Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BBO's Top 25 Oilers Prospects

Well now that the Penticton tournament is over and I got to see many of these kids, I'll do my annual rankings. Of course like many scouts after the U18 tournaments my opinions are based heavily on this tournament so for instance if a guy like Blain showed poorly it doesn't mean that he will suck, ie. last year I wasn't too particularly high on Hamilton. Without further adieu my top 25 Oilers prospects.

1) C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Upside: Franchise C
The cream of the crop bar none, RNH at this point is the only truly elite prospect that the Oilers have that hasn't played an NHL game.

2) D Oscar Klefbom
Upside: Top Pairing D
The Oilers second first round pick from 2011, Klefbom's combination of size and skill has him right behind RNH on my list.

3) D Jeff Petry
Upside: 2/3 D
The Oilers top RD prospect, Petry despite his age still has a lot of untapped potential and defensemen can be notoriously slow in their development.

4) C Anton Lander
Upside: 2C
Possibly the most complete prospect that the Oilers have, Lander brings a mixture of offense, defense, leadership, and grit to the table because of this I rank him ahead of some players that might have a higher skill level.

5) C/RW Tyler Pitlick
Upside: 2C/RW
Size, speed, physicality, and a lethal shot makes Tyler Pitlick a good bet to make the NHL in a top 9 capacity with a top 6 upside.

6) D Martin Marincin
Upside: 2/3 D
Decision making and bulking up are the only two things that have him this low on the list.

7) C Ryan Martindale
Upside: Above Average 2C
In terms of upside alone he would be much higher, however he still has work to do to take that next step into the Oilers top 5 prospects.

8) LW Teemu Hartikainen
Upside: 2LW Power forward
Hartikainen's grit and hands adds to the Oilers embarrassment of riches on the left wing.

9) D David Musil
Upside: 2/3 shutdown D
A steady defenseman with a good first pass, Musil could rise up the rankings this year if he works on his offensive game and his speed.

10) G Tyler Bunz
Upside: NHL Starter
Goalies being the toughest prospects to project means that I could very well be underselling Bunz with the 10 spot. That said considering the fact that I gave him the nod over Olivier Roy and Samu Perhonen both solid goalies in their own rites it shows that I have a lot of faith in him.

11) LW Curtis Hamilton
Upside: 2LW
Another safe prospect, Hamilton's size, speed, and hockey IQ makes him a prime candidate to be a future Oiler, my only question is how high is his offensive upside? I see a terrific third liner when I see Hamilton, I'm just not sure that he'll be able to evolve into a top 6 forward.

12) G Samu Perhonen
Upside: NHL Starter
The second goalie on my list and the biggest goalie that the Oilers have in their system sans Devan Dubnyk.

13) D Taylor Fedun
Upside: 3/4 D
A smooth skating defenseman that can and will jump into the play at the right time, Fedun is a definite darkhorse to climb my list in a hurry.

14) D Colten Teubert
Upside: 4/5 D
The tough rearguard looks like a good bet to be an eventual Oiler.

15) G Olivier Roy
Upside: NHL Starter
Roy's athleticism has him cracking my list at #15, as of the moment it looks like goaltending is no longer a weakness in the Oilers system.

16) RW Tobias Rieder
Upside: 2RW
Highly skilled and willing to go to the high traffic areas, Rieder could end up surprising a lot of people.

17) RW Antti Tyrvainen
Upside: 4th line disturber
Tough, physical, and not a complete plug offensively. Tyrvainen could end up being a player that opposing players need to be aware of at all time son the ice.

18) C Chris VandeVelde
Upside: 4C
Given the Oilers center depth coming up, VandeVelde needs to make his mark in the '11-12 season if he wants an NHL career in Edmonton. Improving his skating should've been priority #1 in the offseason.

19) D Martin Gernat
Upside: 4/5 D
The second of the Oilers Slovakian twin towers, Gernat doesn't appear to be as skilled as fellow countryman Martin Marincin, but he seems to be a little more at home playing the body.

20) D Jeremie Blain
Upside: 4/5 D
Unfortunately for him I haven't seen him besides the rookie camp, I could be completely off my rocker on this one but the kid needs to show a lot more than he did to make me think that he has a future in the NHL.

21) C/LW Travis Ewanyk
Upside: 3C/LW
A much needed disturber type that can drop the mitts, Ewanyk's sandpaper could make him an ideal 4th line center for the Oilers years down the line.

22) D Alex Plate
Upside: 6/7 D
Unfortunately Plante's speed will hold him back from reaching his potential, he's running out of chances and will be waiver eligible after this season.

23) LW Kristians Pelss
Upside: 2/3 LW
Another darkhorse, Pelss could climb the rankings, however given the Oilers lack of size in their top 6 and Tobias Rieder's play at the prospect camp I'd think that Pelss would be a small drop from Rieder at this point.

24) C Milan Kytnar
Upside: 4C
The '11-12 season will be a big one for Kytnar, with the Barons possibly adding Lander and Pitlick down the middle there will be less minutes to go around this year.

25) D Brandon Davidson
Upside: 6/7 D
With the Oilers stable of young defensemen, players like Davidson will be in tough to make it to the NHL level. That said there's no telling which players ranked above him might falter along the way and if Davidson keeps on improving he could find himself on the Oilers bottom pairing one day, personally I wouldn't bet on it.


Lisa McRitchie said...

Looks great Bryan. I'm glad to see Bunz on a top 25 list, don't see how he couldn't be.

DSF said...

Not sure why you're projecting Klefbom as a #1D.

Not even close to enough evidence to support that ranking.

Bryanbryoil said...

Thanks Lisa, Bunz looked great in the rookie tournament.

DSF-These are all based on what I see their top end upsides as, obviously many/most won't get there however if all goes well for these players development wise this is what I see their roles as in the NHL. The Oilers have had a lot of luck with Swedes lately and with the proper development (ie. Lander) we could see Klefbom really flourish when he crosses the pond.