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 new face in Patrik Puistola. 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.
Welcome to the Oilers prospects pool, Patrik Puistola!
Puistola wears number 20, but also dons a gold helmet as his team’s leading scorer with 40 points in 58 games, good for 17th league wide. His team Mikkelin Jukurit, or Jukurit for short, is 12th in a 15-team league with a respectable record of 22 wins, five overtime wins, 30 losses, and one overtime loss.
This is a classic Puistola play, operating on the near side flank on the power play. After corralling a pass off his skate, Puistola buys a lot of time with some deft skating and puck handling in fading away from a defender before kicking a pass back out to the point. The second touch is a short one, much more typical of Puistola, a one-timer to the back of the net.
Puistola is on the far side of the rush in this clip. Though not initially involved, Puistola stops in front of the net, remaining a factor in the play. The puck eventually finds him, allowing him to deliver a good pass into the slot from his backhand. Puistola even wins the puck from a defender with a quick poke check.
Surely this highlight reel goal was part of the excitement when Puistola was acquired last week—of course it is a wonderful goal. Puistola has a lot of skill, in his long praised shot, but also in other areas like his puck handling.
All that said there are encouraging signs beyond the offence, as Puistola offers quotes in sincere coach-speak, an understanding that strong defensive play will lead to more offence.
With a father who played professionally, a coach in Olli Jokinen who played in the NHL, not to mention the stereotype that Finnish players are defensively minded and team oriented, back up this Puistola quote, painting a picture of a prospect worth keeping an eye on.
Oilers fans have likely made up their mind on how the Jesse Puljujarvi saga unfolded and eventually came to a close. Regardless, we should try to remove these sentiments when evaluating Puistola. In all Puistola brings a lot to the table, and given his age and success in the Liiga it might not be impossible that Puistola jumps straight into the NHL when he does make the move to North America.
This and That
The Bakersfield Condors played two games this week, going 1–1–0 in the process. Calvin Pickard earned both starts, allowing nine goals across the two games in a tight 5–4 win over the Ontario Reign and a tough 5–1 loss to the Coachella Valley Firebirds, both of which are strong division rival teams. Pickard is a topic of conversation as Jack Campbell is struggling. Despite the results this week Pickard has been strong, though not strong enough that Olivier Rodrigue shouldn’t be seeing some more starts than he has of late.
Of note, the recently blazing hot Raphael Lavoie was moved onto a line with Xavier Bourgault. The duo has produced in their time together, though the same might’ve been said about Lavoie and Tyler Tullio when they were linemates earlier this month. Tullio and Bourgault have done quite well in their rookie years, but this only goes to show us that Lavoie is the one stirring the drink and that he should be in a fight for a roster spot next training camp if he is not called up before then.
Early in the first period, off a defensive zone draw, our wingers start together on the inside hash mark. Bourgault finds the loose puck and bursts onto the attack. Speed and balance aren’t often the first attributes that come to mind when thinking of Bourgault, but he shows a great deal of both here in our hustling and outmuscling defenders. Bourgault finds a seam through the slot, hitting Lavoie in stride for the one timer goal. It is a nice enough play that the pair make this two-on-three look like a two-on-one.
The aforementioned Lavoie and Bourgault run a two-on-one to the back of the net here. Far from the most graceful goal, it counts the same nonetheless. Philip Kemp, their linemate, does well to headman the puck, though most of the play is made by Lavoie. From corralling the high clear, to settling the puck, to finding Bourgault with a pass, Lavoie shows poise and control.
Here we see Matvey Petrov fire a no-look stretch pass to spring his team on a two-on-one. Known for his shot, Petrov has been providing a number of highlight reel passing plays this season, displaying high levels of both vision and touch.
Speaking of Petrov’s shot, this does a succinct job of summing it up. Taking a rather unspectacular offensive zone faceoff win, Petrov turns and fires in stride, beating the goalie from long range and a bad angle. Petrov’s shot is already a dangerous weapon, and will be at higher levels, meaning much of his ability to live up the professional ranks will lie in how his game develops around that.
Jake Chiasson dishes a deft area pass to linemate Trevor Wong for a tap in goal. This is not exactly the standard Chiasson highlight, but it is good to see some different elements to his game with his new WHL team.
Teammate Connor Roulette finds Chiasson alone in front. With tons of time Chiasson out waits and evades a couple defenders, moving the puck to his backhand for a shot. This shows some skill, but a ton of poise in traffic. These are the types of skills that Chiasson will have to continue carrying to the next level.
Once again Roulette finds Chiasson with a great pass. This time, Chiasson finds himself in a spot Oilers fans should be familiar with as Draisaitl’s spot, firing home a one timer on a sharp angle.
The KHL playoffs have started, and Oilers prospect Maxim Beryozkin is producing. Here, off the rush on the far side, Beryozkin lays a pass into the middle; though the intended play doesn’t connect, a teammate is there to clean up the rebound. Beryozkin continues to show utility as a playmaker and off the rush in general.
Though not as flashy, this play might offer more hope for Beryozkin’s NHL future. A big body with good speed and a strong stick, Beryozkin offers a great deal as a forechecker, shown here in beating the defender to the puck behind the net. Beryozkin does enough to win clean possession for his teammate, enough time to find the third man in the slot.
This clip starts with Beryozkin battling on the forecheck, showing some physicality along the boards. When his teammate wins the puck and finds him, Beryozkin is able to buy himself time with a quick first couple of steps and enough of a hesitation move that the goalie and defender have to respect a potential shot. Beryozkin fires a quick no-look pass across the seam to a teammate blazing into the zone. Toughness, skill, vision, all shown in spades in the playoffs, altogether an amazing clip that shows a lot of Beryozkin’s strengths.
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 38.1 (1)
- Maxim Beryozkin 32.9 (2)
- Raphael Lavoie 29.5 (3)
- Patrik Puistola 25.6 (N/A)
- Tyler Benson 25.5 (4)
Overall regular season totals for Oilers’ prospects
|Justin Bailey (RW/LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||40||12||11||23||0.58||30||-3||AHL||23.1|
|Tyler Benson (LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||28||3||15||18||0.64||29||-4||AHL||25.5|
|Maxim Beryozkin (LW/RW)||Lokomotiv Yaroslavl||totals||61||10||22||32||0.52||22||7||totals||32.9|
|Xavier Bourgault (C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||54||12||17||29||0.54||16||6||AHL||21.5|
|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||54||12||33||45||0.83||24||-14||AHL||33.1|
|James Hamblin (LW/C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||34||7||12||19||0.56||10||-2||AHL||22.3|
|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||Hockey East||14.2|
|Shane Lachance (LW)||Youngstown Phantoms||USHL||46||26||14||40||0.87||37||6||USHL||34.7|
|Raphaël Lavoie (C/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||43||19||13||32||0.74||37||6||AHL||29.5|
|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||12.4|
|Tomas Mazura (C)||St. Lawrence Univ.||NCAA||26||3||8||11||0.42||8||0||ECAC||16.7|
|Greg McKegg (C/W)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||53||5||9||14||0.26||56||6||AHL||8.4|
|Joel Määttä (C)||Univ. of Vermont||NCAA||34||7||7||14||0.41||18||-8||Hockey East|
|Patrik Puistola (RW/LW)||Jukurit||Liiga||58||16||24||40||0.69||12||-10||Liiga||25.6|
|Carter Savoie (LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||36||8||3||11||0.31||18||-11||AHL||12.4|
|Devin Shore (C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||5||2||3||5||1||0||1||AHL||39.9|
|Tyler Tullio (C/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||49||13||12||25||0.51||14||3||AHL||20.3|
|Jake Chiasson (RW)||Saskatoon Blades||WHL||63||19||32||51||0.81||26||-18||AHL||20.1|
|Matvei Petrov (RW/LW)||North Bay Battalion||OHL||59||26||59||85||1.44||30||29||OHL||38.1|
|Noah Philp (C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||53||12||11||23||0.43||37||6||AHL||17.1|
|Philip Broberg (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||7||2||2||4||0.57||0||-2||AHL||22.7|
|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|
|Cam Dineen (D)||totals||52||4||31||35||0.67||14||-5||totals||26.7|
|Philip Kemp (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||53||5||11||16||0.3||43||8||AHL||12.0|
|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||22||2||4||6||0.27||12||-1||AHL||10.8|
|Max Wanner (D)||Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL||44||8||22||30||0.68||45||23||WHL||16.8|
|Nikita Yevseyev (D)||AK Bars Kazan||KHL||48||5||2||7||0.15||11||7||KHL||9.9|
|Calvin Pickard||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||27||2.84||0.911|
|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||24||3.38||0.895|
Photo from @MikkelinJukurit on Twitter