Welcome to the first edition of the Edmonton Oilers’ Prospect Roundup. Each week, we breakdown everything that you need to know about the best and brightest stars in the team’s system. This week, Reid Schaefer has been scorching hot for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL, recording his tenth goal of the season. Xavier Bourgault tallied twice for the Bakersfield Condors, but the team remains 2-2-1 to start the year, and lots to talk about with the Oilers’ two Russia-based prospects. Let’s dive right into it!
Welcome to the TOR Edmonton Oilers prospect update. Each week, we’ll take a dive into how the Oilers’ prospects have done in their respective leagues. We have defined a prospect as a skater who has played fewer than 65 NHL games, and is younger than 25 years of age. All data is from EliteProspects. We also use an NHLe calculator built by Christian Roatis (@Croatis) which is used to estimate a player’s equivalent point total in the NHL based on how they are performing in their respective league. The calculator uses the difficulty of the given league combined with the ease at which a player puts up points to determine the NHLe.
Reid Schaefer – Seattle Thunderbirds
When the Oilers took Reid Schaefer with their first round pick this past year, there were a number of questions as to why. Our sister publication, The Win Column, had him ranked as the 54th prospect in this year’s draft in their final Consolidated Draft Rankings, and with names like Jagger Firkus and Owen Beck still on the board, this pick looked like an odd one to make at the time.
Thankfully for the Oilers, Schaefer is proving exactly why the Oilers made the pick that they did to take him 32nd in the draft. The forward for the Seattle Thunderbirds has a whopping ten goals and 12 points in seven games to start the season. On top of that, he hasn’t seen much time on the top line, playing on the right wing of the stacked team’s second line.
Those ten goals tie him for first in the WHL with 2023 expected first overall pick Connor Bedard. Schaefer’s 1.71 points-per-game put him 11th in the league in that category. Seattle is a very good team and three of the ten players ahead of him in this category are his teammates.
But where Scahefer stands out is his shot. Take a look at three of his goals here to see exactly why:
He has an unbelievable finish to his game and his ability to get to dangerous areas of the ice bodes well for his future. While he is a couple years away from showing off his skills at the NHL level, the signs of him progressing to that level are really good. Even if he doesn’t continue to be a 1.70+ ppg player for the rest of the season, the fact that he has such a high skill level is something to get excited about.
This and that
- The Condors have started the season with a 2-2-1 record, having dropped their most recent game to the Tuscon Roadrunners by a 5-3 score.
- This was their second straight 5-3 defeat to the Roadrunners, having lost the first one on Saturday night. The loss snapped a ten game point streak in Tuscon dating back to last season.
- James Hamblin has been on a tear to start the season, recording three multi-point games. He has six points through five games. Take a look at this goal:
- You absolutely have to love his compete level and tenacity in front of the net. He simply does not give up.
- Big props as well to Xavier Bourgault for recording his first two pro goals with Bakersfield in the latest 5-3 loss at the hands of the Roadrunners. His first goal was an end-to-end shorthanded marker which showcased his speed. Check it out:
- His second came off of a cross-ice feed from Seth Griffiths on the powerplay, which he wired into the net. Take a look:
- From the blueline, Michael Kesselring has four points in his first five games. He’s been absolutely flying to start the season. Take a look at this goal against Henderson:
- The one area that is starting to become a concern is the goaltending, which has been far from perfect to start the year. Neither Olivier Rodrigue nor Calvin Pickard have posted above an 0.882 save percentage, and each have a GAA above 3.00. The team will need to tighten this up going forward.
- Not a great start for Ryan Fanti to start the year. The University of Minnesota-Duluth signee has played in one game, allowing six goals and putting up a 0.800 save percentage. Yikes! Only up from here we hope.
- Matvei Petrov has been on an absolute tear to start the year. Through eight games, the forward has ten points for North Bay and continues to show he is too good for the OHL. Expect him to put up a bundle of points this year and compete to be the OHL’s scoring leader.
- Check out this absolute rocket from Petrov:
- Jake Chiasson has been off to a hot start this season for the Brandon Wheat Kings. Through 11 games, he has five goals and 11 points, and leads his team in points. All this while playing mostly on the teams second line.
- Check out this sweet goal he scored this week:
- Elsewhere Maximus Wanner has three points through five games for the Moose Jaw Warriors. He has mostly played second pairing on a very deep Warriors blueline. Expect him to continue to put points up this season.
- The Oilers’ two prospects at the University of Vermont have both been quite decent to start the season. Luca Munzenberger has four assists in his first four assists while Joel Maatta has two points in five games. The team beat Holy Cross 6-0 on Saturday night, with Maatta recording one of the goals.
- Skyler Brind’Amour has three points in six games for Quinnipiac to start the year. The 2017 sixth round pick was a half-point-per-game player last season, but as a senior, the expectation is that he’ll be closer to the point-per-game mark if he wants to earn an ELC.
- Tomas Mazura has started the year with one point in four games for St Lawrence University. After only appearing in eight games last season for Providence College due to injury, he entered the transfer portal and joined SLU this summer.
- Shane LaChance is back with the Youngstown Phantoms this season, after putting up 23 points in 55 games for them last season. This season he has three goals and three assists for six points in six games.
- The USHL is not an overly tough league relative to the CHL leagues or the NCAA, so expect the 19-year-old to put up a ton of points. However, take those points with a grain of salt as he will need to prove his production at a higher level.
- Aapeli Rasanen has started this season with an absolute bang. The 24-year-old has 12 points in 13 games in the Finnish SM-liiga.
- He is one of the older prospects in the Oilers’ system, and spent three seasons with Boston College before spending the last two in his native Finland. Whether he comes back to North America after this season will be the big question.
- 2020 seventh round pick Jeremias Lindewall has two points in ten games in the HockeyAllsvenskan. Not much to write home about here.
- Netminder Samuel Jonsson has started 11 games for Rogle BK’s J20 team (Swedish junior hockey) and has a 0.888 save percentage through that time. Not bad at all.
- It’s nice to see both Oilers’ Russia-based prospects seeing time in the KHL this season. Maxim Beryozkin has two points in eight games in the KHL, and six points in nine games in the VHL (Russia’s AHL-equivalent). It’s a hard jump to the KHL but he seems to be making it.
- Nikita Yevseyev has played 15 of his 16 games in the KHL and has one goal in that time. To be playing in the KHL as an 18-year-old sixth round pick is a huge sign even if his numbers don’t jump off the page
NHLe is a metric used to estimate a player’s offensive output at the NHL level from their point totals in their respective league. Here are the Oilers’ current top five (bracketed numbers denote movement from the previous week)
- James Hamblin: 47.8
- Reid Schaefer: 42.3
- Aapeli Rasanen: 34.5
- Matvei Petrov: 33.1
- Luca Munzenberger: 32.2
Overall regular season totals for Oilers’ prospects
|Maxim Beryozkin||LW/RW||9||3||3||6||0.66||6||20.9||Molot Perm||VHL|
|Xavier Bourgault||C||5||2||2||4||0.80||0||31.9||Bakersfield Condors||AHL|
|Skyler Brind’Amour||C||6||2||1||3||0.50||0||11.5||Quinnipiac University||NCAA|
|Jake Chiasson||C/RW||11||5||6||11||1.00||4||24.8||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL|
|Maxim Denezhkin||C||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg||KHL|
|James Hamblin||C/LW||5||3||3||6||1.20||0||47.8||Bakersfield Condors||AHL|
|Klim Kostin||LW/RW||5||1||1||2||0.4||13||15.9||Bakersfield Condors||AHL|
|Shane Lachance||LW||6||3||3||6||1.00||4||22.1||Youngstown Phantom||USHL|
|Raphael Lavoie||C/RW||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Bakersfield Condors||AHL|
|Jeremias Lindewall||RW/LW||10||1||1||2||0.20||2||N/A||Osrersunds IK||HockeyEttan|
|Tomas Mazura||C||4||0||1||1||0.25||2||5.7||St. Lawrence University||NCAA|
|Joel Maatta||C||5||1||1||2||0.4||10||12.9||University of Vermont||NCAA|
|Matvei Petrov||RW/LW||8||4||6||10||1.25||2||33.1||North Bay Battalion||OHL|
|Noah Philp||C||5||0||1||1||0.2||0||8.0||Bakersfield Condors||AHL|
|Carter Savoie||LW||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Bakersfield Condors||AHL|
|Reid Schaefer||LW||7||10||2||12||1.71||14||42.3||Seattle Thunderbirds||WHL|
|Tyler Tullio||C/RW||5||1||1||2||0.4||2||15.9||Bakersfield Condors||AHL|
|Philip Broberg||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Bakersfield Condors||AHL|
|Philip Kemp||5||1||0||1||0.2||2||8.0||Bakersfield Condors||AHL|
|Michael Kesselring||5||3||1||4||0.8||0||31.9||Bakersfield Condors||AHL|
|Luca Munzenberger||4||0||4||4||1.0||0||32.2||University of Vermont||NCAA|
|Markus Niemelainen||2||0||1||1||0.5||0||19.9||Bakersfield Condors||AHL|
|Maximus Wanner||5||1||2||3||0.6||9||14.9||Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL|
|Nikita Yevseyev||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||Bars Kazan||VHL|
|15||1||0||1||0.1||5||4.6||Ak Bars Kazan||KHL|
|Samuel Jonsson||11||2.47||0.888||Rogle BK J20||J20 Nationell|
|Olivier Rodrigue||2||3.04||0.882||Bakersfield Condors||AHL|
|Ryan Fanti||1||6.12||0.800||Bakersfield Condors||AHL|
Which prospects are you most excited about? Let us know below in the comments or on social media.