Oilers January NHLE: Yakimov, Nurse and Haze

Bruce Bennett

Yakimov and Nurse are producing

Bogdan Yakimov rolled right off of his Bronze Medal at the WJCs back to the KHL and won rookie of the week honors for Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik.  Yakimov's draft-year peer Darnell Nurse continues to play the role of Chris Pronger for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.  Other than the two 2013 draftees, the bright spots are hard to find in the prospect pool.

For a complete look at all of the Oilers' prospects and their NHL numbers, 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.

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

Player NHL PPG NHL82 G NHL82 A NHL82 P
Kellen Jones 0.47 16 22 38 -1
Anton Lander 0.28 10 13 23 -5
Gregory Chase 0.33 14 13 27 -1
John McCarron 0.32 6 20 26 -11
Mitch Moroz 0.30 14 11 25 3
Marc Roy 0.28 6 17 23 -4
Bogdan Yakimov 0.28 13 9 22 2
Jackson Houck 0.24 13 7 20 0
Tyler Pitlick 0.23 8 11 19 N/A
Jujhar Khaira 0.22 8 10 18 3
Andrew Miller 0.21 5 13 18 1
Anton Slepyshev 0.19 6 10 16 2
Curtis Hamilton 0.18 8 6 14 0
Aidan Muir 0.15 5 7 12 -4
Kyle Platzer 0.13 5 5 10 0
Evan Campbell 0.11 7 2 9 6
Daniil Zharkov 0.06 3 3 6 0
Kale Kessy 0.07 2 4 6 0
Travis Ewanyk 0.06 3 2 5 0

The moribund state of the NHL franchise has a doppelgänger in the player development organization. The are a few bright spots - Yakimov's work in the KHL this year makes him the belle of the ball amongst forwards in the organization. Anton Lander's continued dominance of all aspects of the game in the AHL and the fact that his most common NHL linemates in his career have been Lennart Petrell, Ben Eager and Ryan Jones give us a glimmer of hope that Lampan will turn out just fine in the end. Greg Chase has had a nice season offensively as well, but overall, this group does not embiggen the spirit.

The Oilers have now banished three offensive forwards since last March. Those forwards are outpacing the remaining group somewhat significantly"

Player NHL PPG NHL82 G NHL82 A NHL82 P
Toni Rajala 0.53 18 25 43 3
Teemu Hartikainen 0.48 19 20 39 -4
Tobias Rieder 0.25 12 8 20 -2

The rest of the high performers are veterans in their respective leagues and the impact of their output is minimized given their physical dominance and experience over their peers.

The defensive pipeline is better, but that's damning with faint praise:

Player NHL PPG NHL82 G NHL82 A NHL82 P
Joey Laleggia 0.29 11 13 24 2
Taylor Fedun 0.28 6 17 23 3
Erik Gustafsson 0.26 2 19 21 1
Darnell Nurse 0.24 5 14 19 -3
Dillon Simpson 0.23 7 12 19 1
Brad Hunt 0.22 4 14 18 -1
Martin Gernat 0.17 3 11 14 0
Philip Larsen 0.15 2 10 12 N/A
Ben Betker 0.08 2 4 6 -1
Oscar Klefbom 0.07 0 6 6 2
David Musil 0.07 0 5 5 0
Martin Marincin 0.06 2 3 5 -5
Brandon Davidson 0.05 0 4 4 2

Jonathan Willis has written about his pleasure in watching Oscar Klefbom, so to the eye Klefbom is coming around, even though he's not showing up on the scoresheet. Darnell Nurse has fallen off a bit and Taylor Fedun has picked it up, perhaps due to the absence of Martin Marincin.

Overall, this group still looks like a large collection of left-handed, stay-at-home defensemen, a common commodity in all of hockey.

Read More about these players at our

Top 25 Under 25 Hub

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