Oilers' February NHLE - Kristians Pelss Is Still Learning

via www.sportslogos.net

When I interviewed Kristians Pelss in October, I thought it would make a nice story - a small-town Latvian kid, making the jump to North America as a longshot, learning the language and the game.  While Pelss is still a longshot to make the NHL, he's picked up the North American game and he's starting to contribute.  He thought it was only a matter of time:

"...in North America the game is a lot more physical, meaning that you must play way faster. Initially it was tough, but it gets easier with time. I believe the more I play, the sooner I will get used to it."

Pelss was right, but he's had some help.  According to the guys at The Pipeline Show, Pelss is now playing with Dylan Wruck and Michael St. Croix, both of whom will be drated in June.  Wruck has 71 points to lead the Oil Kings, while St. Croix has 68 points, good for second on the squad.

Pelss only has 14 goals and 15 assists in 56 games, but that's good enough for sixth amongst all Oil Kings.  Pelss is the only Oiler prospect to increase his NHLE in each of the four months since October, increasing his equivalency by +4, +3, +1, +1 from Noevember through February, respectively.

To get a sense of how Pelss' numbers would translate to the NHL, we can use Gabriel Desjardins' NHL Equivalency.  Gabe's methodologies are described on his translations page:

One way to evaluate the difficulty of one league relative to another is to examine the relative performance of players who have played in both leagues.  Players rarely play significant time in two leagues in the same year, but they often play in one league in one year and in another the next.  As long as a player’s skill level is approximately constant over this two year period, the ratio of his performance in each league can be used to estimate the relative difficulty of the two leagues.

If you're interested in the numbers behind some of the players that may be drafted in this year's lottery, check out SumOil's CHL update posts every other Monday.

After the jump is the full list of skating prospects with their NHL Equivalency and full season projections.

Tables are sortable by column, simply click on the header row.

Player - League DOB Drafted NHL PPG NHL82 G NHL82 A NHL82 P Change
Alexei Mikhnov - KHL 8/31/82 17 0.389 6 26 32 +6
Curtis Hamilton - WHL 12/4/91 48 0.399 9 23 33 +1
Toni Rajala - SM-Liiga 3/29/91 101 0.305 10 15 25 +1
Kristians Pelss - WHL 9/9/1992 181 0.150 6 6 12 +1
Kellen Jones - NCAA 8/16/90 202 0.253 7 14 21 +1
Cameron Abney - WHL 5/23/91 82 0.091 3 5 7 +1
Linus Omark - AHL 2/5/87 97 0.487 18 22 40 0
Chris Vande Velde - AHL 3/15/87 97 0.097 6 2 8 0
Tyler Pitlick - WHL 11/1/91 31 0.327 12 15 27 0
Anton Lander - SEL 4/24/91 40 0.390 13 19 32 0
Colin McDonald - AHL 9/30/84 51 0.271 14 8 22 0
Liam Reddox - AHL 1/27/86 112 0.392 18 15 32 0
Ryan Martindale - OHL 10/27/91 61 0.397 13 19 33 -1
Philippe Cornet - AHL 3/28/90 133 0.133 4 7 11 -1
Alexander Bumagin - KHL 3/1/87 170 0.270 11 11 22 -1
Teemu Hartikainen - AHL 5/3/90 163 0.268 10 12 22 -1
Milan Kytnar - AHL 5/19/89 127 0.129 4 6 11 -1
Drew Czerwonka - WHL 7/1/92 166 0.197 5 11 16 -1
Robby Dee - NCAA 4/9/87 86 0.372 9 21 30 -2
Ryan O`Marra - AHL 3/29/91 15 0.205 2 15 17 -4

 

 

Player - League DOB Drafted NHL PPG NHL82 G NHL82 A NHL82 P Change
Brandon Davidson - WHL 8/21/91 162 0.221 3 15 18 +1
Jeremie Blain - QMJHL 3/19/92 91 0.273 2 20 22 0
Johan Motin - AHL 10/10/89 103 0.052 1 3 4 0
Taylor Chorney - AHL 4/27/87 36 0.153 2 10 13 0
Troy Hesketh - USHL 7/5/91 71 0.000 0 0 0 0
Jeff Petry - AHL 12/9/87 45 0.278 7 16 23 -1
Kyle Bigos - NCAA 5/12/89 99 0.079 0 6 6 -1
Alex Plante - AHL 5/9/89 15 0.085 1 6 7 -1
Martin Marincin - WHL 2/18/92 46 0.260 5 16 21 -2
Colten Teubert - AHL 3/8/90 13 0.113 2 7 9 N/A

 

  • Teemu Hartikainen has cooled off a bit and the Barons have slumped.  Neal is convinced that Teemu is the guts of the Barons and as he goes, they go.  For their sake, I hope he catches a hot streak again.
  • Curtis Hamilton was demoted from the first line in Saskatoon to play on the second line with Brayden Schenn.  Yeah, Saskatoon's loaded.
  • Jeremie Blain is having quite a season for Acadie-Bathurst Titan.  He played the first two, then missed the 28 games due to injury and the Titan went 17-11 with a +.606 goal differential per game.  In the 32 games since Blain's return from injury, the Titan have gone 21-11 with a +1.214 goal differential per game.
  • Troy Hesketh finally returned from a concussion and played his first game for the Sioux City Musketeers.  Hesketh, no longer headed to Wisconsin, has an uncertain future, but it's likely he'll either find another NCAA offer or head to the AHL.
  • Martin Marincin's incredible early pace has slowed significantly, in fact, Jeremie Blain has over taken him in NHLE, but Marincin is still going to score 55 points in his rookie year in the CHL. 
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