Whatever happens from here on out, Mark Arcobello has exceeded expectations. He's a legitimate top 6 option in the AHL and he’s even gotten his first NHL game under his belt. Despite being 5-9, 165 lbs and undrafted, he's managed to work himself through the ECHL and onto a prominent role on the Oilers AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City.
|Rank||Player||DOB||Drafted||Year||Alan ||Ben ||Bruce ||DB ||Derek ||Jon||Michael||Ryan||Scott|
Even though there`s quite the gap in the rankings, the consensus of the group seems to be pretty much the same thing… he's fought to get where he is, but he's probably at the upper limit of what he`s going to be without some changes to his game.
Derek Zona has this to say about the guy he ranked 34th:
Arcobello has maxed out. I like the guy, I mean, he's a great story, but he's at the top end of this list as far as age goes and he's not an NHL guy. There are a bunch of comparable players who have three or four years to get beyond Arcobello.
I`m not as sold as Derek is that he`s maxed out, especially given how interchangeable bottom line forwards are in the NHL. He`s got a bit of offense to his game, so he can at least give and receive a pass, which puts him ahead of some other guys who`ve seen minutes in Edmonton. Adding a stronger defensive element to his game and perhaps becoming a serious option as a penalty killer could give him an edge over some of the younger players coming through the system.
At this point though, he’s a hurdle for the recent draft picks (like Pitlick, Hamilton, etc…) coming through the system. They need to beat Arcobello out for ice time and those kinds of guys are always important to have. He struggled a bit in his first NHL game, but I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that he was inserted right into the top line. I’d liked to see how he could play with say a healthy Jones and Paajarvi on the 4th line before I write him off as a worse option than say Vande Velde.
Much like most of the guys after say, 15, there’s not much difference between being 18 and 35. It’s a bunch of long shots, but this one is at least the best player in the Oilers farm system so that has some value. Whether he becomes a useful NHL player or is a good career AHLer like Martin St. Pierre is really what we’re waiting to see.