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Edmonton Oilers Prospect Report: Philip Broberg shines, and Raphael Lavoie’s offensive touch

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Photo credit:Bakersfield Condors
Bruce Curlock
4 months ago
The famous Yogi Berra quote has been going through my head all week watching Edmonton Oilers prospects. The junior ranks have very few players making progress. The collegiate kids are essentially overage support players to their teams. The Condors get tremendous contributions from a couple of prospects who don’t fit in Edmonton. The rest of the kids, work hard, don’t cheat and don’t score enough.
I’ve said before that Jeff Jackson will likely be much different than the prior one, given his focus on prospects and how they are developed. However, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to suffer through tough times for another season or so. This week has been one of those weeks.
All that said, we did see some of the same old great hits. We just saw some of the old familiar hits too. More on something you’ve seen a lot of and all the news and notes in this week’s Edmonton Oilers prospect report.

Who Caught My Eye?

Philip Broberg

In four periods and change this week, Broberg continued his dominant 200-foot play. It’s hard to explain in writing, but when Broberg is on the ice, the Condors team as a whole is much more composed. Broberg leads the way, and on most shifts, the puck goes through him in a positive way. This week was more of the same. He only ended up one assist this week, but that didn’t reflect on his play. Against a San Jose team that controlled most of the two games played, Broberg’s shifts were mostly a reprieve from an onslaught by the Barracudas. When it really mattered most, Broberg stepped up. After a hard-fought 60 minutes in the game Friday, Broberg started the overtime period. Watch what he does almost immediately off the face-off.

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He didn’t finish the game, but he put the Condors on the powerplay and decided to add more to his game resume. Watch his blueline mobility, his poise and his puck skills to help set up the game-winning goal.

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The skill in this type of play is derived from how easy Broberg makes it look. These are not easy plays especially for someone of his height and length. A lot of coordination and athletic ability is needed to do what Broberg does.
Finally, I am certain you all noticed that I mentioned the Condors played two games, but Broberg only played four periods. Unfortunately, Broberg got caught on a play that used to happen routinely to him in prior years, but not at all this year. Here is the clip.

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He did skate off the ice under his own power, but he did not appear to play another shift all evening. Hopefully, it was a precautionary matter given his history of injury. We will find out shortly as the Condors play in Colorado on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

Raphael Lavoie

Lavoie had a bit of a swoon early in January, but he has started to come out of it. Last week, he had three assists in three games, but his shot totals were down. This week he changed that completely. In two games, he had seven shots and one post. In addition, he did what he does well: Shoot the puck.

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I love this goal. I think this is the type of goal he will need to get proficient at when he plays in the NHL. He will not get a lot of chances to shoot the puck in space. So, instead, he should focus on using his big body and get into position net front for redirects and rebounds. He has such great hands in close quarters and given his size, he is going to be able to manage puck battles quite well.
This second goal of the week is one we have all seen a bunch of in Bakersfield.

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Now before you move on, take a look at the ice level angle on this goal. Lavoie absolutely knew what he was doing before he shot that puck. Watch his stick angle set before he gets the puck. That is a goal scorer’s goal.

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Xavier Bourgault

Bourgault is just a mind-boggling prospect. He has all the tools. Great hands. Quick twitch with his skating. A very active and effective stick. Most importantly, his brain works at a high rate. You would think it would add up to scoring success. It has not. This week was more of the same. He played a great two games on a line with Lane Pederson and Drake Cagguila. He ended up even in the two games and registered no points. He did manage five shots on net in the two games, which is an increase over his season total of 1.75 per game. However, he just cannot score. Take a look at this clip here.

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An awkward attack for certain, but he does manage to get off a nice shot. No dice. Could he have done better on gathering in the puck and getting oriented at the net, yes I think so. However, it was not a poor effort. He just got beat, again.
Here is another one. Look at the ease with which he receives the puck in flight and beats the defender. He makes a very nice move to bring the puck to the net. He is not a shrinking violet. He will take punishment. He finishes with a really great move, only to get beat again.

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If Bourgault is struggling with his scoring, so are his linemates when he gets them the puck. Watch this great little faceoff battle win and the pass to Cagguila out front. How Cagguila misses, I am not sure.

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If I were a betting man, I would say Bourgault is in another organization after the trade deadline. I am not even sure that is a bad thing. I just know that this prospect is so confounding because he makes so many great plays each game, but rarely puts up crooked numbers on the scoresheet.

News And Notes

The Condors got Ty Tullio back this week. He played one game after missing a couple from a combination of a sore hand due to a fight and an illness. He came back on Saturday and we saw an example of two things that make him interesting. First, he is an absolute buzz saw all over the ice. Watch this clip. He doesn’t get an assist, but no question his forecheck caused enough chaos that the Barracuda defenders struggled to defend Griffith on his attack.

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The other thing that makes him interesting is his shot. Tullio can flat out shoot the puck. He doesn’t do it nearly enough, but when he does, it is dangerous. Here is another example from this week.

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In other news, Brady Stonehouse continues to struggle in the OHL. The prized UFA signing had a good start to the season, however, he has struggled since the break. In the thirteen games since January 1, Stonehouse has only seven points. For an undersized winger who doesn’t move extremely well, he needs to score to make a dent at the professional level.
That’s it for this week everyone. Your feedback is always appreciated right here or on the X to @bcurlock. Have a great week.

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