The Edmonton Oilers placed Ryan Hamilton on waivers this morning and he’ll be sent back to the Barons if and when he clears tomorrow morning. It’s likely he’ll clear and with that a trade (Andrew Miller for Hamilton) will have occurred. In a small window, Miller looks to be the better man based on superior foot speed (he can scoot). Hamilton has a lot of things that make him attractive but a lumbering skater cannot survive in today’s NHL (especially a forward). Miller is No. 13 on the list of prospects who have been employed by both Edmonton and OKC this season (there are 15 players but Keith Aulie and Richard Bachman are not considered prospects using the rules set down by this blog) and he might be able to carve out a role in the future. Call him Arco 2.0 and let’s see where this thing goes.
There isn’t much in Oklahoma territory we haven’t seen but there are kids down there working hard and hoping for their chance in the show. If we have a look at the current roster, add in possible signings from the graduation juniors, colleges and Euro’s, what kind of a lineup could we make for next season in Bakersfield? A pretty damn good one, actually.
- Line 1: Ryan Hamilton—Leon Draisaitl—Andrew Miller. The big German gets two experienced wingers and should be able to make hay. I expect Draisaitl to be in the NHL for good by Christmas (that’s a lie, I expect him to make the Oilers in TC) so this will be a short-term trio.
- Line 2: Anton Slepyshev—Bogdan Yakimov—Iiro Pakarinen. Yakimov’s last 10 games (5-4-9) suggest he may be able to handle the load next season and Slepyshev is probably the best winger prospect as soon as he signs. If he isn’t, that title belongs to Pakarinen who will probably make a major push for NHL employment next season.
- Line 3: Josh Winquist—Jujhar Khaira—Kyle Platzer. I picked Winquist to get an Oilers contract over Curtis Hamilton, your mileage may vary. I don’t think Khaira has the offense to roll with these two but I like his grit and two-way reputation. I’m genuinely intrigued by Platzer who really had a strong OHL season.
- Line 4: Mitch Moroz—Travis Ewanyk—Greg Chase. This line might start every shift in the penalty box but if they don’t fight each other it should be considered a victory. I’ll say this: If they played the entire season in Bakersfield and had success, I wouldn’t put it past MacT to call the whole damn bunch up ala the Bulldog line of Riesen—Swanson—Cleary circa 2000 fall.
- Line 5: Kale Kessy/Curtis Hamilton—Marco Roy—Jackson Houck: The extra forwards, these fellows would jump between the ECHL and Bakersfield and be forced to move their way up the roster. The Jones’ boys, John McCarron, Roman Horak, Matt Fraser, Kellen Lain and Dragan Umicevic may also be involved here.
- Defense 1: Darnell Nurse—Brandon Davidson: This could be a fun pairing while it lasts, I expect Nurse to be in the NHL by Valentine’s Day (that’s a lie, I expect he’ll make the Oilers in the fall). This is a classic pairing, Oilers may prefer a little more chaos (Hunt, Oesterle) for Nurse.
- Defense 2: Jordan Oesterle—Dillon Simpson: This pairing began 2014-15 together but there was too much chaos. A year’s experience may make a perfect fit for two players Edmonton sees as possible solutions at the NHL level in the future.
- Defense 3: Joey Laleggia—David Musil. Joey Legs may take some time to adjust and Musil is an effective defensive player. I like this tandem to take minutes away from the other pairings as the season wears along and do wonder if Laleggia could pass Hunt as the 1PP option before season’s end.
- Defense 4: Ben Betker—Martin Gernat/CJ Ludwig/Brad Hunt. The big WHL kid is going to get signed and he’ll play with a smoother puck handler. I’ve chosen Gernat but Brad Hunt could absolutely return and would play much higher on the depth chart.
- Goalies: Laurent Brossoit plus ? and the Mysterians. NO idea where they’re going here, will guess Edmonton signs a European free agent or Matt O’Connor. Don’t count out Richard Bachman but Brossoit will be the starter.
This assumes that men like Anton Lander, Martin Marincin and Tyler Pitlick are either with the Oilers and in another organization. Barons play today (3 our time) I’ll provide updates in the comments section.