The Edmonton Oilers’ prospects saw plenty of action this past week. Despite some strong individual performances across all leagues, we had to give this week’s spotlight to a resurgence from Reid Schaefer. 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 comes alive
Reid Schaefer’s Seattle Thunderbirds won 3–2 in overtime, with Schaefer scoring two goals. Around the 1:50 mark the relevant highlights play, starting with an after the whistle introduction to an opponent a little too close to the Seattle net for Schaefer’s liking.
On the first goal Schaefer picks up the puck with speed through the neutral zone, a situation Schaefer is quite familiar with. Breaking in on a two-on-one Schaefer keeps, easily beating the goalie from the faceoff dot.
In overtime Schaefer, once again blazing into the attacking zone, is brought down on a breakaway, earning him a penalty shot (not his first of the season either). With the game on the line Schaefer shows off a lot of slick moves to his backhand. We have seen this type of approach work for Schaefer before, a very skilled change up to his approach than his usual brand of brute force.
The Thunderbirds won all their three games this week, a dominant performance from a powerhouse team.
Around 0:28 into this highlight pack is Schaefer’s first goal of the game, firing home a mid range shot on the power play. Schaefer plays in the middle as the high bumper, allowing him to leverage his shot from this distance, as well as using his body to make room in the middle. Part of what we should expect to see more of from Schaefer over the rest of the season is this, helping to convert on dangerous chances set up by his team, as opposed to the individual efforts we saw more of before the Thunderbirds loaded up at the deadline.
Around 1:34 into this pack we see Schaefer’s second goal, again showing off his speed, agility, and puck control. Taking a pass at his own blueline, by the time Schaefer enters the attacking zone he has completely blown by the defenders. This is a key foundation of the power style that Schaefer embodies so well.
Around 2:12 we see a similar skill set employed by Schaefer in earning this assist, one of two on the game. Schaefer breaks into the zone with speed, taking the defender wide. Schaefer shows off a great deal of balance and strength in fighting off the defender before trying to beat the goalie high. An awkward save, the rebound lies open for the Thunderbirds to shoot home. Although we see more of Schaefer’s individual skills here he gets onto the scoresheet for his fourth point of the night thanks to his teammates heading to the net.
The Thunderbirds are primed for a long run into the WHL playoffs, and perhaps even the Memorial Cup, which would be fantastic news for Schaefer, who seems to finally be heating up after leaving for U20 World Junior camp in late December. Armed with a much upgraded lineup the Thunderbirds are no doubt one of the teams to watch in the WHL.
Schaefer had four goals and four assists in three games this week, all wins for the Thunderbirds. Playing on the top line with fellow first round draft picks, Brad Lambert and Dylan Guenther, Schaefer figures to factor into much of Seattle’s success going forward.
This and that
The Bakersfield Condors went 2–1–0 on the week, a strong performance as the team has improved as the season has progressed. This is encouraging as many of the Condors rookies and younger players have been continuing to elevate their games. Perhaps more important than earning a playoff spot is this momentum and teamwork.
The Condors work the puck around on the power play. Tyler Tullio fires a wicked one-timer from the left flank, a spot he was quite strong during his junior career. It is a beautiful goal, but it is fantastic news that Tullio is performing so well in his rookie professional season, blossoming into a bigger role as the season wears on. If we see more of this from Tullio down the stretch he will be setting himself up for a big role in the Condors power play next season, a superb platform the player is earning.
Raphael Lavoie breaks in off the rush, putting on a dazzling power move before fooling the goalie with a quick shot from in tight. Lavoie has been streaky through his years in Bakersfield, but amidst his longest run of sustained production this highlight reel goal is a triumph that adorns his development. Even earlier this season Lavoie was fading lower on Oilers prospect rankings, but the skilled winger will have a chance to make next year’s opening day roster out of training camp.
This clip starts with Lavoie headed down the side wall with the puck and a defender in pursuit. A second defenders appears as Lavoie dishes the puck, now taking contact in traffic. Lavoie keeps his momentum, turning towards the far circle, a move that offers his teammates a dangerous passing option and gives him enough space to load up a shot with movement. Again, Lavoie has never been so consistent in the AHL, but we might be seeing him at his most dynamic as well.
Another power play clip, this time with Xavier Bourgault receiving the pass in the neutral zone, cutting in front of a checker. After entering the zone Bourgault pulls off a slick toe drag, setting up a tic-tac-toe play. Tyler Benson does well to read the play quickly, a strength of his, one touching a pass for Noah Philp to tap in. Philp is an older prospect at 24, but has been on a nice stretch of late with a lot of his best work coming by the net front.
One of three assists on the week, Bourgault had a quieter February but is still playing well as a key piece for the Condors.
Matvey Petrov has the whole side of the ice to himself, making no mistake in ripping a shot past the goalie. Needless to say, Petrov is having another great season in the OHL, he is ready to move into his professional career.
A similar goal, the puck seems to find Petrov, once again finding some quiet ice just outside the slot. Once an opportunity arises, in this case a loose puck, he is quick to find it and give it directions to the net. Petrov’s shot is an obvious strength displayed effectively in these clips from his work week.
Jake Chiasson cleans up a loose puck on the power play sent in by teammate Connor Roulette. Chiasson is adjusting well to his new team, in part thanks to his teammates, but a nice turn for his personal profile.
Chiasson’s other goal in this game also came from the net front, something that Chiasson will need to continue to do as he progresses up higher levels.
The Saskatoon Blades have an interesting team, filled with prospects of note for many NHL franchises. Chiasson has done well to find himself in a prime spot in this forward group.
Chiasson at his new home running net front duties for the Blades.
The clip starts with Max Beryozkin getting mauled into the boards. Undeterred, Beryozkin gets up, circling his way into quieter ice before slamming a one timer home to the far side top corner. Beryozkin has a lot of high end offensive tools, the shot included, but it is his determination, his will alongside his skill at battling along the boards that will bring him success in the NHL. Beryozkin is a big body, a good forechecker, and good at stealing pucks.
Beryozkin, because of his size and strength, can make for a good net front option, even when he is able to leverage his refined touch and passing skills as he does here. Beryozkin thrives in some of the most contested areas in the offensive zone and has a promising tool kit as an NHL prospect.
Finally, this secondary assist brings home the points in the previous two clips. Beryozkin starts with the puck in the corner with two defenders surrounding him. After keeping the cycle alive Beryozkin heads to the net front as a screen. Perhaps unremarkable, these habits show that Beryozkin is willing to embrace his role as part of the team. Despite having a lot of perimeter skills, like skating and shooting and passing, Beryozkin is happy to leverage his strengths effectively. This situation called instead for strength, balance, and grit.
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 32.9 (2)
- Raphael Lavoie 29.0 (3)
- Tyler Benson 27.5 (4)
- Reid Schaefer 26.5 (5)
Overall regular season totals for Oilers’ prospects
|Justin Bailey (RW/LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||38||11||11||22||0.58||30||-4||AHL||23.1|
|Tyler Benson (LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||26||3||15||18||0.69||27||-2||AHL||27.5|
|Maxim Beryozkin (LW/RW)||Lokomotiv Yaroslavl||KHL||52||7||19||26||0.50||18||5||KHL||32.9|
|Xavier Bourgault (C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||52||11||16||27||0.52||16||5||AHL||20.7|
|Skyler Brind’Amour (C)||Quinnipiac Univ.||NCAA||34||13||15||28||0.82||6||20||ECAC||18.8|
|Maxim Denezhkin (C)||totals||39||8||13||21||0.54||90||1||totals|
|Seth Griffith (C/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||52||11||33||44||0.85||22||-13||AHL||33.9|
|James Hamblin (LW/C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||32||7||10||17||0.53||10||-4||AHL||21.1|
|Dylan Holloway (LW/C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||1||1||0||1||1||0||0||AHL||39.9|
|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||44||26||14||40||0.91||37||7||USHL||20.1|
|Raphaël Lavoie (C/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||41||18||12||30||0.73||37||5||AHL||29.0|
|Jeremias Lindewall (RW/LW)||Östersunds IK||HockeyAllsvenskan||34||2||4||6||0.18||12||-15||HockeyAllsvenskan|
|Brad Malone (C/LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||35||2||17||19||0.54||24||4||AHL||21.1|
|Tomas Mazura (C)||St. Lawrence Univ.||NCAA||26||3||8||11||0.42||8||0||Hockey East||16.7|
|Greg McKegg (C/W)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||51||5||8||13||0.25||52||5||AHL||8.1|
|Joel Määttä (C)||Univ. of Vermont||NCAA||32||6||7||13||0.41||18||-8|
|Matvei Petrov (RW/LW)||North Bay Battalion||OHL||56||25||56||81||1.45||30||27||OHL||38.4|
|Noah Philp (C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||51||12||10||22||0.43||35||5||AHL||17.1|
|Carter Savoie (LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||34||8||3||11||0.32||18||-10||AHL||12.8|
|Reid Schaefer (LW)||Seattle Thunderbirds||WHL||44||23||24||47||1.07||73||21||WHL||26.5|
|Devin Shore (C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||5||2||3||5||1||0||1||AHL||39.9|
|Tyler Tullio (C/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||47||13||12||25||0.53||14||5||AHL||21.1|
|Jake Chiasson||Saskatoon Blades||WHL||21||8||11||19||0.9||8||-2||WHL||22.4|
|Philip Broberg (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||7||2||2||4||0.57||0||-2||AHL||22.7|
|Nikita Yevseyev (D)||Ak Bars Kazan||KHL||48||5||2||7||0.15||11||7||KHL||9.9|
|Max Wanner (D)||Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL||44||8||22||30||0.68||45||23||WHL||16.8|
|Jason Demers (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||44||0||15||15||0.34||65||-9||AHL||13.5|
|Vincent Desharnais (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||13||0||2||2||0.15||19||1||AHL||6.0|
|Philip Kemp (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||51||5||10||15||0.29||43||7||AHL||11.6|
|Michael Kesselring (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||49||13||9||22||0.45||40||5||AHL||17.9|
|Slater Koekkoek (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|Luca Münzenberger (D)||Univ. of Vermont||NCAA||26||0||5||5||0.19||24||-10||Hockey East||6.1|
|Markus Niemeläinen (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||20||2||4||6||0.3||10||0||AHL||12.0|
|Calvin Pickard||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||25||2.71||0.916|
|Olivier Rodrigue||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||22||2.98||0.907|
|Samuel Jonsson||Rögle BK J20||J20 Nationell||25||2.75||0.897|
|Fort Wayne Komets||ECHL||22||3.36||0.895|