The Edmonton Oilers’ prospects saw plenty of action this past week. With a some strong individual performances across all leagues, we had to give this week’s spotlight to Raphael Lavoie. 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.
Though his linemate Tyler Tullio cooled off this week, Raphael Lavoie kept up his elevated level of play, with two goals and one assist through the week’s three games while leading the Bakersfield Condors in shots in each game. Lavoie’s path as a prospect has hit its share of snags through the years, but his recent play—the best sustained run we’ve seen from him—is enough to start reconsidering his NHL potential. No matter how well he plays this season it might be best to leave him in the AHL, so he prove that he can keep up these results with a consistency that has eluded him in the AHL. Lavoie certainly has some NHL level tools, and in a best case scenario he could see himself positioned to make a leg image push for the NHL roster next training camp.
This is exactly what we are hoping to see from Lavoie, getting to the tough ice and using his skills in tight. To thrive in the NHL, Lavoie will have to consistently use his puck control in these tight areas, in front of the net and along the boards, to make deft offensive plays.
Here we see a different side of Lavoie’s recent scoring, a longer distance shot. Once again the puck control is a nightlight, a nice curl and drag changes his release point. Scoring in this way, especially at the NHL level, might not be as sustainable for Lavoie, but the fact that we are seeing more out of his shot from this distance more frequently is a plus.
Speaking of deft plays in tight along the boards, Lavoie gets a secondary assist doing just that. We catch a glimpse of Lavoie out-manoeuvring two Roadrunners in the corner before finding linemate, Tullio. The pair have shown some chemistry since being united, leading to huge production since the year changed to 2023.
This and That
It was a strong week for the Bakersfield Condors, going 2–1–0 in their three games, including big wins against the Tucson Roadrunners and Calgary Wranglers. Calvin Pickard started all three games, playing quite well in stopping 32/35, 32/33, and 34/36 shots. While it would be nice to see Olivier Rodrigue get more action, it is a good thing for the Oilers to have their de facto number three playing well.
Michael Kesselring might well find himself on a similar timeline, adding two goals and two assists over the week, breaking out of a relative dry spell. Kesselring has length and range, and has been using his shot and skating ability to score with both power and accuracy.
As the tweet mentions, Kesselring is the AHL leader in goals, showing a willingness and skill in shooting. Many of his goals come off a strong skating vector, as seen here, firing a wrister stepping in from the blueline.
Xavier Bourgault added a goal and an assist, breaking out of a dry spell of his own. It is natural for a first year pro to have their ups and downs, and Bourgault certainly isn’t being gifted offence on his current line with Brad Malone and fellow rookie Carter Savoie, instead of with more proven AHL scorers like Justin Bailey or (AHL All-Star) Seth Griffith, for example.
No this isn’t a replay, but it is a similar looking shot from Kesselring, proving once more that his scoring touch is more than just a fluke. A perfectly placed wrister, delivered in stride, the angle changing rapidly with his speed.
Bourgault does well to generate some functional offence with a tried and true net crash. Though not the biggest player, Bourgault has some substance in strength and balance that help him make plays in tough ice. Bourgault is smart, stout, and skilled enough to be a contributor all over the ice surface. At this point he is a pretty solid B prospect, trending well in his rookie season. Though some fans will want to pencil him into the Oilers starting lineup next season, the step will likely be for Bourgault to thrive as a legitimate top six option in the AHL next season. Still, he has produced reasonably well this season as a rookie.
Tyler Benson pats the price in the tough ice, but this level of speed and power from Justin Bailey has been evident more often. Though both might never be able to fully blossom in the NHL, their skills are on full display for the Condors, providing a lot of support for their younger teammates. Bailey certainly has the speed and skill to be an effective NHLer, and perhaps some chemistry or experience might make him a call up candidate in a pinch.
Matvey Petrov slides into the middle behind the rush as the weak side winger, where he finds the puck waiting for him on a tee. Petrov is once again putting up amazing scoring numbers in the OHL, but getting into middle ice is a great sign in its own right.
It’s less frequent that we see Petrov scoring these types of goals, a long shot that would often be discredited as something that isn’t sustainable beyond junior. However, Petrov has a quality shot, as seen here. Maybe just as encouraging is that Petrov isn’t relying on it as much as he could, clearly developing a good foundation of pro habits, from which these types of skill plays can adorn a functional game.
Though most of his highlights and points this season have come from assists, Maxim Beryozkin is an effective scorer in his own right. Here we see a quality finish, getting to middle ice with a great deal of speed. With another season after this on his current KHL deal, it is likely that Beryozkin will jump right into the NHL should he decide to come to North America afterwards.
Beryozkin has been playing on a line with Artur Kayumov, and might represent an outside the box value as a future in upcoming trade negotiations.
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).
- Matvey Petrov 38.4 (1)
- Maxim Beryozkin 29.0 (2)
- Raphael Lavoie 28.7 (5)
- Reid Schaefer 28.2 (3)
- Tyler Benson 25.5 (4)
Overall regular season totals for Oilers’ prospects
|Justin Bailey (RW/LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||23||5||7||12||0.52||24||-6||AHL||20.7|
|Tyler Benson (LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||17||2||9||11||0.65||6||-5||AHL||25.5|
|Maxim Beryozkin (LW/RW)||totals||48||7||17||24||0.5||14||6||KHL||29.0|
|Xavier Bourgault (C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||37||9||10||19||0.51||8||0||AHL||20.3|
|Skyler Brind’Amour (C)||Quinnipiac Univ.||NCAA||24||10||10||20||0.83||4||10|
|Maxim Denezhkin (C)||totals||30||6||9||15||0.5||78||1||VHL||13.7|
|Seth Griffith (C/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||37||10||21||31||0.84||18||-9||AHL||33.5|
|James Hamblin (LW/C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||20||5||6||11||0.55||2||-2||AHL||21.9|
|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||ECAC||10.1|
|Shane Lachance (LW)||Youngstown Phantoms||USHL||33||23||7||30||0.91||31||5||USHL||20.1|
|Raphaël Lavoie (C/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||26||8||7||15||0.58||19||-2||AHL||28.7|
|Jeremias Lindewall (RW/LW)||Östersunds IK||HockeyAllsvenskan||24||2||3||5||0.21||6||-12||6.8|
|Brad Malone (C/LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||24||2||11||13||0.54||22||0||AHL||21.5|
|Tomas Mazura (C)||St. Lawrence Univ.||NCAA||20||3||6||9||0.45||6||0|
|Greg McKegg (C/W)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||36||1||6||7||0.19||42||2||AHL||7.6|
|Joel Määttä (C)||Univ. of Vermont||NCAA||24||5||4||9||0.38||18||-4|
|Matvei Petrov (RW/LW)||North Bay Battalion||OHL||42||20||41||61||1.45||24||24||OHL||38.4|
|Noah Philp (C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||36||6||3||9||0.25||17||4||AHL||10.0|
|Carter Savoie (LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||29||8||3||11||0.38||12||-4||AHL||15.1|
|Reid Schaefer (LW)||Seattle Thunderbirds||WHL||29||19||14||33||1.14||46||14||WHL||28.2|
|Devin Shore (C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||2||0||0||0||0||0||-1||AHL||0.0|
|Tyler Tullio (C/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||32||7||7||14||0.44||10||0||AHL||17.5|
|Jake Chiasson (C/RW)||totals||44||10||23||33||0.75||20||-22||WHL||18.6|
|Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||37||10||18||28||0.76||16||-20|
|Philip Broberg (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||7||2||2||4||0.57||0||-2||AHL||22.7|
|Max Wanner (D)||Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL||39||8||21||29||0.74||41||22||WHL||18.3|
|Nikita Yevseyev (D)||Ak Bars Kazan||KHL||45||5||2||7||0.16||11||8||KHL||10.5|
|Jason Demers (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||31||0||11||11||0.35||57||-8||AHL||13.9|
|Vincent Desharnais (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||13||0||2||2||0.15||19||1||AHL||6.0|
|Philip Kemp (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||37||5||6||11||0.3||22||3||AHL||12.0|
|Michael Kesselring (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||34||10||4||14||0.41||30||-3||AHL||16.3|
|Slater Koekkoek (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||AHL|
|Luca Münzenberger (D)||Univ. of Vermont||NCAA||20||0||5||5||0.25||20||-6|
|Markus Niemeläinen (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||12||2||2||4||0.33||8||4||AHL||13.2|
|Calvin Pickard||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||18||2.89||0.912|
|Olivier Rodrigue||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||20||3.03||0.908|
|Fort Wayne Komets||ECHL||13||2.99||0.909|
|Samuel Jonsson||Rögle BK J20||J20 Nationell||23||2.63||0.898|