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Would possibly Oilers graduate one other seventh-round choose to the NHL? Philip Kemp is probably going first-recall at RD

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2023 Edmonton Oilers prospects
#12 Philip Kemp

Earlier rating: #19 in 2022

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That is the seventh look on the Cult of Hockey prospect rankings for defenceman Philip Kemp, eighth if one consists of the “double summer time” of 2020 once we roughly did this collection twice. Lastly in spite of everything that point, he has crawled into the highest 15, certainly the highest 12. Partially that’s as a result of departures on the high of the checklist and a scarcity of excessive draft picks with which to interchange them, as mentioned in our introductory submit. However within the case of Phil Kemp, it’s additionally a mirrored image of a participant who simply retains on bettering.

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A seventh spherical choose manner again in 2017, the large d-man from the US Nationwide Workforce Improvement Program spent three years at Yale College and three extra enjoying professional, having signed with the Oilers within the fall of 2020 after the Ivy League cancelled what would have been his senior season. Kemp would be a part of fellow Edmonton prospect Raphael Lavoie on mortgage to Vasby of HockeyAllsvenskan, end the season there earlier than becoming a member of Bakersfield Condors late within the season and for a makeshift playoff run that noticed the Condors win the Pacific Division crown. That had a contented ending with Kemp himself scoring an enormous aim within the decisive sport.

Simply because he scored an enormous aim doesn’t make him an enormous aim scorer, when you observe me. Kemp has at all times been profiled as a stay-at-home man with muddy boots, although in video games and scrimmages I’ve watched him he isn’t shy about leaping into the play and demonstrates first rate offensive instincts from time to time. Make no mistake, although, defence is each his bread and his butter, and presumably his crudité as properly.

In 2022-23, nonetheless, there have been distinct indicators of progress in all of his numbers, reminiscent of they’re within the AHL.

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Kemp db

Profession highs proper throughout the board. After by no means exceeding 3 targets with any crew at any stage, he scored 6 occasions for the Condors. He collected 15 apples after by no means beforehand hitting double digits. He additionally hit double digits in plus for the primary time wherever with a club-leading +12. Lastly he topped the 50-PiM mark for the primary time.

A few of that is because of getting extra reps. Kemp performed 71 video games, additionally a profession excessive, and seems to have benefitted from these reps. Even watered all the way down to per-game stats, over his three AHL seasons he’s risen from 0.08 P/GP to 0.16 to 0.30, nearly double every year. His PiMs have additionally sloped upward from 0.33/GP to 0.38 to 0.72.

We are able to’t additional refine the numbers to per-minute or per-60, but it surely’s secure to guess they might mirror extra precise ice time, as one would anticipate from a third-year professional. Alas, 25 years after it was revolutionized file maintaining and evaluation on the NHL stage, the AHL nonetheless doesn’t monitor Time On Ice. However the takeaway from this distance is that he bought fairly a bit extra of it, seized the additional alternative and greater than held his personal.

The Oilers apparently like what they see. With Kemp’s ELC at its finish, the membership signed him to a two-year two-way extension at NHL minimal however with a rising AHL element of $100,000 within the first 12 months, $175,000 within the second.

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Inner comparability

One purpose Kemp’s function elevated in Bako was his inside competitors went away. At season’s begin he was amongst a trio of large redwoods vying for ice time at proper defence. However in early January, Vincent Desharnais bought known as up by the Oilers and by no means returned. Then on the finish of February, Michael Kesselring was dealt in a bundle that rented Nick Bjugstad and in addition landed puck shifting defender Cam Dineen. However Dineen is a lefty, extra a possible companion for Kemp than inside competitors. And with solely rookie professional Max Wanner on the suitable facet, Kemp tasks to Bako’s first pairing in 2023-24.

Or possibly increased?

There’s an important in-house comparable with Desharnais, a fellow seventh-round choose from only one 12 months earlier. He slayed some mighty odds to make the present final 12 months — his Draft +7 marketing campaign. That’s the one upcoming for Kemp.

Let’s present the event of the 2 side-by-side however offset by a 12 months to anchor to their draft marketing campaign.

Kemp v Desharnais

This chart colour-codes by league, after the vogue of the wonderful That emphasizes every participant enjoying at or close to the identical stage from every year to the subsequent. We have now allotted solely with seasons earlier than they have been drafted, and choose them up from that time.

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The Oilers waited three years for every to complete up in school, then signed every to a professional contract — AHL deal for Desharnais, NHL pact for Kemp. Desharnais’ ECHL expertise in his first 12 months is probably going equal to Kemp’s in HockeyAllsvenskan; each bought caved on dangerous groups. After that, a gentle dose of AHL play with the Condors, with every participant producing a really good surge throughout the board in his third (= second full) AHL marketing campaign.

In Desharnais’ case, we all know what occurred subsequent. It took some time to construct on his breakout 2021-22 season as he handled harm points, however as soon as he bought going and located his sport he bought known as as much as Edmonton the place he remained (besides, briefly, on paper) the remainder of the way in which. The likeable rearguard shortly labored his manner into the line-up, enjoying 36 of the final 40 video games and all 12 playoff contests.

That’s the template for Philip Kemp as properly. His largest downside? Vincent Desharnais beat him to the job, and there’s probably simply the one obtainable.

They’re after all, totally different gamers, at the same time as there are similarities in type and stat. Regardless of the one-year distinction in draft pedigree, Kemp is the youthful man by absolutely 33 months, having been chosen at age 18 versus 20. However even after six years of regular progress, his path to the NHL stays an uphill battle.

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Scouting report by Ira Cooper

For an eye-witness account of Kemp’s play within the AHL, I requested pal of the weblog Ira “Authentic Pouzar” Cooper for his evaluation. A daily observer of the Condors, totally on AHL.TV with a couple of dwell video games in Calgary, Ira estimates he noticed Kemp play 50-55 occasions final season and has watched over 100 of his 138 AHL video games.

Take it away, Ira.

  • I believe there’s a affordable likelihood that Phil Kemp performs NHL video games this coming season. Whereas he has been a strong member of the Condors’ D group for the previous couple of years, with the recall of Vincent Deharnais and the following commerce of Michael Kesselring, Kemp acquired the chance so as to add first pairing excessive leverage 5 on 5 minutes (along with PK1 minutes) to his resume final season and he continued to point out his regular sport.
    Kemp is a really sensible positional defender with an important stick. He’s a excessive finish cycle breaker and a load alongside the boards (suppose Adam Larsson however possibly not fairly as “imply”). He is also a really under-rated mover of the puck, he had an important first move and first rate offence instincts and what many probably have no idea, an absolute bomb of a shot – if solely he was capable of finding the chance to make use of it extra.
    Along with his robust defensive zone and transition video games, Kemp has developed into a frontrunner for the Condors. That is no shock given his prior management roles at Yale and on the US nationwide crew. Coach Chaulk has not been shy to speak about Kemp’s significance within the dressing room and we are able to see this on the ice – by no means a hesitation to affix, or provoke, a bodily confrontation in defence of a teammate.
    I actually suppose that Kemp is such a sensible and sound defender that he has an actual alternative to forge an NHL profession. The one concern is similar one which has been round since earlier than he was drafted, “the boots”. Kemp isn’t gradual (though his acceleration may be a problem) however he doesn’t have the very best edges and pivots. He was improved through the years however the query is that if he can defend the push on the NHL stage with the pace and talent of immediately’s forwards.
    If he can, I believe Phil Kemp can turn out to be a fan favourite in Edmonton. As of now, it’s a really large “if”.

That’s loads of positives, with one very large query mark that may sink the ship of his NHL hopes. “Skating a problem.” However, we used to say the identical about Vinnie Desharnais.

Expectations for 2023-24: Make a robust impression at coaching camp and within the preseason, then clear waivers and head to Bakersfield to play top-four minutes at even power and on the penalty kill. Set up himself because the #1 recall choice at proper defence, and maybe get the decision ought to the Oilers run into a number of accidents on the place.

Different information

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The Oilers have formalized the PTO of veteran centre Brandon Sutter, mentioned at size by my colleague Kurt Leavins as the highest merchandise in final Sunday’s version of his weekly “9 Issues” column.

The Cult of Hockey’s Prospect Sequence

STAPLES: thirteenth ranked, Maxim Berezkin

STAPLES: 14th ranked, Noel Hoefenmayer

McCURDY: #fifteenth ranked, Jake Chiasson

STAPLES: Edmonton Oilers shut out on NHL Community’s Prime 50 prospects

McCURDY: Prospects #16-20

McCURDY: Introduction + Prospects #21-27

Observe me on X-Twitter @BruceMcCurdy

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