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Oilers' October NHLE - The Early Games Show Promise

The Oilers have either graduated or cut ties with the top five guys on the final NHLE list from 2010-11.  Anton Lander and Linus Omark are with the big club, Robby Dee was not offered a contract, Liam Reddox set sail for Vaxjo, and Alexei Mikhnov is doing something somewhere.  Those five, along with Curtis Hamilton and Ryan Martindale, finished with NHLEs above 30 points last season, so there was bound to be a bit of a drop-off this season, especially since their first overall pick is plying his trade in the NHL, not in the CHL.  The very-early season returns show a significant drop in overall production with just two prospects over 30 NHLE points and just four more forwards above 25 points.  These early-season numbers are by no means meaningful - the extremely small sample size gives everyone a chance to catch up.

To get a sense of how these prospects' 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.

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

Player League DOB Drafted NHL82 G NHL82 A NHL82 P
Philippe Cornet AHL 3/28/90 133 32 5 37
Kellen Jones NCAA 8/16/90 202 13 21 34
Teemu Hartikainen AHL 5/3/90 163 16 12 28
Milan Kytnar ECHL 5/19/89 127 0 28 28
Tobias Rieder CHL 1/10/93 114 15 12 27
Toni Rajala SM-Liiga 3/29/91 101 16 11 27
Drew Czerwonka CHL 7/1/92 166 15 9 24
Mark Arcobello AHL 8/12/88 Und 4 16 20
Gilbert Brule AHL 1/1/87 6 12 6 18
Cameron Abney ECHL 5/23/91 82 7 7 14
Tyler Pitlick AHL 11/1/91 31 5 9 14
Ryan O`Marra AHL 3/29/91 15 9 5 14
Chris Vandevelde AHL 3/15/87 97 4 8 12
Kristians Pelss CHL 9/9/92 181 9 3 12
Curtis Hamilton AHL 12/4/91 48 0 7 7
Antti Tyrvainen AHL 4/3/89 Und 0 6 6
Ryan Martindale ECHL 10/27/91 61 0 6 6
Travis Ewanyk CHL 3/29/93 74 Inj Inj Inj
  • Neal Livingston has talked about Cornet's rebirth a number of times, but Scott Reynolds pointed out Cornet's being carried by the percentages. Cornet is averaging 2 shots per game, up from 1.4 last season.  Even when his shooting percentage cools, he'll still score 20 if he's able to keep the shot rate going.
  • Last year's impressive CHL contingent have struggled in the early-going.  Pitlick and Hamilton, aren't struggling to score because they're missing chances - the two have combined for just 15 shots in 13 man games.  Ryan Martindale has fared a bit better, with 15 shots in 5 games in the ECHL.
  • Kellen Jones is off to an impressive start with 8 points in 8 games, but remember, he had 7 points in 7 games to start 2010-11.  If he keeps this up in conference play, it will be meaningful.
  • Tobias Rieder leads the current crop of CHL prospects, though veteran Drew Czerwonka isn't far behind.
  • Toni Rajala's start looks like it's been rough, but it's worth mentioning he's playing on the worst team in the SM-Liiga.  Ilves is last in the 14-team SM-Liiga, with the fewest goals scored and the second-most goals against.  Through 18 games, they are already 28 points behind Teemu Hartikainen's old team - KalPa - who lead the league with 41 points.  It's going to be a long year for Rajala.
Player League DOB Drafted NHL82 G NHL82 A NHL82 P
Kyle Bigos NCAA 5/12/89 99 6 22 28
Kirill Tulupov AHL 4/23/88 67 0 27 27
Martin Gernat CHL 4/11/93 122 9 18 27
Brandon Davidson CHL 8/21/91 162 7 13 20
Jeremie Blain CHL 3/19/92 91 5 16 21
Jeff Petry AHL 12/9/87 45 0 18 18
Colten Teubert AHL 3/8/90 13 8 8 16
Martin Marincin CHL 2/18/92 46 2 14 16
David Musil CHL 4/9/93 31 1 13 14
Johan Motin AHL 10/10/89 103 0 10 10
Alex Plante AHL 5/9/89 15 0 5 5
Oscar Klefbom SEL 7/20/93 19 0 0 0
Dillon Simpson NCAA 2/10/93 92 0 0 0
Taylor Fedun AHL 6/4/88 Und Inj Inj Inj
  • Martin Gernat is getting all of the love from the Oilers' prospectophiles, but it's Kyle Bigos off and running in a hurry.  Like Jones, Bigos is doing the damage against non-conference foes, but if he's able to maintain a points pace in the 20s, he's an instant candidate for an NHL job next season.
  • 2011 Draftees Klefbom and Simpson have yet to register a point, but Klefbom has suffered through injury, and Simpson is playing on the third pairing for a Sioux team strugging out of the gate.
  • It's tough to write this and not think of what might have been for Taylor Fedun if not for his injury.  With the Oilers looking for any help on the blueline, it's not a stretch to think that Fedun would have at least one game played in the NHL at this point.