The Copper and Blue's Top 25 Under 25 is coming up on its 10th edition. We thought it would be fitting to look back at the players that have graced the list and do a "Where are they now?" for a few of the players no longer in the NHL.
A Brief History
It started back in February of 2010, right around the time Rebuild 2.0 began and as you would suspect the first edition of was essentially a who's who in the NHL. The players from that team would go on to have long and successful NHL careers. That original list of 25 included household names such as Marc Poutiot (8), Patrick O'Sullivan (9), Ryan Stone (13), Alex Plante (16) and Cody Wild (24). If you haven't figured it out yet those last few sentences are dripping with sarcasm. In fact less than half of the original top 25 actually have NHL jobs today and only 3 are still with the Oilers.
|Chris Vande Velde
That is a pretty sorry looking list, out of those 10 that still hold NHL jobs many are barely considered replacement level. No player outside the top 25 of February 2010 have NHL jobs today and many didn't even make it past that season.
Here are some interesting things I came across while researching for this post:
- Since it's inception there have been 98 players/prospects that have qualified for the list
- 58 of those 98 have made the top 25 at least once
- Sam Gagner, Jordan Eberle and Anton Lander have made the top 25 list 9 times
- Taylor Hall, Tyler Pitlick, Teemu Hartikainen, Olivier Roy and Martin Marincin have made the top 25 list 8 times
- Kellen Jones and Cameron Abney have qualified 8 times and never cracked the top 25
- The 5 most improved players from their first appearance to their last appearance are Taylor Fedun (+23), Matin Gernat (+22), Mark Arcobello (+21), Greg Chase (+15) and Toni Rajala (+12)
- The 5 worst are Johan Motin (-23), Ryan Martindale (-22), Gilbert Brule (-18), Alex Plante (-16) and Samu Perhonen (-15)
- Eight players (Troy Hesketh, Patrick O'Sullivan, Drew Czerwonka, Jordan Bendfeld, Bryan Young, Greg Stewart, Matt Nickerson and William Quist) no longer play hockey in a recognized professional league
- Bottom 3 of all time (with 3 or more qualifying rounds) are Jordan Bendfeld (61), Bryan Pitton (60), Drew Czerwonka (59)
- Top 5 of all time are Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Sam Gagner and Nail Yakupov
Where Are They Now
There were a few players that made the cut on multiple occasions but were never able to find a home in the NHL. Names like Linus Omark or Teemu Hartikainen are the obvious ones that come to mind but there are about a dozen players that appeared promising that never made it. Names like Liam Reddox, Colten Teubert, Taylor Chorney and Alex Plante all looked destined for the Oilers big club for one reason or another but just didn't have the staying power. I guess when you can't even make the line up on the worst team in the NHL there is a pretty good chance than an NHL career may not be in your future.
Liam Reddox - Best Rank: 20
The Oilers decided not resign Reddox after the 2010-11 season. In the 2011 off season Reddox signed a one year deal with the Vaxjo Lakers of the SEL. He then signed on for two more years with the Lakers and recently he was extended for two more seasons.
Excited to have the opportunity to play in front of the lakeshow faithful for a couple more seasons!#blessed#vaxjolakers#letsgofortheguld
— Liam Reddox (@LiamReddox) April 15, 2014
Colten Teubert - Best Rank: 13
A former 1st round pick by the Los Angeles Kings, Teubert was acquired by the Oilers as part of the Dustin Penner trade. He played 24 games at the NHL level for the second worst team in the NHL but for some reason just couldn't stick with the team.
He played the remainder of his contract out in OKC but was back to where he started when the Oilers acquired him by the 2013-14 AHL playoffs.
Evidently the shine is coming off of Colton Teubert down in OKC as he is a healthy scratch tonight in the opening game of the Play-Offs
— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) April 26, 2013
During the 2013-14 season Teubert played for the
Lederhosen Iserlohn Roosters of the DEL (Deutsche Eishockey League) in Germany. It appears that he is headed back to Germany for the 2014-15 season but is willing to play in the NHL if the right offer comes along.
Taylor Chorney - Best Rank: 22
Chorney had a strange ride through the NHL/AHL over the last few seasons but why try to detail the events when Wikipedia puts it so eloquently.
On October 10, 2011, Chorney was placed on waivers with the purpose of being assigned with the Oklahoma City Barons. On October 11, 2011, Chorney was claimed off of waivers by the St. Louis Blues. After only two games with the Blues on November 10, 2011, he was again waived and was re-claimed by the Edmonton Oilers.
Chorney would finish off his career as Oiler with the OKC Barons but the Blues weren't done with him. On July 1, 2012 Chorney signed a one year two-way deal with the Blues and then was extended for the 2013-14 season. Chorney hasn't played a game in the NHL since the Blues waived him but has found himself a niche as an AHL veteran. He recently signed a two-way deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins and will probably find himself in Wilkes Barre Scranton come October.
Alex Plante - Best Rank: 14
From 2009 - 2012 Plante played a total of 10 NHL games, all for the Edmonton Oilers. His biggest deficiency was his foot speed (which is kind of an issue if you wanna play in the NHL). His biggest strength was that he was 6'4" and 230lbs (which is a big deal if you are going to be the next Milan Lucic).
Since the Oilers let him walk, Plante has moved to Austria and played last season for Dornbirn EC where he put up similar numbers to his AHL seasons only playing against way, way, way weaker competition. I wasn't able to find much more on Plante so I'll just leave you with this.
The reality of the Top 25 Under 25 is that the skill level is only as deep as the Oilers' organization. So, before getting excited while reading about the attributes of Greg Chase or Jujhar Khaira just remember, Patrick O'Sullivan and Marc Pouliot were once in the top 10 of this list. Making the top 25 or even the top 15 doesn't mean a prospect is going to be the next Alex Pietrangelo, hell it doesn't even mean they'll match the lofty career of Marc Pouliot.