clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

GAME RECAP: Oilers YoungStars 3, Jets YoungStars 2

The Oilers were led by James Hamblin, Xavier Bourgault and a few other noticeable names in Penticton tonight.

Edmonton Oilers 2021-2022 Headshots Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images


The next generation of Oilers took to the ice this afternoon against the Winnipeg Jets. As opposed to my normal video review, I got a chance to be at the game live. Here are my notes on players who were notable. Not every player is mentioned, but that should not be viewed as a negative. Simply his game didn’t stand out in any regard.

As reported by Tony Brar, the lines and pairings for the game were:

Who Got Noticed?

Dylan Holloway

Played a strong 200 foot game for 60 minutes. Ended up with one assist, but should have been credited with a second. Had 3 grade A chances to score and set up 3 more. Absolutely leveled a Winnipeg defender setting the tone early in the game. Played 1PP and 1PK all night as well as the high leverage last minute of the game.

James Hamblin

Played a strong C role between Holloway and Bourgault. Also played1PP and 1PK as well as the last minute of the game with Holloway. Continues to display a strong two way game. Thought today he was more creative offensively, which is what he needs to do this season. Scored the game winner with a patient finish from in tight.

Noah Philp

First I’ve seen of him at C although people I respect tell me he played it with the University of Alberta. I really like Philp at C. He’s got a big body and he keeps his feet moving consistently. Very smart in his own zone. Did get caught with one turnover, but generally strong in coverage. His offensive game tonight was very good. He had one grade A chance amongst several shots. The word was his skating was going to be an issue. I did not see it as an issue tonight. Not a burner, but very smart about where to be and how to get there in short order.

Xavier Bourgault

Had a tremendous first period. Faded some in the game until his excellent forecheck set up the winning goal late in the third by James Hamblin. Inside the offensive zone, he’s an absolutely wizard. Patient, smart and very creative despite tight quarters. Thought his skating was very good tonight. Certainly no issues. His defensive coverage and strength on the puck in his own zone need work, but that is hardly a rarity for a young pro.

Carter Savoie

Had some very good moments offensively including an exceptional pass to set up the first goal as part of the second powerplay unit. Also showed his “in tight quarters” puck skills and patience on a fabulous rush in which he got off a grade A scoring chance. Savoie badly needs to improve his strength and stability at the pro level as he easily moved off the puck or knocked down in battles. He also remains undisciplined in his own zone on coverage often following the puck regardless of its location.

Michael Kesselring

Oilers best D all night. Skated the puck with confidence up the ice and joined the rush consistently. Was rewarded for his effort with a gift goal deflecting off a Winnipeg defender into the net. Particularly impressed with his use of his body and reach tonight. Consistently defended his blueline well suppressing a number of rush attacks. I’m not certain he shouldn’t be ranked ahead of Vincent Desharnais at this moment.

Darren Kielb

Hard not to notice Kielb. He’s a high event D, good and bad. He’s an excellent skater who has no fear leading and supporting offensive attacks. Scored a beauty goal on a back door play from Carter Savoie on the power play. He has a rocket for a shot and it created havoc tonight. He will need to work on his decision making for certain. He was caught up the ice a few times leading to odd man attacks the other direction. He also is softer in his own zone on the puck than you want from a 6’2” defender. His pairing was pinned a couple of times in their zone when he couldn’t physically stop smaller players.

Philip Broberg

He was fine. Just fine. Nothing terribly dynamic offensively and nothing earth shattering in his own zone. Steady which is fine, but I think at this level there should be higher expectations on this player. He played 1PP and 1PK all night, but it’s notable that after a timeout with the Oilers up one late in the game, it was Kemp and Kesselring on the ice and not Broberg.

Maximus Wanner

Folks, we have another legitimate RHD prospect. Wanner was paired with Broberg which certainly helped. However, Wanner showed everything you would like to see from a young D. Excellent footwork for a bigger man. I was particular impressed with his evasive maneuvers all night. Many times he separated from small, faster players using tight turns and deception leading to easy breakouts. He was used on PP2 today and he looked comfortable in the role. My hope is Wanner plays tomorrow with another partner to see what he can do with someone who isn’t as close to NHL ready as Broberg.

Reid Schaefer

Just because Schaefer is the most recent first rounder, I focused some on him. He clearly does have soft hands and he can create some excellent plays in tight space. He remains to me a project. His attacks lack lateral mobility and he resorts to a bull rush style which had little effect. His skating is better overall than I expected, so that is a good sign. The focus for him in Seattle needs to be lateral mobility work to help him create space and opportunities. I remain convinced that Jagger Firkus will haunt my dreams

The Oiler prospects are back at it tomorrow against the Flames. See you then