A little over two years after his arrival as Edmonton Oilers general manager, Peter Chiarelli has turned over (almost) the entire pro goalie depth chart. The only holdover is Laurent Brossoit, whose minor league audition has finally ended with his apparent ascension to the NHL roster this fall.
THE 2015-16 BAKERSFIELD CONDORS
- Laurent Brossoit 31gp, 2.66, .920
- Eetu Laurikainen 18gp, 3.42 .907
- Ben Scrivens 10gp, 3.47 .893
- Ty Rimmer 6gp, 3.89 .880
- Niklas Lundstrom 4gp, 3.90 .872
- Anders Nilsson 2gp, 2.01, .935
- The Oilers have liked Laurent Brossoit since he was acquired from Calgary, but the young goalie had to prove himself in the AHL over several years. The 2015-16 season represented his best year and was the second strong campaign in a row. I expect many in the organization felt he was bona fide and worthy of the backup role beginning 2016-17.
- Eetu Laurikainen had his moments with Bakersfield, but spent just this one season with the AHL team so the die was cast.
THE 2016-17 BAKERSFIELD CONDORS
- Nick Ellis 34gp, 2.69 .918
- Laurent Brossoit 21gp, 2.67 .908
- Jonas Gustavsson 20gp, 2.42 .917
- Nick Ellis signed out of college with a solid resume. His AHL performance was exceptional and we may be looking at a goalie with an NHL future. Including his final season with Providence, the Nick Ellis story is becoming very interesting. He spent two seasons with the Friars before becoming the starter, basically behind star goalie Jon Gillies most of the time. If he has another strong season in Bakersfield 2017-18, Ellis could get some work in Edmonton by the time we see April 2018.
- Laurent Brossoit posted another excellent season (three Christmastime outings dragged his numbers) and was rewarded with a recall to Edmonton (8gp, 1.99 .928).
WHO MOVED ON?
No one will remember, but Jonas Gustavsson took his demotion like a man and played well for Bakersfield down the stretch. He will play for Linkoping (SHL) next year.
- Edward Pasquale. Pasquale is a capable AHL veteran who should be able to play up and down the entire depth chart in the coming season. If the NHL depth chart is Cam Talbot-Laurent Brossoit, then Nick Ellis is the likely starter in Bakersfield. Pasquale would be the odds-on favorite to be the AHL backup.
- Shane Starrett. Impressive starter for NCAA Air Force club for the last two seasons, Starrett has some things in common with Nick Ellis a year ago as he entered pro hockey. I’m unsure where he’ll play this coming year, but time in both the ECHL and AHL seems logical.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Peter Chiarelli’s game plan to rebuild the Oilers organization is apparent with each goalie move. While trading for Cam Talbot for immediate NHL help, he also signed college goalies in 2016 and 2017 and has drafted one goalie (Miroslav Svoboda, Dylan Wells, Stuart Skinner) each draft summer.
If Cam Talbot remains a quality goaltender well into his 30’s, then these names will either find NHL jobs elsewhere or peak a little below the world’s best league. The college goalies are intriguing and I’m very interesting in seeing what Ellis can do as the No. 1 goalie in Bakersfield.