The Edmonton Oilers enter free agency tomorrow with a pile of needs, plenty of money and a limited pool of talent to spend money on. We looked at the defensemen this morning, today I’d like to discuss some possible options among the forward group.
POSSIBLE FORWARD ACQUISITIONS
This is sorted by Corsi For 5×5 % and the players could be used on several different lines and there’s a variety of positions. Among the top end (most expensive) players, I really like Michael Frolik as a player who could slide up and down the top nine. Among the lower paid group, I’m surprised Erik Condra is available and would love to see him as an Oiler. As you probably know, I’ve always been a Daniel Winnik guy, so his being on the list isn’t a surprise.
Most people who drop by this blog don’t think Edmonton needs any help among the forwards and I hear you. However, when we look at that roster (as we currently assume it’s made up) it looks to me there’s plenty of room for a quality veteran on the Lander line.
Draft McDavid Find a quality goalie option
- Acquire a legit top pairing blue (Sekera, Franson, Ehrhoff)
- Sign a two-way F (Frolik, Winnik, Condra)
Ignore MacT re: Marincin (Or trade Marincin for real value and not a damn pick)
Lots of verbal out there from MSM about standing pat, I don’t buy it. Chiarelli may not make a move tomorrow because the market may not make what he wants available at a reasonable price. He’s going to improve the defense, because he owes it to his coach and the fanbase will storm the palace gates if the organization allows management to waste a McDavid season like they wasted so many years of Hall, Nuge and Eberle. Full stop.
POSSIBLE OPENING NIGHT LINEUP
- GOAL: Cam Talbot (backup, Ben Scrivens)
- TOP PAIRING: Andrej Sekera—Mark Fayne
- SECOND PAIRING: Oscar Klefbom—Justin Schultz
- THIRD PAIRING: Griffin Reinhart—Eric Gryba
- EXTRA DEFENSE: Niki Nikitin, Andrew Ference (callups Darnell Nurse, Brandon Davidson, others)
- TOP LINE: Taylor Hall—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Jordan Eberle
- SECOND LINE: Benoit Pouliot—Connor McDavid—Teddy Purcell
- THIRD LINE: Michael Frolik—Anton Lander—Nail Yakupov
- FOURTH LINE: Matt Hendricks—Boyd Gordon—Rob Klinkhammer
- EXTRA FORWARDS: Luke Gazdic, Tyler Pitlick, (callups Leon Draisaitl, Iiro Pakarinen, Andrew Miller, others)
The Oilers have Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse as headliners at orientation camp, and the talent keeps going after that trio. Greg Chase, Kyle Platzer, Joey Laleggia and others will be there, as well as all of the new kids from the 2015 draft. There are some interesting names among the group that is undrafted and we’d be wise to pay attention to this group:
- Jordan Papirny, Brandon (WHL). Hot streaks in junior, and effective play against the Oil Kings, have Papirny here.
- Tyler Soy, Victoria (WHL). Undersized skill player, improved later in the season.
- Loik Leveille, Cape Breton (QMJHL). Thick, strong defender with solid offense. Good skater.
They could be here later in summer for rookie camp and signing is a possibility. Leveille appears quite motivated to get a contract and his skills have to be intriguing to the Oilers.