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FUTURE WATCH
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Future Watch: Eberle, Petry, Vande Velde & Plante

Wednesday, 12.11.2008 / 8:22 PM / Future Watch
By Nick Conrad
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Future Watch: Eberle, Petry, Vande Velde & Plante

Jump down to Prospects Statistics (updated November 12, 2008) | Future Watch Archive
A closer look at four Oilers prospects:


Jordan Eberle puts on a Edmonton Oilers jersey after being chosen as their first round draft pick at the NHL draft in Ottawa on Friday, June 20, 2008. (AP Photo/CP, Fred Chartrand)
Jordan Eberle is living the dream: he’s 18 years old, lighting up the WHL and was the first-round pick (22nd overall) for his favourite NHL team.
“It was kind of my dream pick,” Eberle said. “Growing up, (the Oilers) were always my favourite team...It worked out perfectly.”

It’s plain to see why he was the Oilers’ first-rounder in 2008; after some prolific goal-scoring in 2007-2008(42-33-75 in 70 games played), Eberle has continued his torrid scoring rate. This year he has 15 goals and 13 assists for 28 points in 21 games played.

“He’s a highly impressive kid,” Craig MacTavish said in late September after the Oilers’ training camp. “I don’t think he’s that far away. He’ll be knocking at the door next year for sure.”
Eberle plans to be ready when the time comes. His offensive-minded play seems to come naturally but if there’s anything he needs to work on, it’d be his size, and he knows it.
“Any 18-year-old kid needs to get bigger and stronger to play in this league,” Eberle said. “I’m going to go back to Junior camp, hopefully be one of the leaders there...and come back and try this again next year.”



Jeff Petry
“I learned last year how hard it was going to be so I was prepared for it,” Petry said after the Oilers’ 2008 summer development camp. “It’s just a good stepping stone to learn what it’s going to take to make the next level.”

There are quite a few people who expect Petry to excel at that level as he is consistently rated as one the Oilers’ top prospects and he has the history to back up the accolades. Petry was named the USA Hockey Junior Player of the Year for the 2006-2007 season and was a CCHA Rookie of the Year finalist in 2007-2008.

It appears the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in the athletics department. Petry’s dad, Dan, pitched in Major League Baseball, including a stint with the 1984 Detroit Tigers, which won the World Series.

The Oilers are glad that Petry chose hockey over baseball.

Chris Vande Velde

Chris Vande Velde (photo: Andy Devlin/EOHC)
22-year-old Chris Vande Velde has steadily improved in his two years at the University of North Dakota. Last season, Vande Velde turned some heads totalling 32 points and helping the Fighting Sioux reach the Frozen Four.

The 6-2”, 206 lbs. centre is strong on the puck and looks comfortable as a two-way power forward.

He looks at the success of other young players who’ve come up through the system as inspiration.
 
“Cogliano, Gagner...it’s fun watching those guys,” Vande Velde said.  “I think there are great things ahead for the Oilers. If I work hard, maybe I can be right up there too.”

Vande Velde is currently second on the North Dakota Fighting Sioux with three goals and three assists in eight games.


Alex Plante (photo: Andy Devlin/EOHC)
Alex Plante is a big D-man—6-5”, 220 lbs. and getting bigger. Of course, size doesn’t make you immune to injury, something Plante knows very well.

After an outstanding 2006-2007 where he scored 8 goals and 30 assists in 58 games for the Calgary Hitmen, Plante was plagued with injuries last season and missed around three months of the WHL season.

The Oilers’ first round pick in 2007 (15th overall) has been steady in the time he has played but is out to prove that he’s got a lot to offer.

“I’ve missed so much that I want to show that I’m still capable, I’m still learning and I’m still developing,” Plante said.

If his size, slapshot and physical play continue to develop this year in the WHL, fans may soon be seeing why Plante was selected mid-first round.

Plante has two goals, eight assists and is plus four in 18 games this season.

PROSPECT STATISTICS

SPRINGFIELD FALCONS - AHL
PLAYER POS. GP G A PTS PIM + / - PP SH
Sebastien Bisaillon D 10 1 1 2 7 5 0 0
Gilbert Brule C 7 5 1 6 8 4 0 0
Taylor Chorney D 12 0 5 5 8 -5 0 0
Carl Corazzini RW 12 0 5 5 4 -1 0 0
Josef Hrabal D 1 0 1 1 0 -2 - -
Bryan Lerg LW 3 1 0 1 0 1 0 0
Colin McDonald RW 12 2 2 4 20 -2 0 0
Ryan O’Marra C 7 0 2 2 6 1 0 0
Geoff Paukovich C 3 1 0 1 8 0 0 0
Theo Peckham D 11 2 4 6 31 1 1 0
Ryan Potulny C 12 8 1 9 12 2 3 1
Liam Reddox LW 12 5 4 9 2 -1 2 1
Mathieu Roy D - - - - - - - -
Rob Schremp LW 10 0 10 10 6 2 0 0
Tim Sestito C 12 2 1 3 6 0 0 0
Tyler Spurgeon C 12 0 5 5 11 2 0 0
Viacheslav Trukhno LW 12 1 6 7 6 4 0 0
Cody Wild D 7 1 2 3 6 4 1 0
Bryan Young D 12 0 0 0 17 -2 0 0
GOALTENDERS GP MINS W L OTL GA GAA SVS% SO
Glenn Fisher 1 40 0 0 0 2 2 0.889 0
Devan Dubnyk 12 688 6 5 0 29 2.53 0.918 1

STOCKTON THUNDER - ECHL

PLAYER  POS. GP G A PTS PIM + / - PP SH
Jordan Bendfeld D 9 0 1 1 6 -1 0 0
GOALTENDERS GP MINS W L OTL GA GAA SVS% SO
Bryan Pitton 7 380 2 4 0 18 2.85 0.902 0

U.S. COLLEGE

PLAYER  POS. GP G A PTS PIM + / - PP SH
Matt Glasser LW 7 0 0 0 10 -1 0 0
(Denver - WCHA)
Riley Nash C 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
(Cornell - ECAC)
Jeff Petry D 10 1 3 4 10 0 1 0
(Michigan State - CCHA)
Chris Vande Velde C 8 3 3 6 16 0 1 1
(North Dakota - WCHA)

MAJOR JUNIOR

PLAYER  POS. GP G A PTS PIM + / - PP SH
Jordan Eberle C 21 15 12 26 6 6 4 1
(Regina - WHL)
Milan Kytnar C 19 3 8 11 32 0 2 0
(Saskatoon - WHL)
Alex Plante D 19 2 8 10 61 5 1 0
(Calgary - WHL)

EUROPE

PLAYER  POS. GP G A PTS PIM + / - PP SH
Teemu Hartikainen C 20 4 1 5 8 - - -
(Kalpa)
Alexei Mikhnov LW 18 1 6 7 29 - - -
(Yaroslavl)
Johan Motin D 19 0 0 0 8 - - -
(Farjestads BK Karlstad)
Linus Omark LW 19 9 8 17 12 - - -
(Lulea HF)
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