The Oilers have some good up and coming prospects, so let me get on with it, and show you how each is doing in camp, and there chances of sticking with the Oilers this year:
Kelly looks like he’s earned a spot for sure. He’s been displaying the same great combination of speed, skill, and grittiness that got him into some playoff action last season with the big club.
It looks as though Mike Watt may start the season in Hamilton. He could stick, but will probably be one of the last players to be sent down to the AHL. He could be a call-up this season, however.
Boyd has been improving each day of camp and looks like he may win a spot. Devereaux really bulked up since being drafted 6th overall in the ’96 draft. He is now listed at 6’2″, 200 lbs. Look for him to be battling with Kelly between the 3rd and 4th line center positions.
Descoteax has been suprising a lot of people so far. He has really filled out (6’3, 220 lbs) and is steady both offensively and defensively. Although almost every defenseman can benefit from a season in the AHL first, Descoteaux could make the team right out of junior.
Swiss standout Michel Riesen. At 14th overall, Riesen is the highest
drafted player ever that was born and trained in Switzerland. He is,
arguably, the best Swiss player in recent hockey history and the Oil
may have gotten the steal of the draft.
anything about him that they didn’t love. One thing that Riesen has that
Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau do not, is versatility, which he
exemplifies exceptionally well. While he is listed as a left wing,
Riesen can easily play any of the three forward positions. Extremely
talented offensively, he has a pure goal scoring ability and superior
hands that he uses around the net. He led all scorers at the recent
European Junior Championship and far outshined every other player there.
Riesen’s all-around game has no glaring flaws, though his defensive
skills could use some work which will come with time. Michel takes the
puck out well, protecting it much in the form of Jaromir Jagr. Also like
Jags, Riesen has incredible balance attributed to stellar strength. He
comes down very strong on the wing and releases a heavy, accurate shot
or a perfect pass across the slot. A unique European player in that he
shoots right coming from the left side.