Edmonton Oilers Prospect Report: Every beginning has an ending

Photo credit:twitter.com/Condors
Bruce Curlock
6 days ago
Every season, each NHL team starts the year with a roster of young prospects and expectations for their play in the coming year. Every season, the year ends, and teams start the process again of assessing those prospects’ play to take stock of both individual growth and the overall health of the organization from a prospect standpoint.
The Edmonton Oilers are no different than any other team in this regard. This past week saw the end of the season for most Oiler prospects, and so over the next few weeks, the analysis will begin on the season that just passed and the expectations going forward. Today, we review a pretty quiet week in our last regular weekly piece on Edmonton Oiler prospects.

Who Caught My Eye?

Well, to be honest, not many players. The end of the season always shrinks the available data pool of prospects to analyze. This, combined with the fact the Oilers’ pool of prospects is very shallow, makes it even more quiet. This is something we will address in the coming weeks. The organization needs a sea change in terms of the acquisition and development of players. The acquisition piece seems to be improving, but the development piece remains in flux. For this week, let’s take a review of who stood out and why.

Maxim Beryozkin

The Oilers fifth-round pick has been a revelation in the playoffs. After essentially treading water in the regular season, Beryozkin went on a tear in the KHL playoffs. The 22-year-old winger finished fourth in playoff scoring and first on his team. He was instrumental in getting his team all the way to the KHL playoff finals before losing to Magnitogorsk Metallurg. His totals of 5-11-16 in 20 games put him in a tie with Vladimir Tarasenko for most points by a player 22 or younger in the KHL. Beryozkin is under contract until the end of the 24/25 season with Locomotiv, but there is little question this player has taken a big jump in the Oiler prospect rankings with his playoff performance.

Max Wanner

Poor Max Wanner could not have ended the season in a worse way. A tough break where a puck gets lost in his feet ends up in the back of his team’s net resulting in Bakersfield being swept in the AHL playoffs. Wanner had a dream season for a seventh-round, 20-year-old rookie defenseman. He finished 7-10-17 in 68 games in his inaugural season in the AHL. He was tied with Phil Kemp for the plus/minus lead on the team. He played a heavy rotation in the penalty kill this year. Also, when the team was defending late leads, Wanner was counted on playing a lot of high-leverage minutes. There is no doubt Wanner is already found money given his play relative to his draft position. I would expect Wanner to work on his puck skills and his footwork this off-season to try and take a step offensively in his next season in the AHL. Given the depth chart, Wanner will play very big minutes for the Condors team next season.

James Stefan

Stefan and his Portland Winterhawks teammates started their WHL West Division Final against Prince George this weekend. After being shutout in game one, Stefan tallied a goal in game two to help Portland even the series at 1-1. His 7-7-14 in the playoffs has him 11th in WHL playoff scoring and first on his team. He continues to shoot the puck at will, averaging five shots per game, with his 49 shots being 3rd in overall totals in the WHL playoffs. Stefan will join a crowded list of wingers in Bakersfield next year. However, given his ability to shoot the puck, I would not be surprised to see him move up the depth charts with the Condors next season.

News And Notes

Luca Munzenberger finished his season some weeks ago. Often, college players will sign ATOs with the team that drafted them and play a few games to gauge where they stand in the professional game. Not with Munzenberger. In fact, the news on his future plans has been quiet. So one has to assume that Munzenberger will be back at the University of Vermont for his senior season. After that, perhaps Oiler fans will see Munzenberger.
Carter Savoie has now finished his entry-level deal with the Oilers. He finished the season 10-12-22 in 62 games with the Condors. It was another challenging season for Savoie. His play was uneven during the year although he played much better towards the end of the season. Still he could not find his scoring range with the one natural skill he has that is translatable to the NHL: his shot. I will be curious to see if the Oilers re-sign Savoie. The team is loaded with young winger prospects with James Stefan adding to that group. It is quite possible we have seen the last of Savoie with the Edmonton Oilers organization.
Matvey Petrov ended the season on injured reserve with an apparent knee injury. Due to injuries, Petrov only managed 53 games in his rookie season, tallying 9-5-14 in those games. However, the sixth-rounder from the 2021 NHL draft really was starting to make his presence felt with his defensive game. Given his track record as an offensive player, this was very welcome news. This is a player I expect will take a jump next season with the Condors.
That’s it for this week folks. This is our last regular feature on Edmonton Oilers prospects. In the coming weeks, we will have a series of articles on the Edmonton Oilers prospect pipeline. Keep an eye out for those soon. Have a great week.

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