The Edmonton Oilers grabbed a bunch of Condors for the rest of the playoffs today, and made (I believe) an astute move in sending Jesse Puljujarvi to the World Hockey Championships. This little break in the schedule gives us a chance to discuss the non-starters (including the callups) on the current roster. Let’s have a look.
- G Nick Ellis. I think this recall is an indication the organization noticed his strong pro debut. Ellis finished with a .918SP, good for No. 4 among AHL rookies. Laurent Brossoit will get first shot at the backup job this fall, but how will things look this time next year?
- LD Griffin Reinhart. I may be wrong, but suspect GR is still in the plans for the Oilers. Why? PC likes defensive defensemen and he likes bigger players (Reinhart has been 6.04, 212 the whole time). He is my bet for 7D to open camp in the fall.
- RD Mark Fayne. One more year to go on his deal, Oilers will probably try to offload him to the Vegas Golden Knights. I still think he can help, but there’s no sense in bringing him back for another year of AHL play. A buyout seems reasonable.
- LD Jordan Oesterle. I think he may have the brightest future among these three defenders, partly because of foot speed. If I’m George McPhee, the two most attractive Oilers free agents this summer are Oesterle and Tyler Pitlick.
- LC Jujhar Khaira. I’m disappointed the Oilers haven’t included him in the rotation more, but also mindful that his level of play after returning wasn’t at previous levels. I believe the club should protect him in the expansion draft.
- LC Anton Lander. You can make a strong case that Lander should be in tomorrow night’s lineup and I would concur. He can PK, he has some edge to him and he has scored at acceptable rates in recent NHL seasons.
- L Joey Laleggia. This is a nice touch, and I think a good sign the organization is paying attention to minor league success. Laleggia, as we have discussed, spiked offensively when moved to forward. It could be a flash in the pan, best to see how this plays out by signing him. This recall shows faith in this player.
- R Jesse Puljujarvi. Oilers say they can recall him if needed, but I like the fact he will be playing. JP had a tough start to the year (recovery from surgery) and posted a less than dynamic minor league year. A strong showing at the WHC’s could be just the ticket.
Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl fined $2,569.44, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for spearing San Jose’s Chris Tierney.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) April 19, 2017
Leon Draisaitl is way smarter than this and frankly he’s not that kind of player. He did make a terrible decision and paid for it last night with a significant in-game penalty. I don’t think there’s much to say beyond it, hopefully Leon and his teammates can figure out why they keep getting penalties.