As mentioned in my previous post on OILERS 1ST TEAM PROSPECTS , sometimes taking time to look through a NHL franchise system can be a good indicator of exactly what areas look strong and what areas need improvement in. I do really believe you can see the real depth at a position of need by the depth in the organization. What stood out loud and clear in the 1st Team Prospects list is that, the Center position is one of weakest and MUST be remedied as soon as possible. Goaltending may not be all-star quality but their is some potential and we all know the Oilers have now great future depth on the blue even if the current big Club lacks somewhat today.
As far as who is eligible and who isn't for the Prospects, I am going to make it simple. A player can not have played more then 60 games in the NHL and not be over 25 years of age.
Introducing your Oilers 2nd Team Prospects!Starting at Right Wing, at 6'2 and weighing 193 lbs.
I have been closely observing Pitlick's career since being drafted by the Oilers and while it doesn't all look good, Tyler is a strong worker, has size and strength and while he has not been producing much offence, I have seen his shot and it is accurate and hard. I wish he would have been groomed as a Center but both Tyler and the Oilers organization seem to have settled in on him being a RW player. He appears to be looking at a high end of third line checker who can plug in some goals here and there.
On Left Wing, standing 6'3 and weighing in at 202 lbs.
Curtis has struggled so far in his Minor pro career but he continues to work hard and is starting to sign the signs that the Oilers drafted him for. Until the NHL boys move out of OKC we will really not get a chance to see what Hamilton can do at the AHL level. He is working the PK recently and was a specialist in jr. While he as well has not shown the offence, Curtis is more likely looking at a 4th line hard nosed player role who can be a effective penalty killer in the NHL, possibly covering in on the 3rd line on occasion. Likely is still this year and one more season away of development before trying out in the NHL.
At Center, Standing 6'3 and coming in at 207 lbs...
Ryan had a tremendous offensive career in jr hockey but was known to be lagging behind on occasion. His first year in minor pro in the ECHL was underwhelming and despite his limited progress came into AHL camp and impressed coaches and oilers brass. He started the first few games exceptionally well with limited errors but has fallen on a bad stretch again as of late. He has been the odd man out of the Barons line up on some nights and like other players developing there, his chance will come soon enough when RNH is no longer on OKC. Is big, strong, creative but needs to show consistency. Highest potential would be a #2 Center but low end could be no better the a career ECHL'er. It's all in Ryan's hands when it comes to his future. His time is running out, so he will need to make a move real soon.
On Defence, standing at 6'4 and weighing 187lbs...
Martin came on the Oilers Radar with a incredible 1st season as a import player in Prince George with the Cougars. Later in the year he tuckered out probably due to not playing the amount of games in a season and the adjustment he encountered with all the wear and tear of travel. His second year went ok, but he still didnt seem to put on much more muscle and strength and caused some concerns with critcs of his game. He was traded before the WHL trade deadline and while not scoring at earlier paces did seem to start working more on his defensive game. This year being his 1st as a minor league pro has had some downs but most of all ups. His quality playing time with the 'phenom' Justin Schultz was a perfect storm for him in his being mentored into the pro game of hockey. A good player who has potential to be a 2nd line defence pairing but should at least settle into a 6th or 7th defencemen role in the NHL.
On Defence, at 6'5 and 191 lbs...
Gernat won a WHL Championship and just when everyone was saying 'what's he going to do for a encore in year 2?', he came down with a injury and is just about ready to take action in 2013. Hopefully this injury does not stall his progress, but like Marincin, Gernat is a tall player and has some good offence from the backend and has a great stick on the ice. At his height, that long reach will only be a assest in his future pro opportunity. Until he can show this injury will not stall his progress it will be difficult to measure his top end but I put him around the same range as Marincin.
In Goal and standing at 6'0, weighing 170 lbs...
Olivia Roy had a stellar year with the Stockton Thunder last year and is honing his skills this year as back up in OKC. He has had a couple shaky starts but in all fairness the games he got the opportunity the team played like crap on the backend and forwards not seemingly back checking. Roy is still adjusting and my guess is, by february we will see his game improving in leaps and bounds as he adjusts to the next level of pro hockey. A good prospect but has his work cut out for him.
Oilers 2nd Team Prospects
My bet? Just like last post on the 1st team, I still see Center as the greatest need for this organization. What they need is a good 2nd line Center at this years next draft or they need to trade for a good one.
Continuing to look at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and if there is no season, there is a strong possibility the Oilers could land a Sean Monahan, Aleksander Barkov or at least a Curtis Lazar. Of these names, I would say their is a good chance we could see one of them putting on a Oilers Jersey at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
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