In less than a month we will have hockey. Not across-the-pond, roller or the kind being played via an XBox, no, actual real ice hockey. With minor and major league teams in North America gearing up for another season of play, slowly rookie camps and prospect rosters are being announced. The Edmonton Oilers released their plans for the 2014 Rookie Camp, and per usual it features a host of recent and future Oklahoma City Barons.
The official 2014 Rookie Camp and Young Stars Classic roster:
RW – Mitch Holmberg, Jason Houck
LW – Josh Winquist, Kale Kessy, Mitch Moroz, Jujhar Khaira, Vladimir Tkachev, Alex Krushelnyski, Connor Jones, Kellen Jones
C – Bogdan Yakimov, Marco Roy, Leon Draisaitl, Kyle Platzer, Greg Chase, Travis Ewanyk
RD – CJ Ludwig
LD – Ben Betker, Darnell Nurse, Martin Gernat, Dillon Simpson, Jordan Oesterle, Connor Boland, David Musil, Graeme Craig
Laurent Brossoit, Keven Bouchard, Ty Rimmer, Frans Tuohimaa
This is a good group of prospects and a handful of surprises.
Tkachev, and Krushelnyski are relatively unknown to Oklahoma City barons fans, and rightfully so.
Tkachev is an 18 year old whose birthday makes him a young KHL product by the very definition of the term. Having played 50 games only once, at least in recognizable play, but he did have a 2012-13 season of QMJHL play where he earned 10 points, 20 assists in 30 games. Interesting.
Alex Krushelnyski is coming off four seasons of collegiate play with Colorado College. The 23 year old forward also earned his stripes in the USHL for two seasons prior to his days of higher education. The good news is that his numbers look really good. The bad news, he went undrafted, and thus largely unnoticed. Oilers GM, Craig MacTavish, likes taking chances on collegiate players (see Andrew Miller) so this will be another interesting player to watch offensively.
Defensively Connor Boland is your prototypical defender with four years of OHL experience. Not flashy, but nudged along “by doing the job”. CJ Ludwig suffered a pretty nasty knee injury while at Northern Michigan so this will be our first opportunity to see him lace ’em up as an Oiler.
No Tyler Bunz in the “rookie” group, which kinda makes sense, but odder things have happened. Brossoit is the future, Rimmer an option, and Tuohimaa young and gangly. Keven Bouchard is the lone ranger of this group, but still has Oilery proliferations as a recently drafted player (2014, round 7).
More details on the event via EdmontonOilers.com:
The Edmonton Oilers announced today their roster for the 2014 Rookie Camp, which includes the 2014 Young Stars Classic Tournament, being held in Penticton, BC, from September 11-15th.
The Oilers Rookie Camp will open on Thursday, September 11th with medicals and fitness testing at Rexall Place, before the Oilers travel to Penticton to take part in the Young Stars Classic.
|Game 1||Vancouver vs Edmonton||Sept. 12||8:30 pm|
|Game 2||Calgary vs Edmonton||Sept. 13||8:30 pm|
|Game 3||Edmonton vs Winnipeg||Sept. 15||12:30 pm|
These types of events are huge in markets that really matter, like Edmonton. The wetting of the whistle, if you please, prior to the start of the season. It is a time for us to see the greenest draftees, and future “stars” show off some of their talents. It is also a bit of a goofy undertaking. We don’t learn anything about whom these players are, just how they look in practice and brief, horrible competition. Yet I find value in them for two reasons – fun and future. Although we can’t really grasp a prospects true worth in these environments, you certainly can begin to pick out specific mechanical things that spark your interest. Movement, skating, prowess, smarts – all things that naturally come out when kids hit the ice. Remember when Colten Teubert punched people, paid for it, then rode off into the sunset? Things happen. Enjoy the games, the roster, the players, but take it with a tiny grain of salt.