Since the start of the 2019-20 season, the Edmonton Oilers have benefited from a productive pipeline from their top farm team. The AHL’s Bakersfield Condors shipped Ethan Bear, Kailer Yamamoto and Caleb Jones last year, and this season Evan Bouchard, William Lagesson and Stuart Skinner have contributed.
Condors trainer Jay Woodcroft and assistants Dave Manson and Jean-François Houle don’t get much attention because their main goal is to provide high-profile talent to the Oilers. Despite little publicity, adding Condors players to the NHL is a developing story.
The key to a successful pipeline is making sure that enough talent is enrolled in the system. Ken Holland, General Manager of Oilers, would have had a large number of strong NHL candidates in Bakersfield in a normal year, but the organization’s best prospects are spread around the world.
Among the players I call the Edmontons …