We’re two weeks from TC and a full week (or more) from the full training camp list, but the depth chart is known to us now. Surprises will emerge—the battle on defense is going to be raucous—but we can hammer out a depth chart and then follow the surprises as they move up and down the list.
EDMONTON OILERS DEPTH CHART, SEPTEMBER 2014
|LEFT WING||CENTER||RIGHT WING|
|TAYLOR HALL||RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS||JORDAN EBERLE|
|DAVID PERRON||LEON DRAISAITL||NAIL YAKUPOV|
|BENOIT POULIOT||BOYD GORDON||TEDDY PURCELL|
|MATT HENDRICKS||MARK ARCOBELLO||TYLER PITLICK|
|LUKE GAZDIC (IR)||ANTON LANDER||IIRO PAKARINEN|
||JASON WILLIAMS||MATT FORD|
||WILL ACTON||STEVE PINIZZOTTO|
|CURTIS HAMILTON||BOGDAN YAKIMOV||ANDREW MILLER|
|MITCHELL MOROZ||JUJHAR KHAIRA||IIRO PAKARINEN|
||TRAVIS EWANYK||MARCO ROY|
||CONNOR JONES||MITCH HOLMBERG|
|JOSH WINQUIST||GREG CHASE||JACKSON HOUCK|
||KYLE PLATZER||CHRIS BALTISBERGER|
|LEFT DEFENSE||RIGHT DEFENSE|
|MARTIN MARINCIN||JEFF PETRY|
|NIKITA NIKITIN||MARK FAYNE|
|ANDREW FERENCE||JUSTIN SCHULTZ|
|KEITH AULIE||OSCAR KLEFBOM (70k)|
|DARNELL NURSE (NHL OR JR)||DAVID MUSIL (70k)|
|BRAD HUNT||DILLON SIMPSON (70k)|
|MARTIN GERNAT||CJ LUDWIG|
If you’re looking for players who could surprise, it’s often men we’re not terribly familiar with for one reason or another—or players who have taken a big step forward in growth, conditioning or maturity. An example in (fairly) recent Oiler history was Kyle Brodziak, who spent on September eating Marc Pouliot’s lunch. It would eventually get Brodziak traded—Oilers chose wrong—but he set himself up for an NHL career during the period before and during that TC.
- Nail Yakupov—He’s actually in a really good spot. Fans and observers remember him when he was struggling, and if this guy can get his smile back then sky’s the limit. I’m never, not ever, going to bet against this man. He’s too cool. If Nail Yakupov hadn’t come to Edmonton, we would have had to invent him. I imagine he’ll do something completely crazy when he wins Stanley, and I hope it’s on Edmonton ice.
- Anton Lander—Oh, Anton, oh Anton, the time the time is now. Call up whatever blonde Swedish God you feel will deliver, and break on through to the other side. This team needs you as much as you need them, and if you can do the job we’ll love you for a long time.
- Greg Chase—He is apparently lighter and faster. Todd Nelson: “He played five games and scored a big goal for us in our quest to get into the playoffs,” said Nelson. “And just watching him in camp here, he’s in better shape. I think the experience he had with us really helped him out. He dropped 10 pounds and is a lot faster. That was always his Achilles heel, the speed of the game caught up to him, but he looks great.”Source
- Frans Tuohimaa—We know nothing about him, really. Oilers fans have watched the other prospects (in some cases very closely) but Tuohimaa is an ‘Opaque goalkeeper‘ who could surprise in training camp. He’s got a quick glove, and he’s got a ripe opportunity.
- Jackson Houck—We’re here, and we need a Grier. I’m nominating Jackson Cage, and his resume looks pretty rocking. I’m sure last season’s camp was a blur, Houck needs to come in and run over the first Flame he gets in the crosshairs, and then do it again.