The Oil Kings need secondary scoring. In their first 10 games, they have not been able to create sustained offensive depth. The whole team has contributed in spurts, but the most productive – and consistent—Oil Kings have been Trey Fix-Wolansky, Brett Kemp, and Colton Kehler. The Oil Kings success this season will be influenced by secondary scoring. If their depth players and defense can contribute more consistently, the Oil Kings should have a moderate amount of success.
If players like Kobe Mohr, Will Warm, Nick Bowman, and Matthew Robertson can score more regularly, the Oil Kings may see more victories and overtime points. The games the Oil Kings have won so far this year have had a more diverse cast of characters on the scoresheet. The Oil Kings are a young team with a lot of potential and not much experience.
The lack of experience shows when the Oil Kings fail to sustain pressure in the offensive zone or in their shot selection when they even have the time and space to get off a shot of any quality. The team must start finding ways to counter inexperience if they hope to have long term success.
Kobe Mohr is a veteran in comparison to this young Oil Kings team. In his third year in the WHL, the former first round pick is an excellent candidate to provide the necessary scoring. He’s already had some success this year. He’s also had enough time to adjust to the speed and physical style of the WHL, isn’t afraid of confrontation, and is used to the coaching style of Steve Hamilton. Mohr also routinely plays with one of the Oil Kings at the top of the team scoring race. A combination of any of those factors may explain why Mohr is currently fifth in scoring. If he’s able to continue to produce or event take a step forward, it would provide the Oil Kings with some of the offensive depth they need.
A second possible solution is an increased offensive presence from the defense. This is a riskier solution as the defense still struggles with playing a two way game. When defenders do jump up in the play, hey have the ability to have an immense impact. Between Will Warm and Conner McDonald, the Oil Kings have two defensemen who produced regularly last season.
There hasn’t been the same type of output yet this season. Both Warm and McDonald are capable of creating chances – especially from the point. The powerplay benefits the most from a defenseman who is comfortable playing a two-way game. If either McDonald or Warm can find their scoring touch, it will give the Oil Kings a well-rounded defenseman who can contribute when presented the opportunity.
Finally, there is Tomas Soustal. The 20-year-old Czech was claimed off waivers from the Kelowna Rockets. Having recently joined the team, Soustal can be expected to produce going forward. Taking both one of three overage roster spots and one of two European player roster spots, the Oil Kings can hardly afford for their veterans to languish. If Soustal can assume part of the scoring, it may give the Oil Kings three lines which can genuinely be expected to score regularly.
Relying on more than a handful of players helps to guard against team scoring being dictated by the hot or cold streak of a particular player. The Oil Kings need to remove as many reasons why they can’t succeed as possible. If the can create consistent secondary scoring, it becomes a reason why they can be successful instead of a reason they can’t.