In our weekly look at Oilers prospects, it looks like some of the kids in junior are on their way to breakout seasons. At the AHL level, some prospect progress and some trying times for future Edmonton Oilers.
Last week I looked at the CHL and Europe and planned to devote time to NCAA and AHL prospects this week. I’ve added a couple of players mentioned last time because their accomplishments this week were very impressive.
  • Olivier Roy, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL) (5gp, 1.94 .933): He looks very strong early in the year, earning first star status for his work a week ago in the Q. His SP leads the league and he sees a lot of rubber (30 shots a game).
  • Martin Marincin, Prince George (WHL) (10gp, 4-6-10 +7): A monster week (3gp, 2-4-6 +8) has him in the league’s top 40 in overall points, 3rd in rookie scoring and 3rd in points by a defenseman in the WHL. It is early, but not that early. This guy is having an impact at this level.
  • Tyler Pitlick, Medicine Hat (WHL) (7gp, 3-5-8 -2): A strong week (2gp, 1-5-6 +3) courtesy the Oil Kings has him on track for his first junior season. No real surprise based on his strong performance at the Oilers training camp early this fall.
  • Teemu Hartikainen, OKC (AHL) (4gp, 2-0-2 -5): Don’t fret long over that plus minus, the Barons have a few players in that range and beyond at this point. Two goals has him leading Barons rookies in all offensive departments and his 11 shots are third on the team. The young man is adjusting more quickly than the junior kids and college men (at least so far), so that SM-Liiga time appears to have been beneficial for his development.
  • Chris Vande Velde OKC (AHL) (4gp, 0-0-0 -7): He is not having an easy time in the AHL. Vande Velde impressed (and stayed awhile) at Oilers training camp but isn’t getting much done in Oklahoma. He was on the ice for two shorthanded goals against in 1:06 last night and that is a very good candidate for low point of the season. Hopefully he’ll turn it around, but the AHL is a tough league and some adjustment time is clearly required for VV.
  • Colin McDonald OKC (AHL) (4gp, 1-2-3 -1): Although technically no longer an Oilers prospect (his deal is with OKC) McDonald is showing very well early this season. That’s important, because the NHL penalty-kill is horrible and he might be a player who gets a shot with the big club when they start moving the deck chairs around.
  • Linus Omark OKC (AHL) (4gp, 1-0-1 E): Scored the winning goal last night, and that will hopefully kick start the offense. There are going to be NHL callups this season and Omark needs to put himself in a position to earn one of those recalls. Omark talks about the goal here.
  • Shawn Belle OKC (AHL) (4gp, 0-0-0 +2): Leads the Barons in plus minus and (along with Richard Petiot) gives the team both experience and a physical element. I’d think he is among the top options for recall among the blue.
  • Liam Reddox OKC (AHL) (4gp, 0-1-1 E): I wanted to mention him for a couple of reasons: first, he’s a solid option for the PK so may get a callup if the problems continue with Edmonton’s PK. Also, he’s leading the team in shots on goal (17) which has to count for something. Set up Omark’s winner last night.
  • Drew Czerwonka Kootenay (WHL) (9gp, 4-2-6 +1): Has already matched his goal scoring total from all of last season. The big winger seems to be getting some powerplay time which will help the offensive numbers.
  • Kyle Bigos Merrimack (NCAA) (2gp, 0-1-1 +2): Huge defender (6.05, 235) whose bruising style would probably be more effective in the CHL. Playing for a rebuilding program, they’re headed in the right direction.