Saturday, December 16, 2006

Top 11 Prospects for December 2006

I can't even pretend this list will be as interesting, well written, or informative as LT's, but here goes in any event.

I choose to go with a top 11 instead of a top 10 to start with because I think there is a divide of sorts at that point, where the proven steps a little bit away from the unproven. Trukhno and Cogliano are exceptions to that, but I've liked enough of what I've heard and seen from the two of them to include them with the rest of this group.

(1) MA Pouliot - One of my two favorite prospects in the Oilers system (Pouliot, and Trukhno). Underrated offensively, a smart player and that can't hurt with the adjustment to the NHL. Terrific goal scorer's goal tonight.

(2) Slava Trukhno - having read Guy's top 20, I think the Oilers just lucked into this guy. He's nothing like the typical Oilers pick, he screams Sens draftee to me. I think they still don't know what they have in him. This is a guy that some had ranked in the late 1st/early 2nd of the 2005 draft, personally I think he had a better season last year than Cogliano and that's why he gets the bump. On the other hand, Cogliano's WJHC camp gets me a smidge excited, along with his recent play. Trukhno was 20th in the Q in scoring last season, 96 points in his team's 221 goals. No one on the team who played serious minutes was really close in +/-, to Trukhno's -1. F Danny Stewart was at -10, and the other players in the top 5 in scoring were -20 or worse. He had a torrid start to this season, and has recently slumped. Were there no slump I'd have him at #1.

(3) Rob Schremp - All kinds of tools, they don't seem to be translating as seamlessly as some may have hoped. Still though, 18 points thru 24 games isn't awful production given that not many are saying he's had an easy adjustment. I could make a case to have him first, and I could probably make a case to have him 6th or 7th if I were in a bad mood. Still has enormous potential.

(4) Andrew Cogliano - has recently caught fire, I think he can move to the top of this list if his offence improves over the rest of this season, and hopefully we'll see a strong WJHC from Cogliano as well. Hopefully he will turn pro this summer, but that remains to be seen. If he's truly not seeing the kind of icetime one would expect in college, maybe spending a year in Michigan next season where he'd be given more responsibility wouldn't be a bad idea. On the other hand if he looks to be pretty much ready to play at a more competitive level, there's no sense holding him back to play in college. EDM can control Cogliano's rights for a maximum of seven seasons starting 07/08, and they don't receive an extension by leaving him in college for another season. If he goes back to college next year, then EDM will only control his rights for six seasons starting 08/9. He can be #1 on this list in a month, and I hope he is, because the more good F prospects that turn into great F prospects, the merrier.

(5) JF Jacques - If he's not NHL ready, he's pretty close. The big question with him is offensive upside, but he answered some questions well last year in that regard with his AHL performance. However, there hasn't been much shown at the NHL level, and even though he's young you'd still like to see a bit more offensive awareness.

(6) Tom Gilbert - He has adapted very well to the AHL level from the sounds of things, I'm more excited about him as a prospect at this stage than I was with Greene last season. With Smid and Greene ahead of Gilbert on the depth chart Gilbert may end up getting stunted within the Oilers organization, if that is going to be the case maybe we'll see him moved sooner rather than later?

(7) Devan Dubnyk - Not much to say about him, obviously we'll need to see how he translates to the AHL, except he may not get a chance to play there this season. Give how much they had to pay in signing bonus to get this guy signed, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to pay an AHL team some money to guarantee starts? Can they do that?

(8) Alexei Mikhnov - I would have put him higher before camp, but a couple factors hurt his prospect value. He's only 4 years from UFA, and I don't know if he can play away from the puck well enough at the NHL level. Time's ticking on Mikhnov.

(9) Taylor Chorney - At the time of the draft I was none too pleased with Chorney's selection, mainly because I haven't heard much about him and had heard more about some other players. The more I hear, the more I like with the exception of the report that he's a little bit soft. Can't wait to hear how his WJHC goes.

(10) Kyle Brodziak - the results are starting to speak for themselves, Brodziak sounds like he's having quite the season with Wilkes Barre. Not a tremendous year for Iowa last year. Since November 15th Brodziak has posted 11 pts in 12 games to go along with a +4 rating.

(11) Mathieu Roy - simply having too good a season to have him lower IMO, and he may still be too low. Same problem as Gilbert (and to a lesser extent Chorney) in that he's blocked by Smid and Greene. The Oilers might have one or two of those guys bust largely because they are blocked within the organization, only to blossom elsewhere, so perhaps moving one of them (or Greene or Smid, who knows?) might be an option in the right deal?


Blogger Black Dog said...

Nice post speeds.

Its nice to see such a load of quality prospects for a change and of course Thorsen, Winchester, Greene and Smid "graduated". Speaks well to player procurement.

I'm excited to catch WJC as well to check out Cogliano. I remember seeing a little of Chorney last season, iirc, but obviously he didn't register.

Here's hoping that when they make their moves that they make the right ones. Gilbert is the guy who I'd really hate to see go but, as you said, where can you fit him in - unless a couple guys go down he's not getting much of a look this year.

12/16/2006 7:25 am  
Blogger Lowetide said...

Good stuff, speeds. I see it pretty much the same as you do. It felt kind of weird not typing Jani Rita's name down though lol.

The one thing I thought of while reading this is thay with Gilbert and Roy pretty much NHL ready the Oilers have four Dmen who may be pretty good NHLers all arriving at pretty much the same time.

Which means some of them won't be here in the spring.

12/16/2006 8:12 am  
Blogger Mr DeBakey said...

I went over to to look at Dubnyk's stats and look what I found:


Defensive prospect scheduled to make debut with Thunder tonight

STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Thunder, an ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers, has announced defenseman Bryan Young has been assigned to the Thunder from the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League.

12/16/2006 8:42 am  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Nice work Mike.

Hopefully MAP has just begun to justify some of the love everyone has for him;)

Did Trukno ever play at the WHJC? I guess I'll have to watch this year because it looks like Cogs is gonna be asked to carry some of the mail but the way TSN and the whole country reacts over a bunch of teenagers makes me sick. Things have really gone overboard since TSN assigned Miller and McGuire to cover the event.

12/16/2006 12:20 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

Dennis: I love watching the WJC, but you're right: the fawning over some of these guys gets excessive.

How many times did we hear Maguire compared Johnathan Toews to Bryan Trottier last year? That's pretty damn high praise. That being said, PM has wood for some up-and-comer pretty much every year (Parise, Phaneuf, Tukonen, Toews are four that stick out in my mind).

12/16/2006 1:44 pm  
Blogger speeds said...

Trukhno is eligible this year to play for Russia, but they will often pass on Russian CHL players and some Russian supporters are surprised he wasn't named.

12/16/2006 3:27 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...

Brodziak kicking butt tonight, 4 points. Schremp out of his slump a little too, 1g 1a.

12/16/2006 7:40 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Good stuff speeds. I think Schremp has to get props for scoring as much as he has at the AHL level. I don't know how it's gone for other players in the past, but I'd guess that there is a period of adjustment at the beginning of the year when the results just aren't as strong. I think it's reasonable to expect the guy to be well over a point per game in the last half of the AHL season, assuming he stays down there for the year.

12/17/2006 9:42 am  

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