Thursday, December 2, 2010

Prospect Statistics - November

Apologies for my lack of posting during the month of November. Turns out my laptop isn’t as bulletproof as the price-tag suggested it should be. Nor is the extended warranty.

But I digress. November saw a couple of prospects pull away from the pack, while others came crashing back down to Earth after putting up successful showings in October. 2010 is turning out to be a banner year for Stu MacGregor, our resident talent finder, but it appears that the lustre is quickly dulling on 2009.

On a formatting note, I can’t stand the way I tried to organize the October stats, so I’ll be tweaking them yet again. Please comment if you’ve got suggestions on how this can be improved.

*Edit: I’ve not yet completed the icetime totals for our NHL prospects (Eberle, Hall, Paajarvi) and would like to get this thing up ASAP. I’ll have a second post up later on with their respective icetimes and comments.

Cameron Abney RW Edmonton/WHL
NOV 9GP 0-0-0 -2 9PIM 9ZPG
YTD 24GP 3-1-4 -4 26 PIM

Best use of a 3rd round pick ever? He’s a tough guy who appears unwilling to goon it up anymore. What good is he now that his burgeoning offensive talent has dried up? Didn’t dress for the last two games of November.

Phil Cornet Wing Oklahoma/AHL
NOV 5GP 0-0-0 -2 2PIM 2SH 5ZPG
YTD 15GP 0-2-2 -3 2PIM 12SH

Not sure what to expect here, as I didn’t peg him as an every-day player in OKC this year. Missed 6 games in a row in early November, likely due to JF Jacques’ conditioning stint. He’s not on a feature line, so the points aren’t likely to come. He’s also not pushing for additional ice time with his performances, so he’s likely in “next year territory” already.

Drew Czerwonka LW Kootenay/WHL
NOV 8GP 2-1-3 +3 13PIM 5ZPG
YTD 23GP 7-5-12 -1 26PIM

He’s come back down from his soaring heights of October, but he’s still producing at a respectable level for what he is (a 6th round pick). He’s seeing powerplay time (one PP goal this month) so his point totals should be taken with a grain of salt. Interesting player steadily earning the trust of his coaches.

Robby Dee C Maine/NCAA
NOV 5GP 0-1-1 +1 2PIM 15SH 4ZPG
YTD 13GP 5-7-12 +4 4PIM 36SH

As well as the month of October was to our long-lost 2005 draft pick, November was the polar opposite. His Maine squad had a very infrequent schedule which might have had some effect on his consistency, but that’s a poor excuse for a collegiate athlete who at 23 should be dominating the league. On a positive note, his faceoff percentages are hovering around 60% on the year (62% in November in just under 200 attempts). He, like VandeVelde, might garner a contract due to his toolbox meshing nicely with what the Oilers organization needs (big bodied C with faceoff skill).

Jordan Eberle RW Edmonton/NHL
NOV 14GP 0-7-7 -6 2PIM 22SH 7ZPG
YTD 23GP 4-11-15 -4 4PIM 41SH

Eberle continues to impress me at the NHL level with his consistency and work ethic. He’s the best of the kids and the coaches are rewarding his growth with special teams time (one powerplay assist). His lack of goal scoring is of little concern to me because he’s still creating offense. Some will point out that he’s been a premier goal scorer wherever he’s played in the past, but then again Liam Reddox was pegged as a top-6 guy or nothing at all coming out of junior, most kids will be different players once they mature. Hoping for more good things to come.

Taylor Hall LW Edmonton/NHL
NOV 14GP 4-3-7 -1 2PIM 36SH 8ZPG
YTD 23GP 6-6-12 -5 6PIM 55SH

Hall is improving over the last two months, and that’s a great sign for Oilers fans. He’s shooting, he’s more involved in the overall game, and he’s got confidence playing with Eberle and old man Horcoff. It’s great to see chemistry developing with our youngest player and our most responsible two-way forward and it’ll bode well for Hall’s future if he can be relied upon in all three zones. He’s scoring at even strength (3-2-5) as well as the PP (1-1-2) and his production has been consistent (only one multi-point game in November). The only question I have left is whether he can sustain this positive growth throughout the months to come.

Curtis Hamilton Wing Saskatoon/WHL
NOV 11GP 7-11-18 +13 0PIM 2ZPG
YTD 26GP 15-22-37 +26 6PIM

An outstanding month for our Dub stud has seen his stock rise on a National level, with an invite to Team Canada’s U-20 tryout camp. Hamilton has shown the ability to score at will and, perhaps more importantly, remain healthy. A big body who knows how to create offense on the PK (scored a SH goal this month) is a welcome commodity to any team. He might not be the kind of guy TC is looking at using in a Top-6 role for this year’s team, but I doubt they’ll find a better energy/role player who has a 6’3” frame. I’ll be surprised if he isn’t playing key minutes in Buffalo over Christmas.

Teemu Hartikainen RW Oklahoma/AHL
NOV 11GP 3-3-6 -3 10PIM 22SH 6ZPG
YTD 23GP 7-4-11 -11 17PIM 47SH

Hartikainen is doing what we thought he’d be doing in a Pro North-American league; score goals. He’s been very effective on the powerplay, all his goals this month came courtesy the man-advantage, but he’s still giving a lot back in terms of scoring chances the other way. He’s improving in this regard, his +/- is nowhere near as bad as his October statistic, but there’s lots of room to improve still.

Kellen Jones Wing Quinnipiac/NCAA
NOV 8GP 1-0-1 -1 6PIM 12SH 7ZPG
YTD 15GP 4-4-8 -1 25PIM 30SH

Not a lot of promising performances to write about for the wundertwins at Quinnipiac this month. Both brothers have been relatively ineffective. What’s more concerning is that their struggles appear to be affecting the team, who have been in a tailspin since the Jones’ offense dried up. As Kellen and Connor go, so too does their team. They’ve got to get back to their scoring ways or risk losing their team, and themselves back to relative obscurity.

Milan Kytnar C Oklahoma/AHL
NOV 11GP 0-2-2 -5 4PIM 8SH 9ZPG
YTD 22GP 1-4-5 -7 6PIM 17SH

A mediocre month for Kytnar. His offense is about where we should expect is, but the minus-5 isn’t what I was led to believe was par for the course. He’s not likely to be handling hard minutes as the Barons are a veteran-laden team, which makes his +/- a very disappointing stat.

Anton Lander C Timra/SEL
NOV 8GP 2-3-5 +1 4PIM 14SH 142.07TOI 4ZPG
YTD 24GP 6-6-12 +2 18PIM 40SH 434.16TOI

The 19-year old Lander is handling 3rd line duty in a professional league very well. He’s seeing on average 18 minutes of all-purpose ice time per game and is using it to score goals and keep opponents from scoring. He should be expecting a call from the Swedish junior National team where he could be the team’s top center and captain. He’s proving that his decision to stay another year in Sweden was sage advice. Continued play like this and Lander should be in line to make a direct jump to the NHL next year as a bottom-6 C.

Ryan Martindale C Ottawa/OHL
NOV 12GP 8-12-20 +12 8PIM 3ZPG
YTD 27GP 17-23-40 +21 18PIM

Okay. I’m starting to come around on the supposed “lazy oaf”. He’s kicking down the doors of the OHL along with fellow 2010 draftee Tyler Toffoli and 2011-eligible Shane Prince, and he’s doing it at even strength (5-12-17 EV scoring). It’d be interesting to see how the kids did if they were split apart, but if I’m coaching the 67’s I don’t fix what ain’t broke. Should be attending the Team Canada camp (who wouldn’t want a 6’2” center with offensive skill at least around for the tryouts?), but I’ll get over it. Keep it coming kid.

Linus Omark Wing Oklahoma/AHL
NOV 11GP 8-4-12 +4 6PIM 36SH 4ZPG
YTD 23GP 12-9-21 +5 28PIM 62SH

Linus has had a great start to the season in the AHL, but appearances are somewhat deceiving in November as his stat-line was the beneficiary of an un-repeatable performance against the Baby-Leaves. While 5 goals in a game is an impressive feat, that accounted for more than half his goal totals for the entire month. I might be nit-picking but if he’s to be garnering interest from the NHL team, he’s got to be a consistent scorer at even strength, which wasn’t the case in November (4-3-7 on the man advantage). The creativity is there and it’s being noticed, but he won’t get by on offense in Edmonton.

Magnus Paajarvi LW Edmonton/NHL
NOV 13GP 0-0-0 -8 0PIM 17SH 13ZPG
YTD 22GP 2-4-6 -4 6PIM 41SH

Ouch. An O-fer month should spell the end of Paajarvi’s season in the NHL on any team other than the Oilers. The kid’s clearly in over his head and needs more time developing at a level where he can succeed. If he’s not going to get the linemates or ice-time (he trails Hall and Eberle in both categories)in Edmonton, get him the hell outta dodge.

Tyler Pitlick RW Medicine Hat/WHL
NOV 13GP 8-5-13 +5 12PIM 5ZPG
YTD 22GP 11-12-23 +4 19PIM

Pitlick is still adjusting to life off-campus, and he’s also adjusting to a new position. He’s been moved off center, a move he’s made before. The offense is coming through in bursts (one 4 point game, one 3 point game) and he’s also contributing on the PP (1-2-3). He’s in the range of expectations I had at the start of the year, but he’s not dominating like his teammates (Linden Vey is on fire right now, Emerson Etem is no longer shooting blanks). Continued growth is important for Pitlick in all areas of the game, and we’re seeing baby steps from the 2010 2nd rounder.

Kristians Pelss RW Edmonton/WHL
NOV 11GP 1-5-6 +3 4PIM 8ZPG
YTD 25GP 2-6-8 +2 12PIM

The Latvian import seems to be getting better accustomed to the WHL, and it’s starting to show in his offensive totals. It’s coming in the form of multi-point games (3 of them for his 6 points), but we’ll take progress wherever it comes from with the 7th rounder I had no expectations of. He’s lapping Cam Abney right now, with the next goal being a guy the coach can count on for top-6 minutes.

William Quist

I don’t have anything nice to say.

Toni Rajala Wing Ilves/SM-Liiga
NOV 4GP 2-0-2 -1 2PIM 24SH 59.27 TOI 2ZPG
YTD 17GP 5-4-9 -7 2PIM 77SH 253.25 TOI

Rajala had a string of six missed games during the month of November. It could be military services, it could be a re-aggrivation of the October injury, but I don’t speak Flemish. He showed well in the games he participated in and appears to be getting a regular shift in the Top-6 when healthy. He’s been really trigger-happy this year, which I like to see. Hopefully he can find his way into more games as the season progresses and get his ass back to North America next year.

Chris VandeVelde C Oklahoma/AHL
NOV 11GP 3-2-5 +2 8PIM 14SH 7ZPG
YTD 22GP 4-3-7 -6 14PIM 23SH

The biggest area of improvement for VandeVelde is his +/-. He’s starting to understand where he has to be on the ice and is helping his team win hockey games. Point totals are nice to see, but isn’t what’ll get him to the NHL. Another month of numbers in the black and he’ll be pushing for a call-up.

Jordan Bendfeld D Stockton/ECHL

When last we chatted, I mentioned that Bendfeld had surfaced in Stockton for a game in October. Since then I’ve noticed he’s played in a couple more with middling results. I wasn’t able to get the game-by-game statistics due to an issue with the ECHL’s website. Suffice to say he’s not a threat to any of the young blueliners in Oklahoma.

Jeremie Blain D Bathurst/QMJHL

Didn’t play a game in November. He’s still injured with no timetable for his return to action.

Kyle Bigos D Merrimack/NCAA
NOV 8GP 0-2-2 -1 22PIM 11SH 6ZPG
YTD 13GP 0-4-4 +2 38PIM 20SH

Bigos is playing big on the Merrimack blueline, as his PIM totals seem to indicate. He’s not messing around and putting up the occasional assist. He’s still seeing powerplay time (1 PP assist) but the points aren’t coming as readily as last year. Still a longshot to have an NHL career but he’s having a decent enough season thusfar.

Taylor Chorney D Oklahoma/AHL
NOV 11GP 0-4-4 +3 2PIM 19SH 8ZPG
YTD 23GP 0-7-7 +4 10PIM 37SH

He was billed as an offensive defenseman, a puck-mover, when he signed out of UND three seasons ago. He’s putting up points on the PP (all four points this month) but isn’t doing much else. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing mind, as he was known for being too “high-event” with the big club last year. If he can keep his game steady and mistake-free he might make his way back to the NHL one day.

Brandon Davidson D Regina/WHL
NOV 12GP 3-12-15 +1 17PIM 2ZPG
YTD 27GP 4-21-25 -7 28PIM

I’ll be the first to admit that when tallying the November totals for each player, I was outright surprised by Davidson’s, more than anyone else. Those single point games night in and night out really did add up for Davidson in November. He’s even improving his +/- from a month to month perspective. Has he turned the corner to the point where we can discuss a career in hockey once he graduates from junior? He’ll certainly be relying on the PP at the next level (2-4-6 in November).

Troy Hesketh D Chicago/USHL
NOV 10GP 0-0-0 -9 4PIM 5SH 10ZPG
YTD 21GP 0-0-0 -9 28PIM 7SH

Hesketh is getting schooled in a league where Jeff Petry was an All-Star. Troy is not even close. Offensively, defensively, everywhere.

Martin Marincin D Prince George/WHL
NOV 10GP 2-10-12 -4 14PIM 4ZPG
YTD 26GP 9-21-30 +5 35PIM

Marincin’s offense is continuing to hum along at a level most players can’t even dream about, but he’s starting to show holes in his all-around game. He’s still got blue-chipper written all over him, but he should be concerned about that minus-4 he’s got looming over his November. Also, he was a PP-dynamo this month, going 2-7-9.

Johan Motin D Oklahoma/AHL
NOV 10GP 1-2-3 -2 11PIM 10SH 8ZPG
YTD 19GP 1-2-3 -2 18PIM 14SH

Motin had a couple of good games in November, but it was one step forward, two steps back for the young Swedish defender. His -2 actually looks flattering, especially when noticing he had one game where he went +3. He was HS’d once in early-November and is the first defender to draw out of the line-up in favour of a more veteran presence. I wouldn’t be too surprised if he saw more of the pressbox as the season progresses.

Jeff Petry D Oklahoma/AHL
NOV 11GP 2-5-7 -1 8PIM 22SH 6ZPG
YTD 23GP 4-10-14 -9 12PIM 48SH

Petry had a much better month when judged by the metric that the first job of a defenseman is to defend. Reports are suggesting that Petry is playing fairly tough competition in the AHL, and it looks like he’s becoming better suited to his role. Offensively, Petry continues to hum along at a high level, particularly on the powerplay (1-3-4 in November). He also has a SH goal to his credit. Consistency is key for Petry if he wants to see NHL hockey this year.

Alex Plante D Oklahoma/AHL
NOV 10GP 1-3-4 +4 24PIM 14SH 6ZPG
YTD 22GP 1-5-6 +2 56PIM 22SH

Plante continues to gain momentum as a professional defenseman. He’s putting up a bit of offense, preventing the opponents to score, and laying a beatdown on anyone who so much as looks at him the wrong way. He’s exactly the type of defenseman the Oilers need right now. Could see NHL action in the new year.

Tyler Bunz G Medicine Hat/WHL
NOV 10GP 8W 0.923 SV% 2.27GAA 1SO
YTD 17GP 11W 0.913 SV% 2.57GAA 1SO

Tyler Bunz is trending up. He’s finally getting a starting goaltender’s workload and he’s proving that the faith in him is well deserved. He had a great November from a statistic viewpoint where he outplayed the front-runner for the U-20 starting goalie (also an Edmonton prospect). Nice things for a late-round pick.

Bryan Pitton G Oklahoma/AHL

Pitton didn’t play in November with the arrival of Jeff Deslauriers to OKC. Even with the recall of Martin Gerber to Edmonton, Pitton didn’t see a minute of action even though Deslauriers had a couple of off nights. I suspect he’s played his last game for the Oilers organization.

Olivier Roy G Bathurst/QMJHL
NOV 7GP 0.890 SV% 3.54GAA
YTD 18GP 0.907 SV% 2.88GAA 1SO

Olivier Roy is being touted as the odds-on favourite to be Team Canada’s starting goaltender in Buffalo this year. Let’s hope they didn’t look at his November stats, because they aren’t very pretty. He’s playing on a weak and undermanned team in Acadie-Bathurst, he’s being counted on to be the Titan’s best player night in and night out and he’s delivering mediocre results. I wasn’t convinced he had true #1 potential, and he hasn’t done anything in November to sway me.

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