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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Players on the BUBBLE? Pt2

As we look at the remaining BUBBLE players I have on my list, be rest assured this is my list and not the Edmonton Oilers list (or so we think). Again I will remind people that players listed as my BUBBLE players may catch on and play eventually full-time in the NHL, I just don't see them playing with the Edmonton Oilers. Aside from a major break out year I believe these players just won't be able to make that cut. Disagree? State your opinion and share your arguments. So without wasting anymore time let's cut to the chase and finish looking at my list of remaining BUBBLE players.......


Kristians Pelss 
5' 11"
175
9 Sep 1992

Stats:
2010-11 Edmonton Oil Kings WHL Games 63 G 14 A 19 PTS 33

this past year, he represented his country in the U20 world jr's and recorded:
Latvia U20  2011 Division 1 tournament: Games 5 G 2 A 2 PTS 4

HISTORY:
Derek Zona at the Copper and Blue wrote this following being drafted: Who?  From where?  Latvia?  Are you kidding me?  Who drafts from Latvia?  In a move that confounded both NHL  staff on site and Edmonton fans everywhere, the Edmonton Oilers reached into Latvia's Junior system to select  the speedy young forward.  Ben attended the draft and his rundown on Pelss included this gem:

When he was drafted he was so obscure that not only did the NHL not have a little insert for him on the draft board, but when they handed out the lists of draft picks about forty-five minutes later his birth city was shown as "Latvia" and his team was left entirely blank. The reasonable guess is the Oilers took Pelss based on what they saw of him at the Under-18 World Junior  Championship in Minsk, in April where Pelss had two goals and an assist in six games.  Pelss made the jump to North America this summer and will be playing for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL.

To find out more about the mystery man from Latvia, I went to the aptly named Latvian Hockey News Report and the writer behind the site, Didzis Rudmanis.  Didzis was kind enough to speak with us and build a picture of Pelss and his game.  We also talked about the state of Latvian Hockey. Didzis Rudmanis (Latvian Hockey News Report):    Not a single player from Latvia - the 12th highest  ranked country by the IIHF - had been drafted into the NHL between 2007 and 2009.  In 2006 the Thrashers
 took Arturs Kulda and the Sens selected Kaspars Daugavins, but that's a long time between picks. Although Kristians Pelss is considered to be the best prospect of all 1992-born Latvian players, not many people expected him to be drafted.



Alessandro Seren Rosso at HF Boards writes:
The native of Preili, a small city in eastern Latvia with a large Russian presence, had to face most of
the troubles European players face in their first season in North America. Things like the new language:  "When I left Latvia I thought I knew English, but then I quickly realized I didn't. Now I'm trying to learn new words every day and now it's definitely better than before."
The winger also wanted to share his impressions about his new life in Canada, a country that he said he likes:  "I like my new life in Edmonton a lot, but sometimes it's boring. No one to talk with in my mother language." With that said, Pelss enjoys usual teenager activities in his free time: "Usually I go to the cinema with  my teammates, or we go shopping, but more often we play to the Xbox."  The Latvian forward is now settling into a solid role with the Oil Kings. His task for his first North American  season is to help the team to go as far as possible in the post season. The Edmonton-based franchise is now the sixth seed of the Eastern Conference, with 57 points earned so far. They shouldn't face many problems in getting a playoff spot.

As Pelss said earlier, since the start of season, a lot of progress can be seen in his game. However,
 he admitted that he still has "a lot to work on." Pells considers his skating and shooting abilities
 his best assets, and also considers himself more a goal-scorer, preferring to score goals over registering assists.



Upon the end of last season Dan Sallows writes:
All signs point to the Edmonton Oil Kings improving on the 69 points they put up in the 2010-11, and a big reason for that should be because of the crafty Latvian left winger Kristians Pelss. The 18-year-old enjoyed  a decent rookie season with the Kings, scoring 33 points on 14 goals and 19 assists in 63 games, and finished an impressive plus-11. Those totals sat the youngster 6th overall in scoring for Edmonton, and 12th overall among first year players in the WHL. Pelss also represented his native Latvia at this years IIHF Div 1  World Under-20 Championships, where he scored 2 goals and 4 points in 5 games en route to helping them capture gold, and led the tourney in penalty minutes with 31. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound forward has  tremendous hands, excellent vision and hockey sense, plays a solid transition game, is very opportunistic and has an abundance of raw skill and ability. Pelss was a seventh round pick (181st overall) of the  Edmonton Oilers in last years NHL Entry Draft, after he potted 6 goals and 9 points in 46 games for his Dinamo Juniors Riga squad, which is a team that was based out of the Belarusian Extraliga and serves as the farm team to the KHL’s Dinamo Riga club.


Hockey fight:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLQ-2RqQCSgHighlight

Goal:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tE__8Q-bqk


revingevs TAKE:
Has signed (some say it is only a try-out contract) to play with Dinomo Riga in the KHL for 2011-2012, the team he was Drafted  by in 2010, round 7 #175 overall in the KHL Draft.  I for one really liked his play at years end ,last season. In fact I even heard interviews by his coach, how he thought he made big strides and this year would be a interesting year with his development. He had legs that's for sure!  Now, about that signing! Why? Who is giving this advice?  Not a smooth move if you ask me. Not at this stage of his life right now. Maybe his agent looked at the current roster, looked at the players in the system and decided it was time to follow a different path. I can't see the Oilers being happy with this move. Of course I am just reading between the lines here and do not know for certain how they feel about this signing. To me, it takes a young prospect and makes him become suspect, when he decides to sign back in Europe (unless it was an arrangement already made by the club and the player).

Starting your career in Europe and then coming to North America is one thing. But coming to North America, then heading back to Europe is not usually a good sign of a developing player. Of course, if anyone has any good examples to say otherwise I would love to hear the players that fit that mold. This action alone for me has taken this prospect and made him suspect. I'd now consider him a BUBBLE player.





Ryan O'Marra 
6' 2"
220
9 Jun 1987

HF Boards says:
He is a skilled center with a good set of wheels. He handles the puck well and has a very good shot.
He can score from many areas of the ice and doesn't shy away from playing in traffic. Exceptional in the faceoff circle, he could be a player that is counted on to take defensive zone draws on a regular basis. O'Marra is at his best when he is playing with a physical edge to his game.  Banging bodies, creating turnovers and playing tough in the corners or in front of the net. He’s a natural center but has shown the ability and the comfort to play on the right wing as well as he did with Team Canada.He projects to be a  third-line center in the NHL who is able to shutdown the opposition, throw the body, take the key faceoffs and chip in offensively from time to time.


Stats:
2007-08 Springfield Falcons AHL         Games 31 G 2  A 7  PTS 9
2007-08 Stockton Thunder ECHL         Games 62 G 1  A 9  PTS 10
2009-10 Springfield Falcons AHL        Games 74 G 12 A 6  PTS 18
2010-11 Oklahoma City Barons AHL   Games 53 G 2  A 20 PTS 22
              NHL                                         Games 24 G 1  A 5  PTS 6

Hockey fight:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2NtMh3i4Zw

First NHL Goal:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbubPtJm2iw


revingevs TAKE:
I like Ryan. Have liked him since we traded for him in that Ryan Smyth deal way back in the day. I got to meet him that same summer he arrived at the Oilers Development Camp. He was still recovering from his injury and had to stay off the ice. He spent time talking with fans and was a popular one playing with kids. A very personable guy and one who does great interviews. Very intelligent guy and smart player on the ice. My question is, 'How many years can you be in development as a forward?' I only ask, because we all know it's been awhile. The Oilers must like what they see, they keep signing one year deals. He is close, but the closer he gets the more new players are starting to come into the system who can do what he can do. Unfortunately for Ryan, he is a BUBBLE Player who knows it ,as well. I can't see Ryan signing another year on a two-way contract after this , unless it is a breakthrough year for him. With the talent coming in at center now, chances are pretty low he gets more then a handful of games even again this year. "I'm rooting for ya Ryan!" (Sigh...) BUBBLE Player.



Milan Kytnar 
6' 0"
190
19 May 1989


HF Boards says...

Kytnar is a two-way, creative center who can score goals but is seen more as a safe, defensive player.
He is not very big (6'0), but he uses his body well. Good in front of the net, but he could stand to be
more aggressive. He had very impressive stats during his draft year especially in the plus/minus column  where he boasts an incredible +78. His whopping 91 points in 53 games suggests offensive ability to be further developed but must be taken with a grain of salt when quality of competition is taken into consideration.  In the WHL he was hardly a factor in an offensive sense.



Stats:
2010-11 Oklahoma City Barons AHL Games 78 G 13 A 16 PTS 29


Goal Video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMuHLNQFbAMhockey


Fight Video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8P6pKZmqwQ


revingevs TAKE:

I am having a difficult time with Kytnar. He is someone who could definitely go either way. He has been a developing player to date but again, with the center talent increasing in the organization he will be in tough to get a shot with the Oilers. If and that is a big IF, Kytnar comes out flying from training camp and shows he is improving in his development , there is a chance he gets a call up if he sustains that. I think it is a BUBBLE year, show improvement and he may get one more year with the AHL team. Any lack of  improvement and the writing is probably on the wall.  





Philippe Cornet 
6' 0"
196
28 Mar 1990

HISTORY:Cornet was drafted by Edmonton in 2008 in the fifth round, 133rd overall. After attending Oilers training camp each of the last two seasons, he opened a new chapter of his career this year in Oklahoma City. For a player that saw quality ice time in junior, Cornet’s start for the Barons saw him watch from upstairs more than the bench.


Stats:2010-11 Oklahoma City Barons AHL Games 60 G 7 A 16 PTS 23


HF Boards says....A bit of a sucker for punishment, Cornet often finds himself digging for the puck in the corners and along the boards and battling against players much larger and stronger then he is. To his credit, he takes his knocks and always gets up and tries again when he gets out-muscled and knocked down. When he does get the puck, he has the ability to thread a pass that has no business getting through, thanks to his on-ice awareness and soft hands, but his lack of strength reduces his effectiveness. Needs to improve in all facets of the game but the Oilers feel he is a skill player that could be a diamond in the rough  just needing development and better luck with his health.


revingevs TAKE:

Cornet is a player who has needed time to adjust to the speed of the pro game. He's not a player who is found out of position, lost on the ice or even making bad mistakes. He is just struggling to be the player he was in jr. His development curve is starting to look familiar to the same as Ryan O'Marra. Good player but development has slowed and too many new young prospects coming into the system. Maybe he has to discover himself at the pro level.  Most likely he will be a player sometime down the road, but not sure it will be with the Edmonton Oilers. BUBBLE player who will need to play above his head this year in order to make any progress out of that BUBBLE!




Alexander Bumagin 
6' 0"
180
1 Mar 1987

HISTORY:
Alexander Bumagin (born March 1, 1987 in Togliatti, Russia) was drafted as the fifth choice (170th overall) of the Edmonton Oilers in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.


HF Boards states:An effortless skater who can reach top speed by using just a few of his long, effective strides...
plays with above-average agility and possesses a solid balance...boasts an impressive pair of hands
which control the puck smoothly...utilizes on his strong instincts and the ability to find the open man...
very good in one-on-one situations...willing to play in traffic, but doesn't play a physical style...
releases a precise wrist shot...decent slap shot, which could be more accurate...his intensity off the
 puck drops off...doesn't show much commitment on defense.


Stats:
2007-08
Mytishchi Khimik Russia              Games 31 G 8 A 7  PTS 15
2008-09 Mytishchi Atlant KHL                   Games 40 G 4 A 7  PTS 11
2009-10
Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik KHL   Games 51 G 8 A 13 PTS 21
2010-11 Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik KHL  Games 4  G 1 A 2  PTS 3 
2010-11
Novokuznetsk Metallurg KHL      Games 39 G 6 A 5  PTS 11


revingevs TAKE:

You want more information on him? Good luck finding it! Unless you can translate Russian, you may be out of luck :)   Now how could he be on the BUBBLE? Quite easy! Don’t expect to see him in North America any time soon;  he’s signed with HK Atlant through 2010.Not to mention, finding any information on him is difficult or next to impossible. Maybe that is the sign he is a BUBBLE player. I have no idea how long he stays our prospect,  but maybe there is someone out there who has more information on him and his status with the Edmonton Oilers then I can find.  Having talked to a few people 'in the know', they don't seem 'to know' anything for sure. All educated guesses. I think with everything we are getting to this point, we could say this is one player who is more then a BUBBLE player, he is a NEVER player. Sounds mostly like we still have his negotiating rights? Too many players are far above him to even think he has a shot.

-WRITTEN BY REVINEV-

3 comments:

  1. Hey, Rev, nice analysis.

    My understanding of Pelss' deal is that he's been invited to Dynamo Riga's training camp but must sign a KHL try-out contract to attend. He's a longshot to be offered a slot, but he'd be a fool to turn it down. It doesn't hurt anything, he can still play with the Oil Kings this year, but he gets to go to a pro camp & make some contacts for the future. Bubbler in any event (hey, a Latvian 7th rounder from off the board?), great story if he pans out, but his most likely career path will be overseas. Don't hold that against him!

    Bumagin is an Oiler prospect in name only. He has no intention of coming over, but with the state of NHL-KHL relations the Oil can keep his NHL rights indefinitely at no cost (as long as they have room on their Protected List). A year or two down the road he'll quietly disappear much like Mikhnov & Zhukov.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, you are right, I should not hold him wanting to make a career in hockey against him. What I do find
    interesting is, why right now? Say he makes the team, do the Oilers like this idea? What is the chance he
    ever gets a opportunity again with the Edmonton Oilers themselves? I say slim, to none. If our cupboards
    were less full, maybe. In his case, it will take away from his North American game that is required for
    NHL players. KHL plays less games per year and develops players differently. Good league but changing his
    current learning curve from North America to Europe, I can only see putting him in what I am calling, that BUBBLE.
    Nonetheless, good on him if he can make a career over there, cause truth is....he was in tough here for
    competition already.

    As far as Bumagin, yeah why have a player on a protected list if there is no intent to have him a actual
    part of your organization? I really think this will be his last year, just a intuition, and maybe reading between
    the lines too much...lol

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why now? 'Cause he can :)

    I think the camp would be a great developmental experience for him & I would think the Oilers would be fine with it.

    Now, if he gets a contract offer, it gets interesting. Tough call for him - WHL kraft dinner vs. KHL rubles (and you're right, probably the end of his career as an Oiler). But given that he chose to come over last year when he could have stayed in the Dinamo Riga system, I think he's committed to give it a shot here. This will serve him well when/if he eventually does go back, though. Smart career planning.

    Of course, the Oilers have to decide whether to give him an offer by the end of this year (he's only a 19-yr-old junior, remember), so by definition he's on "the bubble".

    And I think you're right, Bumagin's bubble has come and gone. With massive 14-point seasons in the KHL, I doubt that the Oil can even be bothered to file the paperwork to get him off their protected list. My guess is that the two of us just put more thought into A. Bumagin and his hockey career than anyone over at Rexall has in years :)

    ReplyDelete

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