The Edmonton Oilers said goodbye to a big part of the future this morning–but only for awhile–in sending out several high draft picks in a day that saw 8 names reduced from the training camp roster.
- Jujhar Khaira: Young man showed flashes of brilliance–and size–but will spend the winter with the Everett Silvertips. We should expect some impressive boxcars. This is probably the right call, although some wondered if time in OKC would have been a wise option.
- Oscar Klefbom: Suffered an injury during the U of A game and never did get untracked (although part of that may have been Nurse taking the spotlight). Klefbom may be ready in a month or a year, but the key item is health.
- Martin Marincin: I actually thought he looked more ready than Klefbom. Marincin is a nice player, you can see all kinds of possibilities at both ends of the ice for him. He might end up being a guy who has great success offensively when he arrives in Edmonton–very mobile, skilled.
- Ryan Martindale: Lost in the flood, big guy who simply has to show better this coming season. Hung around longer than one might have expected, but the real work begins now. The Barons roster sets up well for him.
- Andrew Miller: No Oiler prospect fell more in September than Miller. We’ll get a better idea about what he’s all about this winter in OKC.
- Brad Hunt: Terrific puck mover, undersized and far enough down the prospect list to be easily forgotten. Probably unwise to do so.
- Richard Bachman: AHL starter, #3 man in the overall pecking order. Must clear waivers.
- Ty Rimmer: Impressed the organization through camp and is likely to get a contract during his OKC stay this week. Bakersfield seems like a likely final destination.
THE CURRENT DEPTH CHART
THE CERTAIN OILERS (16)
- Goalies (2) Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera
- Defensemen (5) Jeff Petry and Ladislav Smid, Justin Schultz and Andrew Ferense, Nick Schultz
- Centermen (2) Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (inj), Sam Gagner (inj), Boyd Gordon
- Left Wing (3) David Perron, Jesse Joensuu, Ryan Smyth
- Right Wing (4) Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Jones
Still no cuts from the “certain” list I posted at the beginning of camp, although there are some cracks forming. Ryan Jones has struggled recently and last night’s game didn’t help his cause. Also last night, the Oilers lost another starting center in Sam Gagner, meaning there are now 16 players in the certain category.
THE UNCERTAIN OILERS (12)
- Goalies (none)
- Defensemen (5): Anton Belov, Denis Grebeshkov, Corey Potter, Phil Larsen,
Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin,Taylor Fedun
- Center (3): Anton Lander, Mark Arcobello, Will Acton
, Andrew Miller
- Left Wing (3): Linus Omark, Ryan Hamilton, Ben Eager
- Right Wing (1): Mike Brown
We’ve not seen some cuts from this group, and the roster spots are coming into view. There’s no longer a question in goal (there was no question in goal) but it’s also true that there are 10 defensemen now left on these top two lists. Potentially, the Oilers could cut one defender, IR Potter and have their roster decided with very little actual exposure. Credit to Taylor Fedun for hanging around this long, he’s certainly changing some minds and turning some heads.
Up front, we could see all three men listed at center get through to opening night, courtesy the Gagner injury. That’s a big item though, and we could see a TC roster addition if the Oilers like something currently out there via free agency (or waivers). The wingers all have a chance to make it–with Jones job possibly in play this makes the final week very interesting.
THE OUTSIDERS (8)
- Goalies (4):
Richard Bachman, Olivier Roy, Tyler Bunz, Ty Rimmer
- Defensemen (6):
Brad Hunt, Martin Gernat, Brandon Davidson, David Musil, Darnell Nurse, Joey Leach
- Centermen (3):
Ryan Martindale, CJ Stretch, Travis Ewanyk
- Left Wing (5): Curtis Hamilton,
Austin Fyten, Kale Kessy, Mitchell Moroz, Jujhar Khaira
- Right Wing (4): Tyler Pitlick,
Matt Ford, Derek Nesbitt, Cameron Abney
Lonely trio now, Hamilton hasn’t played in any pre-season games and Pitlick has played in 2 games and has three shots. The big surprise from the outsider list–and it is a surprise–is Darnell Nurse (3, 0-1-1 +2). He’s been getting significant minutes and remains in camp long past the other junior kids. It’s the story of this training camp.
Next up for these players is a game against Winnipeg tomorrow night. Bubble players expected to be in the lineup are underlined (my thanks to Reinman over at ON for the lineups):
- L1: Hall-Smyth-Hemsky
- L2: Gordon-Omark-Yakupov
- L3: Lander-Jones-R Hamilton
- L4: Arcobello-Joensuu-Pitlick
- D1: Ference-J Schultz
- D2: Smid-N Schultz
- D3: Belov-Larsen
- G1: Devan Dubnyk
- G2: Jason LaBarbera
Those are the players who may (or may not) be cut on Tuesday. My guess is Pitlick and Curtis Hamilton are in OKC by Wednesday, and Omark is running out of time.