Like we did all last year, TPS will try and update Oilers fans every Friday on the players in the system who are not on the NHL roster. We'll spend this time to check in with the Springfield Falcons, the Stockton Thunder and add some tidbits on the prospects still playing junior, NCAA or in Europe.
Obviously there isn't a whole heck of a lot to talk about just yet but here are some brief things to take note of.
- The Springfield Falcons dropped their first exhibition game by a 3-2 score. The Providence Bruins built up a 3-goal lead and the Falcons nearly completed a comeback but fell short of the finish line. The top line for Springfield in the game featured Adam Henrich, brother of former Oilers 1st round pick Michael Henrich. Riding shotgun on that line is minor league journeyman Bryan Lundbohm and former Alberta Golden Bears star Dylan Stanley.
Back in March I threw out the idea that with Rob Daum behind the bench, maybe a few former UofA players might get a look on the farm and low and behold, there are a couple down there right now. Stanley notched a goal and an assist against Providence.
- The Falcons cut 8 players from their camp and are currently at 30 skaters and 4 goalies. Obviously they'll get a few more bodies once the Oilers make another round of reassignments but the AHL club is trying to get down in their numbers as they prepare for opening night on October 3rd. Springfield takes on Worcester tonight and then hook up with Providence again on Saturday.
- Former Carolina Hurricanes draft pick Tim Kunes was a free agent invite to Falcons camp. The defensive defenceman played the last four years with the Boston College Eagles but was not signed by the 'Canes and is now a UFA. He was a player on the radar for the Oilers during the 2005 draft where he eventually was selected by Carolina in the 5th round. Kunes was one of the players dropped from Springfield's camp yesterday.
- At the junior level, Milan Kytnar is expected to make his 2009-10 WHL debut tonight as the Saskatoon Blades host the Edmonton Oil Kings. Speaking of the Blades, it's interesting to note that the two players Edmonton invited to rookie camp are off to another great start; Burke Gallimore has 3 goals and 5 points while captain Derek Hulak has 4 points, both have +4 ratings. Saskatoon has played two games so far.
- Philippe Cornet told me at rookie camp that he's really trying to have a strong start this season so he'll get that invite to Canada's WJC camp in December. So far so good - he's got 6 points in 3 games with his new club Rouyn-Noranda.
- Netminder Olivier Roy is unbeaten in regulation time so far. It's only 3 games and he has just one win but Roy's dropped a pair of games in overtime/shootout including a marathon 11-shooter session with Moncton. Roy's GAA isn't great at 3.16 but his .914 save percentage is a big jump up from his previous numbers.
- Finnish forward Toni Rajala is now skating in Brandon but is not expected to be game ready for a couple of weeks. Rajala left Edmonton with the Oilers as they flew to Winnipeg for their exhibition game against Tampa Bay on Thursday.
- One college note as it was announced today that Jeff Petry has been chosen by teammates to be one of the co-captains at Michigan State. Petry is entering his junior (and probably final) season at MSU and is clearly a guy looking to rebound from a tough year where he was overused by head coach Rick Comley. During the summer I spoke with Petry about last year and he was quite candid with his thoughts; you can hear that conversation in this segment from TPS.