The Edmonton Oilers have procured themselves right out of options. The 50-man roster is close to the top, with the Colin Fraser situation still to be decided and 2 juniors ready to graduate to pro hockey.
The Oilers froze the signing of junior eligibles after inking Olivier Roy, Tyler Pitlick, Curtis Hamilton, Cameron Abney, Martin Marincin, Anton Lander and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
It left Brandon Davidson and Ryan Martindale–two junior players certainly headed to pro hockey–on the outside looking in.
The training camp cuts will decide this and of course there are always trades. Having said that, I would think that both Martindale and Davidson will end up in pro hockey if they show well in camp and pre-season. Jonathan Willis has an article up at Oilers Nation and lists several candidates he feels might be flushed. I rarely disagree with Jonathan but in this case four of the five men he lists are players that are very likely to stay with the organization. Ryan O’Marra, Chris Vande Velde, Milan Kytnar and Hunter Tremblay are players I believe will be in OKC or Edmonton in 11-12. I do agree with Jonathan that Johan Motin is in a spot of bother as an Oiler prospect and might end up going the way of Josef Hrabal.
My list? Beyond Motin, I’d suggest that Gilbert Brule (IR) and Phil Cornet are possibles, and the club may choose to send Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and or Martin Marincin back to junior. I think VandeVelde will get a long look and an NHL chance this season, O’Marra might be a candidate for extra forward for the Oilers out of TC, Kytnar is quietly building a strong resume (which Jonathan mentions) and Tremblay has a growing reputation within the organization. I don’t think those men are going anywhere.