As we get ready for the the 2014-15 season, it may be time to get yourself reacquainted with your team’s minor league affiliates and what could be in store for your team should they need a call-up or two. I’ll go through them team by team in hopes that this enlightens some people to their affiliate teams. Today, a look at the Edmonton Oilers and their affiliates in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Bakersfield, California.
OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS
Affiliate Since: 2010-11
Distance From Parent Team (Arena to Arena): 1,757 miles
Last Season: 36-29-2-9, 3rd in West Division, 8th in Western Conference
Despite giving up the most goals of any playoff team in the AHL (and 3rd most in the entire league), the Barons did end up playing the eventual Calder Cup champion Texas Stars tough in the first round– even though they were swept in the first round. This was the worst showing by the Barons in their brief four year history, but it still shows how deep the Oilers farm team really is.
Another issue in letting up a lot of goals was not scoring many goals, with Matthew Ford and early-season acquisition Roman Horak being the 20+ goal scorers on the club, while Anton Lander and Brad Hunt were the only guys with 50 points on the season with the Barons. Ford was a big stand-out being an AHL contract only player and leading the team in goals and power play goals on the season.
Outside of Hunt and Taylor Fedun, the defense for the Barons left a lot to be desired in their own end, with Martin Gernat, Brandon Davidson, and rookie David Musil needing some more time to develop a better defensive game before the Barons can get back to their glory of the previous two seasons.
In net, Richard Bachman did what he could provided that he didn’t have much help in his own end. With 26 wins in 52 games, Bachman was able to keep the Barons in a lot of games, but wasn’t necessarily able to win games on his own without the goal support. The cavalcade of back-ups didn’t help too much either, with not many solid option to go to in order to give Bachman much of a break.
Leading Scorers: Anton Lander (18g, 34a), Brad Hunt (11g, 39a), Roman Horak (21g, 27a)
Possible Frequent Flyers: For Lander, it could be his last shot with sticking with the Oilers, especially with Leon Draisaitl being drafted this year. Expect the Oilers to give Lander a fair look, which could mean he’s up and down most of the season. Oscar Klefblom and David Musil could be next in line for the defensive call-up, despite it being jam-packed on the blueline.
Outlook: Defense will be the biggest thing to address for the Barons, but with the possibility of Dillon Simpson and Darnel Nurse seeing some time in the AHL; it will help the Barons out ten-fold for getting some more stay-at-home issues they were having last season. In net, Laurent Brossoit, Tyler Bunz, and Ty Rimmer will be duking it out in order to get some net time; though Brossoit could have the inside track and he was quite fast tracked by the Oilers last season when he was picked up from Calgary.
Affiliate Since: 2013-14
Distance From Parent Team (Arena to Arena): 1,769 miles
Last Season: 36-30-2-6, 2nd in Pacific Division, 6th in Western Conference
After being acquired by the Alaska Aces, Laurent Brossoit was amazing for the Condors when he was there, being top-2 in the league in wins, GAA, and save percentage throughout the season and putting up 26 wins in in his 38 games with the Condors. Brossoit got help from the likes of Erik Burgdoefer and Joey Leach on a rather young Condors defensive squad. Yet, the defense was a key part in getting the Condors to the Conference Finals in the Western Conference last season.
Offensively, there wasn’t too much to be shown by the Condors, but Jordan Knackstedt lead the way for the team, while Joel Broda (in a limited role) was able to pot 21 goals in 41 games of his tenure in Bakersfield. Rookie Chase Schaber was impressive with 18 goals and 44 points.
Leading Scorers: Jordan Knackstedt (19g, 32a), Chase Schaber (18g, 26a), Chris Collins (16g, 28a)
Possible Frequent Flyers: After his rookie season, Schaber could be turning some heads and may get a look by some AHL teams to do spot work if need be. Tyler Bunz could be seeing time up and down from Bakersfield and Oklahoma City.
Outlook: By re-signing Schaber and Nick Pageau, the Condors are looking pretty solidly into building off of the underdog run they had last season. The big thing is to have the same support for Bunz or whomever is in net they did with Brossoit, because it could be a little more dicey than last season. The support for the Oilers, who are the now owners of the Condors, will provide very invaluable with talent and with coaching oversight.