Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Oilers Prospects Watch

Here is a list of Oilers prospects, and how they are doing on the year so far. I did not include junior players, college players, or prospects in Europe, and I left some guys in the minors off the list (Murphy, Sestito, Goulet, Radunske).

Edmonton Oilers
Brad Winchester: Games Played 8; Goals 0; Assists 1; Points 1; Plus/Minus +2
Patrick Thoresen: Games Played 8; Goals 2; Assists 4; Points 6; Plus/Minus +4
Alexei Mikhnov: Games Played 1; Goals 0; Assists 0; Points 0; Plus/Minus 0
J.F. Jacques: Games Played 0; Goals 0; Assists 0; Points 0; Plus/Minus 0
Matt Greene: Games Played 8; Goals 0; Assists 0; Points 0; Plus/Minus -1
Ladislav Smid: Games Played 8; Goals 0; Assists 2; Points 2; Plus/Minus +2

Wilkes-Barrie/Scranton Penguins
Kyle Brodziak: Games Played 5; Goals 3; Assists 1; Points 4; Plus/Minus +2
MA Pouliot: Games Played 4; Goals 0; Assists 2; Points 2; Plus/Minus -1
Rob Schremp: Games Played 6; Goals 2; Assists 3; Points 5; Plus/Minus +1
Tom Gilbert: Games Played 3; Goals 0; Assists 1; Points 1; Plus/Minus 0
Jeff Deslauriers: Games Played 3; Wins 3; GAA 1.67; SV% .937

Stockton Thunder
Troy Brodie: Games Played 1; Goals 1; Assists 1; Points 2; Plus/Minus +2
Tyler Spurgeon: Games Played 1; Goals 1; Assists 0; Points 1; Plus/Minus +1
Liam Reddox: Games Played 1; Goals 0; Assists 1; Points 1; Plus/Minus +1
Devan Dubnyk: Games Played 1; Wins 1; GAA 1.00; SV% .980

Hamilton Bulldogs
Mathieu Roy: Games Played 5; Goals 1; Assists 3; Points 4; Plus/Minus +2
Zach Stortini: Games Played 5; Goals 1; Assists 0; Points 1; Plus/Minus +1

Iowa Stars
Toby Peterson: Games Played 6; Goals 2; Assists 4; Points 6; Plus/Minus +5

Grand Rapids Griffins
Danny Syvret: Games Played 6; Goals 1; Assists 1; Points 2; Plus/Minus -3

Milwaukee Admirals
Bryan Young: Games Played 3; Goals 0; Assists 0; Points 0; Plus/Minus -3

My Questions:

• With Ethan Moreau potentially out for the season, who will eat up his minutes? Will it be Mikhnov or Jacques? Will it be someone in the minors? Or will Kevin Lowe now be forced to pull the trigger on a trade?

• Or, will they sign a free agent? Yannic Perreault, anyone?

• How is Rob Schremp really doing?

• Is Ladislav Smid going to be able to play this well all year?

• Do people still feel the Oilers need to trade for some defensive help?


If Thoreson stays productive on the "2nd" line, and 14-16-34 are the 3rd line, the only minutes filled are Thoreson's 4th line time, which would be in the single digit range. That isn't a panic, and won't be unless/until Thoreson hits the wall. His current chemistry with Sykora and Hemsky buys Lowe a bit of time.

Agreed, but Thoresen isn't likely to eat up all the PK time. Obviously Reasoner's role will expand, and Horcoff's, but there is still some grit missing, no? I actually can't believe Yannic is still a free agent. He must be asking for way too much. He had 57 points last year, and is always the leader in faceoff wins.

If Moreau is out with injury, his salary doesn't count towards the cap, correct?

Good to see that sexy Kyle Brodziak is performing well. Maybe we'll see him in an Oilers jersey yet!

Robert is correct - Moreau's ES minutes go to Torres with Thoreson's promotion.

andy - Thoreson has actually been getting PK time, although w/o Moreau's grit - similar PK play to Stoll.

Long-term injuries do not count towards the cap (thanks to Lou in NJ, even if you are over 35 - may help in future with Roli)


Other than face-off wins, Perreault doesn't bring very much, don't we already have enough centreman?

I think adding another defenceman will be the difference between contender for division, and middle of the pack. We still have yet to witness how we match up against offensive powerhouses of Minnesota and Nashville. Not to mention solid teams like Anaheim and Dallas. Plus the Eastern conference teams of Buffalo, Montreal and Ottawa...we'll need a solid d-man.

For me, the d-man becomes more necessary to help our offence, actually. Flaying Phoenix aside, our breakout still looks a little rough, and clearing the zone in an effective manner (ie not just banging it off the glass) seems to be something we have an issue with.

I think our crew has done fine on the defensive side of things (there have been a lot of shots, I suppose, but they're not terribly high quality shots): we need a guy who can hit long breakout passes efficiently, to open up the ice a bit more.

Shane Doan is probably available. Send Sykora down to PHX and get Doan if he'll sign for 3 years at about his current $3.3m (which is unlikely, I admit).

Or use the threat of PHX to sign Sykora for another year at about the same money. Moreau doesn't have to be replaced today.

A good player like Doan playing for a shitty team like PHX has to be available for less than market. And Sykora won't score 80 goals this year. It's probably too early to try the pump-and-dump, but you never know what Gretz and Co will take.

D-men are just too expensive this year. Dollars really seem to carry better on the offensive side of the goal differential equation right now.

I think a defesemen that can make outlet passes and play the point is still necessary, preferably an all-around player like 'you know who' though maybe not that significantly.

I really liked JFJ in his stint(s) last year and would be interested to see him play (or maybe another Traktor trial) but if they don't start using those guys more soon, then they should send them down for 10 games or so before they forget how to skate. Ditto for Hejda.

We all know that MacTavish is comfortable with the defensive play of Pouliot and Brodziak so they are probably likely call-up contenders while Moreau is out, but really just to fill JFJ or Traktor Boy's spot in the press box probably.

I don't think MacT is going to call up Schremp anytime soon. I think he needs to try to go the O'Sullivan route... 90+ points in AHL then come up

Torres gets Moreau's ES time but along with Thoresen they need somebody to pick up PK minutes - if JFJ cannot (and I have no idea) then it will be someone who can - Pouliot, Brodziak, Peterson?

No to Perrault.

Apparently Schremp is doing pretty well. Most of his points are on the PP but I've heard he has done alrigh tin his own zone.

As to Smid - why not? He has confidence - I think he gets better.

But we still need help on the blueline. The only positive to Moreau's injury is that the Oilers can audition a kid or two and maybe use them as tradebait.

The thing I found most noteworthy about those stats is that Dubnyk apparently faced fifty shots in his only game so far. Yowza.

I just can't believe they've only played one game. Stupid.

The Oilers started this season with 11 forwards they could count on and now they're down to 10.

94-10-15 and 14-16-34 get the toughest ES minutes and Reasoners slips in for Stoll on more than the odd shift. Meanwhile 28-71-83 get all the cherry minutes. That leaves Reasoner-Winchester PLUS for the 4th line and I'll say JFJ draws in.

And Thoresen comes in on the PK for 19. We'll miss 18's shotblocking and grit but it's far from the end of the world. And the better that a guy like Thoresen plays the worse the Moreau contract extension looks.

For all the Oilers bluster about having a deep org, and we can see that's the case, they still didn't have enough confidence in the pool as to let Moreau walk at the end of this year. You just can't tie up that much money in a guy like that...unless he could say jump up with 94-10 and play PVP and score 20 goals to boot.

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