Edmonton Oilers: AHL Prospects Move On To Western Conference Finals

By Jonathan Katje
Edmonton Oilers AHL Danis
Jerome Miron – USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers may have missed the playoffs this season, but some of their top prospects have helped the Oklahoma City Barons make a surprising run through the AHL playoffs on their way to the Western Conference Finals. The Barons made quick work of the top-seeded Texas Stars (Dallas Stars) and will now wait to find out who they will face in the conference finals.

The Barons and Stars split the first two games of the series, with both decided by one-goal margins. From there, Oklahoma City took over behind the strong goaltending of Yann Danis. The Barons won game three by a 4-0 score, then won game four by a 7-3 score and finished the series off with a 5-1 win in game five. Danis has now won six of his last seven starts, and has a playoff goals-against average of 2.19, which ranks seventh in the league.

Danis isn’t the only helping the Barons continue surprising people, either. Mark Arcobello has led the way offensively with nine goals and 15 points in 10 games, while Toni Rajala has three goals and 13 points. Teemu Hartikainen has found his groove in the playoffs as well, scoring four goals and adding seven assists. Veteran Josh Green rounds out the quartet of Barons who are averaging a point per game, with three goals and 10 points.

The Barons roster may look a lot different than it did during the lockout, but the team has found a way to win with a great mix of AHL veterans and young prospects. The Oilers are getting a great extended look at these players, and some may very well end up competing for roster spots next season.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL senior writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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