- D Nikita Nikitin 11gp, 0-1-1
- D Brad Hunt 7gp, 0-0-0
- C Andrew Miller 6gp, 0-0-0
- G Laurent Brossoit 5gp, 3.61 .873
That is a lot of games. If a full roster spot is represented by 82 games, Edmonton had over four of their 23 spots covered by Barons. Farm teams are damned important.
This is the final Oklahoma City Barons roster (forwards) and their boxcars. Pitlick is mid-pack, but he played only 14 games so small sample size alert. Fair to say that when he was in the lineup, Pitlick was among the top 9F.
This is Eric Rodgers again, he did the work in both seasons and if you would like to thank him twitter usually works best.
Pitlick is the best offensive player who was unsigned until today—save Josh Winquist. We have spoken about Winquist at length, and hopefully he returns on an NHL deal. Pitlick is about the same offensively as Jujhar Khaira—who is two years younger—and both men are likely to play big parts in the Bakersfield season to come.
PROJECTING THE 2016-17 CONDORS
- G Laurent Brossoit. Has another year before being vulnerable to waivers. Could be in NHL.
- G Eetu Laurikainen, AHL backup, he is signed for next year.
- G Nick Ellis: Newly signed college free agent. He was .936 at Providence (NCAA).
- LD Griffin Reinhart, may spend another year in the minors. Bonus could hinder.
- LD Joey Laleggia, Posted solid offense as a rookie pro.
- LD Dillon Simpson, Gerry Fleming said he was most consistent D in Bakersfield.
- LD Ben Betker, Spent most of his time in Norfolk, should be a bigger part of Condors.
- C Jujhar Khaira, he could be in the NHL for much of the year.
- C Bogdan Yakimov, probably spends the year in California.
- C Kyle Platzer, should have a bigger role.
- L Ryan Hamilton. Veteran on an AHL only contract.
- L Drake Caggiula. fine young scoring winger from college.
- L Jere Sallinen, KHL grad, unsure of what kind of role he will fill.
- L Mitch Moroz, final year of his entry deal, huge for his future.
- L Braden Christoffer, rugged winger, struggled as a rookie pro.
- R Tyler Pitlick. Young veteran just signed. Bakersfield, possible recalls 16-17.
- R Anton Slepyshev, has NHL size and speed. Does he have enough skill?
- R Patrick Russell, power forward potential. Interesting new signing.
- R Greg Chase, should be in California all year.
FREE AGENTS WHO MAY PLAY IN BAKERSFIELD NEXT YEAR
- LD Jordan Oesterle, fine young player. Should be a lock to return, may play in NHL. RFA.
- RD Adam Clendening. Interesting decision for puck moving righty. RFA.
- LD David Musil, shutdown defender is a solid AHL player. RFA.
- LD Brad Hunt. Skills are duplicated elsewhere. UFA.
- C Marco Roy. Former second-round pick. AHL contract last year, uncertain future.
- L Josh Winquist. Oilers best AHL offensive prospect. Unsigned, free agent.
- L Kale Kessy. Rugged winger, skills duplicated on roster. RFA.
- R Josh Currie Played well, looking for a contract.
- R Andrew Miller. No chance he returns imo. UFA
- The Oilers need to sign Josh Winquist. Seriously.
- The Oilers need some RHD.
- The AHL roster has some real talent—Brossoit, Reinhart, Khaira, Caggiula, Slepyshev—could have NHL careers.
- Edmonton signed Pitlick ahead of Iiro Pakarinen. Some have speculated that Edmonton may take the Finn to arbitration, in an effort to open a buyout window later this summer.
- Of the remaining RFAs, I think Jordan Oesterle is most likely to be signed.
- David Musil is likely to get a contract.
- Did Andrew Miller trade himself?
All photos by Mark Williams