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 under the radar performance of Nikita Yevseyev. 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.
Yevseyev reaches Gagarin Cup Final
The Oilers sixth-round draft pick in the 2022 NHL entry draft, Nikita Yevseyev has surpassed any and all expectations in his first post draft season. Though more time in the KHL is certainly on the horizon before the defenceman makes the jump to North America, the fact that he has held down a regular spot on the Ak Bars Kazan blueline throughout the regular season and playoffs speaks to his physical and defensive maturity.
Due to his defensive nature, not to mention Russia’s international political standings that has seen them barred from international hockey, Yevseyev’s standing as a prospect is subdued. From an Oilers perspective, the fact that a late round pick is playing at such a high level is extremely encouraging.
Yevseyev and Ak Bars Kazan have advanced to the Gagarin Cup Final, cruising through the Eastern Conference side of the bracket as the number one seed. Despite this, and the fact that their opponent in the final is yet to be decided, Ak Bars will likely be an underdog against either SKA Saint Petersburg or CSKA Moscow.
Yevseyev takes the pass from teammate Alexander Radulov and fires a wrist shot that finds its way through traffic. Yevseyev does not profile as a high flying offensive defenceman, but clearly he does have some utility, especially in the attacking zone.
This goal, Yevseyev’s first of the playoffs, also makes him the youngest playoff goal scorer in Ak Bars history. If anything, this underscores how rare it is for an 18 year old to make an impact on a top tier KHL team, let alone as a defenceman.
As his defence partner stands behind the net, Yevseyev finds the far corner as a support outlet. When his teammate dishes him the puck, Yevseyev wastes little time in finding a teammate with a stretch pass, setting up the overtime winning goal. Yevseyev didn’t have many assists this year, but displaying this type of vision and transition passing is a huge positive for the defender’s development, in overtime of a conference finals game no less.
This and That
The Bakersfield Condors had one of their tougher weeks in recent memory, going 1–2–0 with a couple of tight one goal losses on the road. Olivier Rodrigue lost his lone start, holding the Coachella Valley Firebirds to two goals on 34 shots. Meanwhile, the standout offensive performance was Dylan Holloway, who managed three points in the three games.
This is a strong penalty kill sequence from Olivier Rodrigue who looks poised and controlled, tracking the puck as the Firebirds work it around the zone. Of course, the big chance is a standout, as the Firebirds find an open seam for a one timer. Rodrigue is there and square, a commanding and consistent performance on the year that bodes well for the young goalie’s future.
Holloway operates his spot on the flank here, and is allowed a lot of space to skate into a prime spot. The shot finds its way through.
Holloway takes the puck in the neutral zone with speed. Fast enough to get a step on the defender, strong enough to drop his shoulder and drive to the net, and skilled enough to beat the goalie with a quick move in tight, there is little doubt that Holloway is a top tier AHL forward.
Given his lack of playing time since being drafted, riddled with injuries and used sparingly in the NHL in the first half of this season, Holloway might be best served building confidence and experience in a top role in the AHL at this point. Though a call up to the NHL in the near future is certainly in play, perhaps as a playoff x-factor, having Holloway gain some valuable playing time as an offensive focal point is not without merit.
Matvey Petrov and the North Bay Battalion won their first round playoff series against the Mississauga Steelheads and now await their second-round opponent, likely the Ottawa 67s.
Petrov is in his usual power play spot up top on the flank. His passing from this setup has been outstanding, as evidenced here with a one touch pass to the middle that leads to the goal.
Another tasty pass from Petrov, as he treads the needle in transition. Stationed along the boards, Petrov is able to spring his teammate with a crisp, clean pass.
Petrov’s passing features once more, this time as he navigates some tougher ice. Petrov outmanoeuvres the defenders in the corner, turning back up into the offensive zone. Petrov finds the seam, another assist in his first-round playoff performance.
Jake Chiasson and the Saskatoon Blades are in tough during their first-round series against Connor Bedard and the Regina Pats. The Battle of Saskatchewan is headed to a deciding Game 7 after the Blades fought themselves out of an early 0–2 series deficit.
Chiasson ties the series at two games apiece with this overtime winner in game four. Collecting the puck off the wall, Chiasson is able to step into the slot, firing home a premier scoring chance.
Skyler Brind’Amour and the Quinnipiac Bobcats won the NCAA’s Frozen Four with a dramatic come from behind win against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, capped off with a goal just ten seconds into overtime off of a set play.
Brind’Amour does not get a point on this goal but still features heavily. The Bobcats leading scorer (and free agent) Collin Graph fires a shot through traffic that finds twine. Brind’Amour is, in this case, the traffic. Most of Brind’Amour’s offensive contributions come from this spot, right in front of the net.
Though Brind’Amour could sign at any time now that his college season is over, though the Oilers being so tight to the cap complicates matters. The possibility exists that the Oilers are able to sign the centre once the playoffs start, though another possibility is that Brind’Amour out waits the the Oilers and becomes a free agent on August 15.
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 35.5 (2)
- Maxim Beryozkin 33.0 (3)
- Raphael Lavoie 31.1 (4)
- Patrik Puistola 24.8 (5)
Overall regular season totals for Oilers’ prospects
|Justin Bailey (RW/LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||55||18||13||31||0.56||40||-5||AHL||22.3|
|Tyler Benson (LW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||40||5||17||22||0.55||29||-6||AHL||21.9|
|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||69||17||41||58||0.84||32||-12||AHL||33.5|
|James Hamblin (LW/C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||49||10||16||26||0.53||14||-1||AHL||21.1|
|Dylan Holloway (LW/C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||9||6||2||8||0.89||4||1||AHL||35.5|
|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||58||32||20||52||0.9||47||13||USHL||19.9|
|Raphaël Lavoie (C/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||58||24||19||43||0.74||41||9||AHL||29.5|
|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||38||2||17||19||0.5||26||3||AHL||11.5|
|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||65||7||13||20||0.31||62||6||AHL||10.0|
|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||67||16||18||34||0.51||61||1||AHL||20.3|
|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||10.0|
|Devin Shore (C)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||5||2||3||5||1||0||1||AHL||39.9|
|Tyler Tullio (C/RW)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||60||13||13||26||0.43||18||3||AHL||17.1|
|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||55||0||18||18||0.33||75||-7||AHL||8.2|
|Vincent Desharnais (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||13||0||2||2||0.15||19||1||AHL||3.7|
|Cam Dineen (D)||totals||66||6||41||47||0.71||14||-8||AHL||28.3|
|Philip Kemp (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||68||6||13||19||0.28||49||9||AHL||11.2|
|Luca Münzenberger (D)||Univ. of Vermont||NCAA||28||0||5||5||0.18||24||-9||Hockey East||5.8|
|Markus Niemeläinen (D)||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||28||2||5||7||0.25||16||1||AHL||10.0|
|Maximus 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|
|Olivier Rodrigue||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||28||2.8||0.91|
|Calvin Pickard||Bakersfield Condors||AHL||36||2.8||0.909|
|Samuel Jonsson||Rögle BK J20||J20 Nationell||27||2.65||0.902|
|Fort Wayne Komets||ECHL||32||3.39||0.896|
Photo by @Condors on Twitter