By Sean Patrick Ryan
If you missed it yesterday, I did a collaboration for the Cult of Hockey where we ranked 33 Oilers prospects, you can find it here: Prospect Ranking. As far as where this list ranks among Oilers prospect groups in the past – it’s definitely one of the best in terms of overall quantity in recent memory. But, scouting is subjective so time will tell if many on this list ultimately make an NHL impact or underwhelm. For now, plenty of optimism surrounding that group. My Top 10 list including breakdowns of why can be found here: Top 10 list.
In the meantime, I thought I’d give fans a bit of an update where everyone is at, as it can be difficult tracking all these prospects all over the world. Also, if you haven’t subscribed to our Youtube page please take a second if you can and do so. There are plenty of highlights & shift by shift videos of Oilers prospects there with plenty more to come. We appreciate your support!
Evan Bouchard was recalled by Edmonton and is now done playing in the Allsvenskan league. He finished the season with 6 goals, 17 points in 23 games for Södertälje where he logged a ton of minutes (21:24/GP). He was given as much opportunity as one could hope and now comes to camp ready to earn a spot full-time. Expect him to stick with the Oilers till at least February (when AHL season starts) and quite possibly past that depending on injuries. A highlight pack of his time with SSK: Bouchard highlights.
Philip Broberg made the Swedish World Junior roster, which means he’ll also be in Edmonton for awhile and could also stay longer with NHL training camps right around the corner. However, it is anticipated will be ultimately returned to Skellefteå and finish the season out in Sweden. He’ll get his real chance to stick in Edmonton next season.
Speaking of the World Juniors, Dylan Holloway made team Canada and is expected to be a key contributor to that team in their quest for another gold. Holloway is the perfect type of player for this tournament as he can play multiple positions and a variety of roles. He will undoubtedly be returned to Wisconsin following the tourney where he will be a leader for his Badgers team.
Who’s staying in Europe?
All of this is subject to change, but here is my best guess at each situation:
Dmitri Samorukov & Matej Blumel will represent their countries – Russia & Czech Republic at the upcoming Channel One Cup Dec 17 – 20. Both are having excellent seasons for their respective clubs and both will remain in Europe for the duration of their seasons.
Other prospects who will likely stay with their clubs for the year: Filip Berglund (SWE), Jeremias Lindewall (SWE), Maxim Denezhkin (RUS), Maxim Berezkin (RUS), Ilya Konovalov (RUS). Also, 3 players currently playing in Finland – Aapeli Rasanen, Tomas Mazura & Patrik Siikanen, are AHL eligible but will likely stay in Finland.
NHL Camps & possible AHL recalls
It is anticipated that Tyler Benson, William Lagesson, & Theodor Lennstrom will be recalled to Edmonton shortly to quarantine and attend NHL camp. With the AHL season rumoured to start February 5th, those players could stick around with the big club until then at least.
Cooper Marody‘s status remains unknown at this time. He went over to Europe but only played 1 game, returned, and hasn’t been heard from since. He may still be recovering from injury. Much like Stuart Skinner & Ostap Safin, I expect his name to come up closer to AHL camps (hopefully mid-late January).
Other players who technically are on loan to European clubs and could be recalled anytime either for NHL or AHL training camps:
Ryan McLeod (Swiss League), Raphael Lavoie (Allsvenskan), Kirill Maksimov (VHL), Graham McPhee (Aus), Markus Niemelainen (Liiga), Phil Kemp (Allsvenskan), Olivier Rodrigue (Aus). All these players will likely be playing for the Bakersfield Condors if there is indeed an AHL season.
Ty Tullio is currently playing in Slovakia for Liptovsky Mikulas and will be returned to the OHL once it’s season starts up in January.
Carter Savoie will remain in school and try to continue his hot start for Denver. Don’t expect him to vie for an NHL roster spot for at least a couple years.
Other Oilers prospects in the U.S. who are currently playing: Michael Kesselring (Northeastern), Skyler Brind’Amour (Quinnipac), Filip Engaras (New Hampshire).
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