The Edmonton Oilers’ prospects saw plenty of action this past week. With a lot of highlight performances, we had to give this week’s biggest honours to the Bakersfield Condors goalies: Olivier Rodrigue and Ryan Fanti. 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.
AHL goalie tandem had a strong week
The Condors went 1–2–0 this week, with Rodrigue splitting his two starts and Fanti losing his. Both goalies have continued their strong play, and though neither are pushing for the NHL, maintaining these kinds of results through the season would represent a strong addition to their respective resumes. Rodrigue stopped 31 of 33 and 32 of 36, while Fanti stopped 26 of 29.
At the NHL level there has been obvious elevations in power play efficiency, shooting percentages, goal for, and expected goals for. As the rules of the sport shift towards favouring offence, players will focus more on these skills, a self fulfilling prophecy that does goaltenders little favours.
In short, our evaluation of goaltenders must be adjusted. Given the increased skill and scoring chances generated, it is quite impossible that the goaltenders would maintain or improve their own numbers, as a whole. What are we to expect if not for lower save percentages and higher goals against averages?
At least at the NHL level these changes have emerged, with the league-wide average SV% down roughly 0.010%. How one might have once thought about a 0.915% mark, quite strong, is now how one should feel about 0.905%. The mark of 0.900% itself was often an unofficial benchmark of acceptability, which would now rest at 0.890%, congruently.
Somewhere within the defensive woes of the Oilers and Jack Campbell’s early performance should be the acknowledgement of these facts. From a prospects perspective, it does speak well to the performances both Rodrigue and Fanti have authored early this season. A year long strong AHL performance would be a first for both. Still 22 and 23 years old respectively, there is a long time yet before NHL consideration should be on the table, but the duo does provide a sense of things being under control in the long term.
This and That
Unable to claim more NHL icetime, Tyler Benson is back in the AHL and thriving, picking up four assists in his two games this weekend. Here we see him on the near half wall, confidently firing a quick backhand pass perfectly into the wheelhouse of a Seth Griffith one timer.
Griffith is a name not brought up much in this series due to his age, most having accepted that he is an elite AHL scorer who is not quite fit for an NHL role. This is a space many great players have occupied, and is still a crucial role in the Condors, and ultimately the Oilers, success.
Perhaps Benson will find himself as this type of player, the same might be said about Justin Bailey. Although there might be some hope either Bailey or Benson might be able to chip in for brief stints in the Oilers lineup (likely during more desperate moments), both join Griffith in bolstering the Condors lineup with legitimate AHL talent, a platform to help their younger teammates.
Here we see something tangible that Xavier Bourgault can bring to the table. With an active stick and defensive awareness Bourgault is able to create turnovers, often at the defensive blueline.
Bourgault is fast enough to get the chance, but his utility on the attack is likely more geared towards support passing and getting open in the slot as opposed to carrier. However, it seems likely Bourgault will continue to generate counter attacks off of steals, one way or another.
His stick is an asset on offence more directly, in the form of this high tip. Due to Bourgault’s processing, passing, and shooting, having some hand eye coordination alongside can cement his effectiveness in the middle during in zone offence. In other words, seeing these types of plays is another strong sign for Bourgault.
Quickly separating himself from his fellow rookie AHL forwards, Bourgault’s strong start to the season should have his prospects looking more favourable across the board.
Being near the team lead in goals, where he currently finds himself, would be a huge accomplishment. If he’s able to sustain or build off of this current momentum Bourgault could find himself earnestly fighting for a regular spot in the Oilers lineup sooner than not, read next training camp.
Though we will certainly see his offensive production increase going forward, the fact that Carter Savoie is showing flashes of dynamic offence in his rookie AHL season is quite promising. There is quickness and power in his shot and his skating, and aggressive and decisive actions delivered with deft skill represents the upside in Savoie’s game.
Along with other forwards in the Oilers system, say Matvey Petrov or Bourgault, Savoie’s shooting talents seem quite up the Oilers alley when it comes to recent drafts.
Towards the end of a power play, down one, late in the third period, this is a big time goal for Savoie, taking advantage of his opportunity in an important moment.
In other Condors news, despite being held without a point this week Michael Kesselring fired 15 shots on net through three games. The merits of volume shooting from the back end might be worth debating, but this absurd output is a sign of the player’s growing confidence. Kesselring has the size and skating to be a name worth tracking. At 22 years old, the right shot is not a name that many are familiar with, yet it is difficult to imagine that his stock is not rising internally.
Not all highlights come from the ice, as here Jake Chiasson finds himself and three teammates earning honours from the Mayor of Brandon. After volunteering, the teammates helped someone in distress, using their status and friendship to help the world around them.
Regardless of what on ice highlights come from this year from Chiasson, this is something that can outshine and outlast all else. There are a lot of upstanding youth in the world, including in the game of hockey, and the hope should be that they are worthy and able keepers of the future.
With a quick look at his on ice play, Chiasson manages to find space on this bad angle shot, the game winning goal late in the third.
It’s not much, and the camera loses track of him, but that’s Matvey Petrov on the near wall with some confident puck movement on the North Bay Battalion power play. He’s done a lot of work as a passer on this unit of late, as there is a noteworthy amount of talent around him. More than improved numbers, this season should be about good habits and adding strength to help Petrov succeed next season, likely as an AHL rookie.
This time at even strength, Petrov stops near the top of the zone and goes cross ice for the assist. Known for his shot, it is a bit interesting to see him relying on his playmaking skills more often.
This is a much more familiar sight, a nice one-timer from Petrov to tie the game late. With the extra attacker this is quite similar to a power play goal.
Here we see the lineup card, prominently featuring both Luca Munzenberger and Joel Maatta. Both are younger options on the team playing high in the lineup, which should help us understand their contributions more than their offensive totals.
In another season or two the pair will make the jump to the AHL, where it might be easier to see where their development has them. Until then, it would be difficult to get too attached to their production or lack thereof.
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).
- Tyler Benson 47.8 (3)
- Matvey Petrov 34.2 (1)
- Reid Schaefer 30.5 (2)
- Maxim Beryozkin 27.0 (4)
- James Hamblin 23.9 (5)
Overall regular season totals for Oilers’ prospects
|Tyler Benson (LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||5||0||6||6||1.2||4||2||AHL||47.8|
|Maxim Beryozkin (LW/RW)||totals||36||7||10||17||0.47||14||7||totals|
|Xavier Bourgault (C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||23||8||5||13||0.57||6||-2||ECAC||13.1|
|Skyler Brind’Amour (C)||Quinnipiac Univ.||NCAA||18||7||7||14||0.78||2||9|
|Jake Chiasson (C/RW)||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||30||9||15||24||0.8||10||-21||WHL||19.8|
|Maxim Denezhkin (C)||totals||19||4||5||9||0.47||43||-4||totals|
|Seth Griffith (C/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||23||6||16||22||0.96||14||-2||AHL||38.3|
|James Hamblin (LW/C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||15||3||6||9||0.6||2||-1||AHL||23.9|
|Mattias Janmark (C/W)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||4||2||2||4||1||2||3||AHL||39.9|
|Klim Kostin (LW/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||9||2||2||4||0.44||15||-4||AHL||17.5|
|Shane Lachance (LW)||Youngstown Phantoms||USHL||21||14||5||19||0.91||10||-2||USHL||20.1|
|Raphaël Lavoie (C/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||13||2||1||3||0.23||6||-4||AHL||9.2|
|Jeremias Lindewall (RW/LW)||Östersunds IK||HockeyAllsvenskan||19||1||3||4||0.21||6||-10||HockeyAllsvenskan|
|Brad Malone (C/LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||10||1||3||4||0.4||16||2||ECAC||9.2|
|Tomas Mazura (C)||St. Lawrence Univ.||NCAA||13||2||3||5||0.39||4||2|
|Greg McKegg (C/W)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||23||1||5||6||0.26||24||2||Hockey East||8.4|
|Joel Määttä (C)||Univ. of Vermont||NCAA||18||3||2||5||0.28||14||-2|
|Matvei Petrov (RW/LW)||North Bay Battalion||OHL||28||11||25||36||1.29||14||15||OHL||34.2|
|Noah Philp (C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||22||3||1||4||0.18||4||4||AHL||7.2|
|Carter Savoie (LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||17||3||2||5||0.29||8||-5||AHL||11.6|
|Reid Schaefer (LW)||Seattle Thunderbirds||WHL||22||15||12||27||1.23||36||11||WHL||30.5|
|Tyler Tullio (C/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||21||4||3||7||0.33||4||0||AHL||13.2|
|Philip Broberg (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||7||2||2||4||0.57||0||-2||AHL||22.7|
|Vincent Desharnais (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||5||0||1||1||0.2||17||2||AHL||8.0|
|Philip Kemp (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||23||3||6||9||0.39||15||2||AHL||15.5|
|Michael Kesselring (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||23||8||3||11||0.48||28||1||AHL||19.1|
|Slater Koekkoek (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||AHL|
|Luca Münzenberger (D)||Univ. of Vermont||NCAA||14||0||4||4||0.29||14||-6||Hockey East||9.3|
|Markus Niemeläinen (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||10||0||2||2||0.2||6||2||AHL||8.0|
|Maximus Wanner (D)||Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL||23||6||16||22||0.96||26||18||WHL||23.8|
|Nikita Yevseyev (D)||totals||33||5||1||6||0.18||13||9||totals|
|Ak Bars Kazan||KHL||32||5||1||6||0.19||11||7||KHL||12.5|
|Olivier Rodrigue||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||12||2.96||0.915|
|Samuel Jonsson||Rögle BK J20||J20 Nationell||17||2.26||0.908|
|Fort Wayne Komets||ECHL||6||3.57||0.878|
|Calvin Pickard||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||8||3.12||0.899|
Which prospects are you most excited about? Let us know below in the comments or on social media.