Top 5 Returning Barons to Watch
Chris Wescott | edmontonoilers.com
The Oklahoma City Barons are coming off back-to-back Western Conference Finals appearances under head coach Todd Nelson. The fans down in OKC have also enjoyed three-straight 40-win seasons. While the roster this season will see some major turnover, there is a returning core group of players that Oilers fans should keep an eye on. We've sorted through the best of the Barons to highlight the Top 5 returning players to watch in this week's countdown.
5. Taylor Fedun
Last season was Taylor Fedun’s first, coming off of a devastating hip injury sustained during a preseason game with the Oilers in 2011. Despite recovering from a fractured femur, Fedun played well with the Barons last season. Fedun played in 70 regular season games with OKC, registering 27 points (8-19-27). The 25-year-old played well enough to earn a one-year contract in the offseason to stick with the club. On an Oilers blueline that continues to add young talent, Fedun is a player to watch.
4. Toni Rajala
Former Edmonton 4th Round pick, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Toni Rajala had an explosive rookie season in OKC. Rajala began the year with the Stockton Thunder in the ECHL, registering 38 points (18-20-38) in 29 games. Rajala’s production continued to shine in the AHL as he buried the puck 17 times and added 28 assists in 46 games with the Barons. Rajala finished fourth in scoring on the team in the regular season and second on the team in playoff scoring. Rajala is a shifty, creative and skilled forward with high potential.
Brandon Davidson had a breakout season with the Barons in 2012-13. The stat sheet might not show it, as Davidson played in only 26 regular season games, but the 21-year-old had unique circumstances. After being diagnosed with and then beating testicular cancer, Davidson came back strong for OKC on route to becoming arguably their most consistent blueliner in the postseason. Given a full offseason to recover, Davidson could return as one of the Barons top defensive prospects in 2013-14.
Mark Arcobello has been a staple of Oklahoma City Barons hockey since 2010-11 when he was first called up from the ECHL. Since then, Arcobello has continued to grow as a player and has increased his production each year. Last season was the 25-year-old’s best campaign as he registered a team-high 68 points (22-46-68) and led OKC’s playoff scoring 12 goals and eight assists. The forward played some of his best hockey when centring Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall during the lockout, early in the season. He earned his first NHL call up as well, and looks to try and make a run at a spot with the Oilers this season.
6-5, 21-year-old Martin Marincin has the frame to become a solid NHL defender in the near future. 2012-13 was a big season for the Oklahoma City defenceman. When paired with Justin Schultz early in the season, the tandem was one of the top pairings in the AHL. Marincin finished the year with 30 points (7-23-30) in 69 games and contributed seven points (1-6-7) during the Barons playoff run. Marincin has the size and skillset to make an impact on OKC this upcoming season and we have picked him as number one on our list of Top 5 Returning Barons to Watch.
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