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 the strong play of the Bakersfield Condors. 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.
Condors find themselves in a playoff spot
Just as the Oilers seemed to up their game as the calendar switched to 2023, so too have their AHL affiliate Bakersfield Condors. The Condors have continued their climb up the standings and into a playoff spot, going 2–1–0 this week.
In large part this surge has coincided with the elevated play of Raphael Lavoie who added three points across the three games this weekend. Dylan Holloway added three points of his own, as the duo looks to be a force for the Condors in what will likely be their last seasons in the AHL.
Holloway earned player of the week honours for the Condors, and in general this is exactly what Oilers fans should be happy to see. Holloway and Lavoie are living up to the expectations of being the Condors top players. Earning confidence and dominating as top AHL options while they are still waiver exempt is a far stronger position than the fourth line minutes they might be getting in the Oilers lineup at this point.
AHL rookies like Xavier Bourgault, Tyler Tullio, and Carter Savoie have shown some promise. Regardless of how many points the trio of forwards are able to collect the rest of the season, their being involved with some success as professionals is of huge importance. They proved they could survive, the step for next year will be to thrive.
Finally, it has been a great season for young goalie Olivier Rodrigue. With some less than impressive overall numbers last season, some fans wondered if Rodrigue might be falling down the depth chart, but this season has quenched these thoughts. For most of the winter Rodrigue operated as the starting goalie for the Condors, and though the return of veteran Calvin Pickard has seen Rodrigue return to the backup role, his overall performance has stayed strong. Though Pickard is likely the playoff starter, Rodrigue is playing at a level that invites a conversation in that regard, pushing Pickard for the starters job outright.
This clip shows us why this will likely be Lavoie’s last season in the AHL. Off the bench, Lavoie swings off the wall and picks off the initial breakout pass. Dancing through the neutral zone, awaiting a regroup, Lavoie shows some transition ability as a puck carrier. Though the initial play, a dump in, might have worked with the Condors flying across the blueline with speed against a stagnant defence, the play was thwarted.
Undisturbed, Lavoie wins back possession quickly from former teammate Michael Kesselring. Lavoie has routinely scored from distance this season, doing so once more as he fires a wrist shot in stride, beating the goalie clean.
Lavoie is stationed at the flank of the near boards as the Condors work the puck around in overtime. From the top of the circle, Lavoie fires a one timer that finds the five hole to win the game.
Mere seconds after the opening puck drop, Holloway fires a shot from just inside the blueline to open the scoring. This is an ambitious shot, though some traffic surely obscured the view for the goalie. However, the audacity shown by Holloway in even attempting this shot is what was missing from his time in the NHL this season. The fact that this level of confidence is showing itself here shows that sending Holloway back to the AHL was clearly the right move at this point.
Though Holloway’s game is rounded out with speed, forechecking, and playmaking, this shooting confidence is clearly a big piece of what the best version of Holloway looks like. Though 30 goals at the NHL level might be too lofty an expectation, Holloway should be able to score at more than a 15 goal pace when he is NHL ready.
More shooting confidence from Holloway, who breaks in off the rush on the near boards. With a curl and drag move Holloway changes the angle of his shot enough to fool the goalie.
This and That
Shane Lachance starts this play on the near side boards, cutting through the dot off the faceoff. Lanchance is engaged by a defender as he cuts to the net, winning body position. The pass is received cleanly at the net front, where Lachance uses his patience and deft touch to out wait the goalie on the backhand while continuing to hold off the defender. This combination of size and skill is an enticing blend of attributes, as Lachance figures to be able to score goals from range, with a great shot, and from in tight thanks to his poise, strength, and willingness to get to the net front. The USHL is far from the top league, but Lachance will have an opportunity to prove he is capable of more in the NCAA next season.
As a measuring stick, linemate William Whitelaw has produced at a similar rate as Lachance this season. Whitewater figures to be a first-round pick in the 2023 NHL entry draft. Due to draft and school cutoffs, the two prospects find themselves in completely different esteems despite being less than half a year apart in age. Lachance, late August 2003, was a sixth-round pick last season and is little discussed league wide at this point, perhaps save for the deepest researchers in Oil Country. Whitelaw, meanwhile, has a ton of eyes on him, and is generating legitimate hype leading up to his draft night.
Once again, battling at the net front, Lachance earns some luck as the puck bounces off of him and in. This set the record for power play goals for the Youngstown Phantoms, aptly summarising his work on the power play this season.
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 37.9 (1)
- Dylan Holloway 33.1 (4)
- Maxim Beryozkin 33.0 (2)
- Raphael Lavoie 31.1 (3)
- Patrik Puistola 24.8 (5)
Overall regular season totals for Oilers’ prospects
|Justin Bailey (RW/LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||52||18||12||30||0.58||40||-6||AHL||23.1|
|Tyler Benson (LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||39||5||17||22||0.56||29||-6||AHL||22.3|
|Carl Berglund (C)||totals||41||12||15||27||0.66||12||7||Hockey East||24.2|
|Maxim Beryozkin (RW/LW)||totals||61||10||22||32||0.52||22||7||KHL||33.0|
|Jake Chiasson (C/RW)||totals||70||20||38||58||0.83||26||-15||WHL||20.6|
|Maxim Denezhkin (C)||totals||39||8||13||21||0.54||90||1||VHL||17.8|
|Seth Griffith (C/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||66||17||40||57||0.86||30||-13||ECAC||19.7|
|James Hamblin (LW/C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||46||9||16||25||0.54||14||-2||AHL||21.5|
|Dylan Holloway (LW/C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||6||4||1||5||0.83||2||0||AHL||33.1|
|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||56||32||18||50||0.89||47||12||USHL||19.7|
|Raphaël Lavoie (C/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||55||24||19||43||0.78||41||9||AHL||31.1|
|Jeremias Lindewall (RW/LW)||Östersunds IK||HockeyAllsvenskan||35||2||4||6||0.17||12||-16||HockeyAllsvenskan||5.0|
|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||28||3||9||12||0.43||8||2||ECAC||17.1|
|Greg McKegg (C/W)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||63||7||12||19||0.3||62||5||AHL||9.7|
|Matvei Petrov (RW/LW)||North Bay Battalion||OHL||65||27||66||93||1.43||32||31||OHL||37.9|
|Noah Philp (C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||64||16||14||30||0.47||59||1||AHL||18.7|
|Patrik Puistola (RW/LW)||Jukurit||Liiga||60||16||24||40||0.67||12||-8||Liiga||24.8|
|Carter Savoie (LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||44||8||3||11||0.25||18||-17||AHL||9.9|
|Devin Shore (C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||5||2||3||5||1||0||1||AHL||39.9|
|Tyler Tullio (C/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||57||13||13||26||0.46||18||2||AHL||18.3|
|Joel Määttä (C)||Univ. of Vermont||NCAA||36||7||7||14||0.39||18||-10||Hockey East||12.6|
|Philip Broberg (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||7||2||2||4||0.57||0||-2||AHL||22.7|
|Jason Demers (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||54||0||17||17||0.31||75||-8||AHL||7.7|
|Vincent Desharnais (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||13||0||2||2||0.15||19||1||AHL||3.7|
|Cam Dineen (D)||totals||63||5||39||44||0.7||14||-9||AHL||27.9|
|Philip Kemp (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||65||5||13||18||0.28||49||8||AHL||11.2|
|Luca Münzenberger (D)||Univ. of Vermont||NCAA||28||0||5||5||0.18||24||-9||Hockey East||5.8|
|Nikita Yevseyev (D)||Ak Bars Kazan||KHL||48||5||2||7||0.15||11||7||KHL||9.9|
|Maximus Wanner (D)||Moose Jaw Warriors||WHL||44||8||22||30||0.68||45||23||WHL||16.8|
|Markus Niemeläinen (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||28||2||5||7||0.25||16||1||AHL||10.0|
|Olivier Rodrigue||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||27||2.83||0.908|
|Calvin Pickard||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||34||2.84||0.908|
|Samuel Jonsson||Rögle BK J20||J20 Nationell||27||2.65||0.902|
|Fort Wayne Komets||ECHL||31||3.44||0.896|
Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire