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Photo Credit: NCAA

Good Timing!

This is Joe Gambardella. He played six games for Bakersfield at the end of the season and will be one of the players to watch in training camp and then in California this season. Gambardella should be one of the more successful offensive prospects with the Condors, as he’s a little older, despite being a new pro player.

The Edmonton Oilers evaluation model includes coach Gerry Fleming and an array of pro scouts plus management types tracking progress. This is a time honored way of doing business (Sam Pollock of the Montreal Canadiens once went to the minors looking for a scoring forward and came back with a then unknown goalie named Rogie Vachon) and there are going to be some very good prospects in Bakersfield to observe this year.

  • Gerry Fleming: “Derik (Johnson) is going to come in and he will primarily do video with tracking time on ice so we can work on our player development.” Source

Music! This is a big deal. Now, I’m unsure if the Oilers have had this in the past, but as an evaluation tool it’s a very important item. Why? Imagine watching a Blue Jays baseball game and seeing a hitter with 12 home runs and 40 runs batted in. Those totals aren’t impressive in 550 at-bats for an outfielder, but would represent a mammoth run in 250 trips to the plate. Time on ice works the same way. It’s important to know the time on ice for each player, it gives depth and meaning to their boxcar numbers.

TIME ON ICE BY FORWARDS (ESTIMATE) 2016-17 (5×5)

  1. Anton Lander 25:50
  2. Taylor Beck 25:33
  3. Anton Slepyshev 25:06
  4. Ryan Hamilton 23:14
  5. Joey Laleggia 21:42*
  6. Josh Currie 19:26
  7. Jesse Puljujarvi 19:22
  8. Justin Fontaine 18:09
  9. Joe Gambardella 17:12
  10. Kris Newbury 15:24
  11. Patrick Russell 13:01
  12. Mark Olver 12:16
  13. Jaedon Descheneau 12:08
  14. Joey Benik 11:45
  15. Iiro Pakarinen 11:09
  16. Brodie Dupont 10:42
  17. Zach Pochiro 10:26
  18. Jere Sallinen 10:16
  19. Scott Allen 10:11
  20. Greg Chase 9:17
  21. Braden Christoffer 9:06
  22. Kyle Platzer 7:12
  23. Mitch Moroz 6:53
  24. Joel Rechlicz 5:51
  25. Henrik Samuelsson 5:20

Eric Rodgers’ time on ice estimates for 2016-17 are here. Joey Laleggia played defense for a little more than half a season, so the number here is higher than it would be for his games at forward. I reached out to Eric after the season, and his work shows Laleggia is estimated to have averaged about 18-19 minutes a game (that’s my math).

I’ve long argued the Oilers should be playing their prospects more and minor league veterans less. I’m sure the AHL coach tries to respect those views but there’s also a matter of winning enough hockey games to keep the fans satisfied and possibly get some playoff opportunities for these players.

It’s extremely unlikely we’ll see these numbers, the Oilers will no doubt use them eternally as an evaluation tool (plus an incentive for players). In the interview by Ryan Holt (well worth the listen), coach Fleming also talks about players having access to video this winter for their own improvement.

I view this as a positive step for the organization.

  • OriginalPouzar

    Lowetide – you and I have talked about this recently and I’m a bit worried about the TOT for the 4 new AHL d-men we have (the real prospects). You had a very good point about the rules regading vetran professinoals in the AHL so the d-men should get their games but will they get their minutes?

    Assuming Simpson and Auvitu are in the NHL to start the year, we have Fayne, Stanton and Lowe who will all get top 4 minutes. Jones, Bear, Paigin, Betker, Mantha. I can see Betker and Mantha in Wichita.

    I think I’m missing a d-man in there somewhere.

  • OriginalPouzar

    Anyways, its been a while since I’ve been more interested to see how the D prospects to in the minors than the forwards.

    I think they will rely on Joey G. and B. Malone to carry some of the offence down there – both could get some NHL at bats this year too.

    I’ve got my eye on Joey L. – if he can pick up where he left off last year he might be a real forward prospect.

  • ScottyPrime

    Lowetide posts an article about Gambardella the same night as CoH and immediately following an eclipse and its even titled “Good Timing!”? Is this a sign? Is the season nigh?

  • Oiler Al

    I agree with Flemings predeliction for playing “going nowhere” AHL vets! Not sure if he is trying for his ticket back to the NHL , or more likely the flow of bonafide porspects has been in want.