The Pages Of Oilers Jambalaya

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Development Players Part I

Before we begin to cover the players that I believe are in development in the Oilers organization , it is important to know a few things. I have listed statistics for each player , however some players statistics cover more years then others. Due to the wide degree of differences in leagues and difficulties finding information on some players, I have only given you the statistics I felt were needed to get a basic idea of the player. In saying that , I also realize that boxcars don't say everything, especially in the case of defenceman or third and forth line forwards. They do however give us a small look at the player.

I have also tried to give some video footage of each player if possible to get a better snapshot of potential and a closer look at what type of player they are. I do realize that the typical video is more of a 'saw them good' example, but again, only trying to get a closer look into what kind of player they have the potential of being.

There are 30 players I am covering,  so I will cover 5 players in each posting and give my personal take on what I am seeing.
My opinions are based off of three things...

1) NHL Organization's reports
2) Outside scouting reports
3) Personal observations.

Development Players #1-5:

Cameron Abney 
6' 5"
23 May 1991

STATS:2007-08 Everett Silvertips WHL       Games 4  G 0 A 0    PTS 0
2008-09 Everett Silvertips WHL       Games 48 G 1 A 3   PTS 4
Everett Silvertips WHL       Games 34 G 3 A 3   PTS 6
Edmonton Oil Kings WHL  Games 4  G 3 A 4    PTS 7
2010-11 Edmonton Oil Kings WHL  Games 60 G 7 A 13 PTS 20

Fight videos:

revingevs TAKE:
Have seen him first at Oiler Rookies VS Golden Bears game. Saw him at 2010 development Camp, following that, did catch the streaming video of last years rookie tourney in Penticton and saw him at main training camp and then 2011 development Camp.  Abney has made progress each time I have seen him. He is one of those players who is bigger and can look slow to some, while others recognize he is actually quite quick for a man his size. Unfortunately for him (like many others that are developing) he has his days when he lacks the drive on a consistant basis. At this past summers development camp he looked a bit slow at the beginning but by the end of the week , while playing on RNH’s team for scrimmage, he was moving the puck and protecting it well. His game is not that of a skill player but as a tough guy (remember the video's above?) Should he continue to develop as the Oilers hope he can, his role as a 4th line checker and fighter is a legit goal for him.

I Believe to play in the WHL next year he would have to be a overage player and their are limited spots on each team, so likely he will be moved up in the system  to play 1 year in the ECHL followed by 1 year in AHL.  Should he need longer at the ECHL, most likely it will mean he becomes a BUBBLE player. However, should he be ready in 1 year for the AHL club, he could very well take 2 years to finish his development at the minor pro level. If in 3 years time, Abney is not ready for the big club, he will move from the development stage to suspect stage. It is a Critical year to show his tough guy and player development ability. Thinks the game well but will need to work on foot speed and consistancy to work his way onto the AHL team.

Mark Arcobello 
5' 9"
12 Aug 1988

STATS:2006-07 Yale University ECAC          Games 29 G 10 A 14 PTS 24       
2007-08 Yale University ECAC          Games 34 G 7  A 14  PTS 21       
2008-09 Yale University ECAC          Games 34 G 17 A 18 PTS 35      
2009-10 Yale University ECAC          Games 34 G 15 A 21 PTS 36        
2010-11 Stockton Thunder ECHL       Games 33 G 7  A 13  PTS 20
              Oklahoma City Barons AHL Games 26 G 11 A 11 PTS 22

Goal Video:

revingevs TAKE:
His vision is one of his best assets along with his speed. He knows how to find open guys and hit the holes offensively. Mark knows the smaller players who have fared well in the NHL, and have done so because of speed and skill, so he has been working on that aspect. He continues to improve his foot speed and  strength. With great hockey sense and smarts to go with that, Mark is carving a way for himself regradless of what the critics say. With his incredible focus he can only hope it translates into a NHL game someday.

Mark is where he is because he has paved his way through the system.  He is smart and understands what is needed to get to the next level. There is tough competition on the team (OKC Barons) this year and it is up to Mark to rise to the top. Should he continue to develop and improve his game this year, there is a good chance his goal of playing in the NHL will be even that much closer. However, with the Oilers so loaded in their top 9 (and with too many smaller players already)  Mark will be in tough to break onto the team barring 3-4 injuries in the same season to high end talent. His game is more suited to a second line player. Most likely should he make the NHL,  it is most likely with another NHL club,  One thing Mark has going for him? He never quits and is relentless in his pursuit of his dream.

Drew Czerwonka
6' 2"
1 Jul 1992

2007-08 Kootenay Ice WHL Games 2  G 0  A 0     PTS 0
2008-09 Kootenay Ice WHL Games 55 G 16 A 2   PTS 18
Kootenay Ice WHL Games 54 G 4  A 9    PTS 13
2010-11 Kootenay Ice WHL Games 68 G 13 A 30 PTS 43

Fight video:

Goal Video:

revingevs TAKE:
Have seen him at a couple camps and watched some of his games on TV. Unfortunately at this past summers 2011 development camp, I did not see him all week on the ice except for a couple drills before the one scrimmage with just a coach. Heard later on,  he was nursing a bad shoulder and should be ready to play come September. To play this season in the WHL he would require to be brought back as a overaged player. Not sure where he will be placed but his game development has been going in the right direction.

A tenacious player, who is a good checker and doesn't shy away from contact. The club likes his tough physical game but would like to see him improve his quickness and work in front of the net. Definately is not afraid to take a hit or give a hit. I see him as a potential 4th line physical player. More then likely it will take a couple years of minor pro hockey to know exactly where his maximum potential lies. He is a player you want to take time to develop. This year there will be higher expectations on him to take his game up another level regardless of where he plays.

Travis Ewanyk
6' 1"
29 Mar 1993

STATS:2008-09 Edmonton Oil Kings WHL Games 2  G 0  A 0     PTS 0
Edmonton Oil Kings WHL Games 42 G 1  A 4    PTS 5
2010-11 Edmonton Oil Kings WHL Games 72 G 16 A 11 PTS 27

Fight video:

revingevs TAKE:
With a good showing at the World U-18 he was able to get a reputation for his efficient two-way play. Travis is considered a very good faceoff man, and a versatile center.(don't forget it was his assignment to contain RNH during their playoff series). Strong in puck battles and can hold his own when the gloves are dropped. It helps he plays right here for the Oil Kings. (which he will play for again this year and continue to hone his game night after night where the team can closely monitor his progress)

He is no doubt, a hard worker who got better as last year went on. This past 2011 development camp it was mentioned by coach’s that he is very attentive, learns quick and they like his ability to translate instruction quickly into on ice drills. This year will be a big year for a better read as to how far he can progress.  Has future NHL possibility as 4th line center, or a 3rd line center as his high end.

Curtis Hamilton 
6' 2"
4 Dec 1991

STATS:2006-07 Saskatoon Blades WHL Games 2  G 0  A 0     PTS 0
Saskatoon Blades WHL Games 68 G 14 A 13 PTS 27
Saskatoon Blades WHL Games 58 G 20 A 28 PTS 48
2009-10 Saskatoon Blades WHL Games 26 G 7  A 9    PTS 16
Saskatoon Blades WHL Games 62 G 26 A 56 PTS 82

Goal videos:

revingevs TAKE:
Hamilton has  some good offensive skills, but his game excels in a power-forward role. He will need a continued commitment to building power and acceleration as a important development, as he transitions to the minor pro game. He was physically NHL-ready at 18, good agility for a man his size. His skills , his vision look good and seems to get along with many players both young, older and even those who speak little English. (as seen at 2011 development camp) During that same camp he was seen quite often, laughing and rubbing shoulders with guys out there on the ice.

His time in the WHL is over, so this will be his year at the AHL level to compete with men. After working his way up the line-up at the U20 world jr’s this past year it will be interesting to see where his top game is. Most likely will be a player in Hartikanen’s mold so probably a 4th, top 3rd line player at this time in his career. As long as his games continues to show positive arrows, he could very well see some NHL playing time, as early as the 2012/2013 season.

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