David Musil will be waiver eligible this fall and the Edmonton Oilers will have a choice to make: Risk losing him or keeping him on the roster as a 7D or 8D. This is exactly what happened last fall with Brandon Davidson, who is now (probably) one of the four most valuable defensemen in the organization. Will Musil see the same treatment this fall? My guess is no, but we will find out in due time.
Using the 23-man roster limit as our guide, there are pressure points emerging across the NHL in regard to waivers. Some teams will make trades before cutdown day, while others will risk losing players. Here is a quick guideline of the top players I see who could come available via waivers:
- R Ryan Sproul, Detroit Red Wings. The young man has been in the AHL for three years and is NHL-ready. I think he makes the big club based on numbers, but it is not a slam dunk and the Oilers should leap at the chance to add the puck mover.
- L Josh Leivo, Toronto Maple Leafs. I am probably wrong in my counting, but this is a fine prospect and there appears to be no room. If Toronto attempts to slide him through, Edmonton should grab him.
- L Teemu Pulkkinen, Detroit Red Wings. They will deal him long before he hits the waiver wire, but someone is heading out of Detroit based on their having 17 signed forwards at this time. A dandy young player.
- C Mark McNeill, Chicago Blackhawks. There are things about him (RH, two-way center, better speed than Lander) that would make him an attractive addition. I wonder if the Oilers end up trading for him if he doesn’t make the Hawks this fall.
- L Kenny Agostino, St. Louis Blues. The Oilers don’t specifically need a LW, but this guy is 24, scored 57 points in 65 AHL games and is 6.01, 200. I think Edmonton might look at him in an effort to shore up the depth forward spots.
- C Derek Grant, Buffalo Sabres. I didn’t understand why he hadn’t received a long NHL look—apparently Buffalo agreed. Grant went 27-18-45 in 36 AHL games last season, followed by 15 games where he averaged 11 minutes a night. I hope he hangs around for expansion. Make sure you are UFA next summer, young man.
- RD Connor Carrick, Toronto Maple Leafs. An interesting young player, I don’t think the Leafs have room for him. Has scored 45 points per 82 AHL games and may have enough to help an NHL team.
- RD Stefan Elliott, Nashville Predators. He is an RFA and is in the journeyman portion of his career, but Elliott posted 24 points in 84 games and is a righty—a player who could help the Oilers organization.
- RD Scott Mayfield, NY Islanders. Edmonton liked him in his draft year and Mayfield has shown some progress. He is a defensive defender with size, Edmonton has a bunch of those types—but Mayfield is a righty.