MORNING RUSHES

Stuart Skinner is just getting started and has many miles to go but his first game in an Edmonton Oilers’ uniform was outstanding. He stopped all 26 shots that got through and one of those saves was among the best I’ve seen. As debuts in rookie tournaments go, this was a home run for the young goalie. A fine first impression.

LAST NIGHT’S ROSTER

  • Joe Gambardella-Chad Butcher-Kirill Maksimov

Once again these three men were all around the puck and getting results. Gambardella (1-1-2) had about six fantastic chances in the two games, finally getting an empty net goal to close out the scoring. Chad Butcher scored again and is now 2gp, 3-1-4 for the tournament. He is signed to an AHL deal and pushing for more. Kirill Maksimov had an assist and is now 2gp, 1-2-3 for this rookie series. All three men have helped their cause this weekend.

  • Evan Polei-Ethan Szypula-Trey Fix-Wolansky

Polei continues to impress, played a little center and showed some grit. He and Butcher are going to be interesting follows in Bakersfield. Szypula has speed, skill and he’s a game rooster, liked him. Trey Fix-Wolansky has been quiet through the first two games and my guess is he gets the college game back in Edmonton before heading to the Oil Kings.

  • Grayson Pawlenchuk-Davis Koch-Brandon Saigeon

Pawlenchuk has good wheels, damned near scored on a breakaway and made himself useful. Koch has really impressed me (2gp, 0-3-3) in the tournament so far. Brandon Saigeon has also shown well, I like his speed and passing.

  • Luke Coleman-Lane Bauer-Steve Owre

Coleman scored the opening (and winning) goal on the night, he showed well. Bauer has been useful without getting a lot done offensively, Owre can be given the same grade. This line did a lot of hard work, skated miles to cut off passing lanes and interrupt progress.

  • William Lagesson-Ethan Bear

Impressive pairing, both men played a lot in prominent roles and looked good to my eye. Bear looked looser and more mobile, while retaining the passing ability. Power play needs work but these guys are all new to each other. Lagesson, as I said Friday night at ON, can play defense.

  • Dmitri Samorukov-Sahvan Khaira

I’m really impressed with Samorukov, the only thing lacking is age and experience. Nice wheels, he makes good decisions and recovers quickly. Khaira handled the physical side of the game well and moved the puck capably.

  • Liam Schioler-Austin Strand

They played quite a lot, Schioler had a quiet game (that’s good) and Strand was solid to spectacular (made an outstanding recovery on a partial breakaway). Neither man is a strong puck passer but they got by.

  • Stuart Skinner (Shane Starrett)

Skinner was the star of the game, with several impressive saves and one all world stop I’ll remember a long time. If that’s it for him at this camp, he has announced his presence with authority.

TRAINING CAMP  CHECK IN

We’ll get the training camp roster in the next few days, most of the kids playing at the rookie camp will be heading back to their junior or (Canadian college) teams. Here’s a quick glance at the potential list as I see it.

THE CERTAIN OILERS

  • The lines have been changed up since our last look, but it’s for discussion purposes only. Peter Chiarelli’s words with Bob McKenzie, while interesting, should not be interpreted as being gospel. Chemistry: It’s the real thing.
  • Anton Slepyshev’s status is a little up in the air but I included him this time around because of the conflicting information. Media reports have him missing the entirety of training camp, the general manager says he’ll be ready.
  • Eric Gryba is a little vulnerable for the No. 6 spot but I don’t think there’s any doubt he makes the team as a third pairing option of No. 7D.

THE UNCERTAIN OILERS

  • Chris Kelly has been invited according to John Shannon (who also reported Kelly accepted). I don’t think it’s reasonable to call Kelly a sure thing, but will tell you it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the veteran make the team. Oilers coaching and management is probably (rightly) worried about penalty killing and Kelly has been utilized in that role.
  • Last season, Kelly played 2:06 a night on the penalty kill for Ottawa (JP Pageau led with 2:11,  but Kelly was one of four man forwards along with Tom Pyatt and Zack Smith). Source: Natural Stat Trick.
  • SA/60 for the four main Senators PK forwards: Pageau (48.3); Kelly (50.14); Pyatt (51.07); Smith (57.62).
  • SA/60 for the four man Oilers PK forwards: Benoit Pouliot (38.33); Matt Hendricks (49.11); Mark Letestu (59.41); Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (59.89). Source: Natural Stat Trick.
  • Half of the Oilers top PF force is gone (You need six PF forwards) plus Anton Lander is gone and he was good at the job as well. Chris Kelly has a chance here, and that’s a fact.

THE DISTANT BELLS

  • I’ll add to this once we see the entire training camp list. Extremely likely all of the names added now will be on this list.
  • Distant bells rarely make the opening night roster. I had Anton Slepyshev as a distant bell August 2015 and he made the big club straightaway. That’s a helluva thing.
  • Tyler Benson skated with the scratches yesterday, that’s a good sign.
  • Andrej Sekera (if he’s healthier than we expect) and Ziyat Paigin (if he shows well in main camp) have an outside chance of moving up. Otherwise, I think we have them surrounded.

WAITING FOR THE SKY TO FALL

There are other players who could get an invite to main camp depending on injury issues and other considerations. Here’s a list.

  1. G Stuart Skinner. Oilers have six goalies coming to camp, that seems to be more than enough. Skinner could spend a few days in camp but I don’t think he’d see action beyond the college game.
  2. LD Dmitri Samorukov. I suspect he heads back to junior.
  3. RC Josh Currie. Back on an AHL deal, he has skill and two-way ability. He could get an invite.
  4. L Ryan Hamilton. AHL only deal, he’ll get some time with the big club in camp.
  5. L Evan Polei. Size and skill (6.02, 227 and 33 WHL goals) performed well enough to get a camp in main camp in my opinion.
  6. L Kirill Maksimov. He has shown well, perhaps he gets a game in preseason.

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38 Responses to "MORNING RUSHES"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Man has Chiarelli ever built some goaltending depth in this organization – some nice staggered levels of development as well.

    Starret looks to be destined for the ECHL as Ellis is the clear starting guy in Bakersfield and Pasquale is an AHL veteran who should play quite a few games but should be the general back-up (Ellis is more of a prospect with a potential future).

    I think we have the potential to have a Luongo/Schnieder type of “problem” in the future. We know Talbot is the real deal and all of these prospects (Ellis, Wellls, Skinner, Starret) are promising.

  2. frjohnk says:

    “Jesse Puljujarvi’s status is a little up in the air but I included him this time around because of the conflicting information. Media reports have him missing the entirety of training camp, the general manager says he’ll be ready.”

    Do you mean Sleppy or do we have another injury to worry about?

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pretty darn good debut for Stuart Skinner in a game wearing the Oilers uniform. Once incredible save and a couple of other tox box stops. I believe he and Wells are #4 and #3 on the Team Canada depth chart for the WJHC. Here’s hoping one (or both) of them are able to jump in. More likey the year older Wells but we’ll see.

    Another fine performance by Makisimov – he as sure come on after some early wobble in game 1 – lets see if Safin can make something happen against Vancouver tomorrow.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    Agree with this statement: “Peter Chiarelli’s words with Bob McKenzie, while interesting, should not be interpreted as being gospel. Chemistry: It’s the real thing.” – not to mention that PC is the GM (and POHO) not the coach – I’m sure they talk about vision, short, medium and long-term but, at the end of the day, in-game deployment is the coach’s decision.

    I wonder if they go with 13F and 8D or the more standard 14F and 7D.

    I think they might carry 8D – Auvitu and likely Simpson.

  5. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Pretty darn good debut for Stuart Skinner in a game wearing the Oilers uniform. Once incredible save and a couple of other tox box stops. I believe he and Wells are #4 and #3 on the Team Canada depth chart for the WJHC. Here’s hoping one (or both) of them are able to jump in. More likey the year older Wells but we’ll see.

    Another fine performance by Makisimov – he as sure come on after some early wobble in game 1 – lets see if Safin can make something happen against Vancouver tomorrow.

    Do you know who number 1 and 2 are?

    I heard wells was in the running for the starter, and Stuart an outside chance of making the team

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    The more I think about it, the more I think Kelly might make the team with a decent camp and, frankly, as of now, I don’t like that though.

    I don’t see him bringing anything other than PK – given his age, I don’t think he’s even effective as a defensive center any more. I know he’s good in the room but I an worried a bit about PC and “his guys”.

  7. Lowetide says:

    stush18: Do you know who number 1 and 2 are?

    I heard wells was in the running for the starter, and Stuart an outside chance of making the team

    Carter Hart is probably the starter.

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    stush18: Do you know who number 1 and 2 are?

    I heard wells was in the running for the starter, and Stuart an outside chance of making the team

    Carter Hart and Michael DiPietro.

  9. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    So happy for Skinner, I’m sure that was an amazing feeling. Really good kid, he’s been carrying a huge load in Lethbridge since he was 15 years old.

    His teammate Jordy Bellerive had a huge night yesterday too. Still can’t believe no one drafted a kid who scored 27 goals with limited PP time in a 3C role. Had a hat trick last night at the Penguins camp.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    So happy for Skinner, I’m sure that was an amazing feeling. Really good kid, he’s been carrying a huge load in Lethbridge since he was 15 years old.

    His teammate Jordy Bellerive had a huge night yesterday too. Still can’t believe no one drafted a kid who scored 27 goals with limited PP time in a 3C role. Had a hat trick last night at the Penguins camp.

    Me either. I had him No. 79
    http://lowetide.ca/2017/06/01/the-final-150-2017-draft/

  11. skidplate says:

    Good morning LT. What do you know Luke Coleman? I recall him on one or two of your lists. What level do you see heading to next?

  12. jtblack says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    Skinner has all the tools. Biggest issue for Skinner has been consistency. But towards the end of last season, and a 3 round playoff run, Skinner clearly elevated his game. Very interested to see how he progresses.

    Bellerive had 25 pts as 16 yr old. 56 last year. There was some disconnect in my eyes. Any 17 yr old that puts up .8ppg ALWAYS gets drafted. Could be his skating; or game awareness … I do not know why he was not drafted. He was the #1 pick in the WHL bantam draft in 2014. Glad he got a hattrick, Pens camp sure fire him up for the coming year. I hope he hits 75 pts in 65 gms. That will get him drafted next year for sure!

  13. Lowetide says:

    skidplate:
    Good morning LT. What do you know Luke Coleman? I recall him on one or two of your lists. What level do you see heading to next?

    L Luke Coleman, Calgary Hitmen. Big winger with a long stride, he shoots the puck a lot but scored only 14 goals last season. He delivered 1.75 5×5/60 scoring via Prospect-Stats. One scout I spoke to suggested he looked like a player but the results offensively have been disappointing.
    http://lowetide.ca/2017/09/05/rookie-camp-roster-released/

    I also had him in a mock draft, 2016:
    No. 182 overall—L Luke Coleman, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL). He barely qualifies for the draft, but this is a very promising player. Red Line Report last fall : A true late bloomer who appears to have grown even more over the summer, Coleman now constantly uses his big frame to full advantage shielding pucks to slide past opposing d-men and lumber through traffic. We also think he has more upside than just his early-season brawn. He has shown a great release on an accurate wrist shot that has already surprised a few goalies, and has a solid work ethic. Source
    http://lowetide.ca/2016/04/30/2016-mock-draft-oilers-draft-lottery-edition/

  14. skidplate says:

    Lowetide,

    Thank you very much. Nice invite by the Oilers.

  15. jtblack says:

    **LC Jordy Bellerive, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL). Undersized, nifty and aggressive F with skill.**

    LT has it nailed here. Bellerive plays Center or Wing but is best suited on the wing. He not tall but he is stocky. About 200 lbs. There is a chance he breaks out in a big way this year (40+ Goals).

  16. Edmonton_fan says:

    I watched the warm-up. Skinner faced the shooters quite well – but of every one of the last 10 or so shots; he stopped none. It was as if his mind was elsewhere. His body was in position but his glove and stick did not move. I thought Edmonton was doomed.

    Maybe his mind was getting in the zone; once the game started, he was as calm as I have ever seen a goaltender play…

  17. Lowetide says:

    Edmonton_fan:
    I watched the warm-up. Skinner faced the shooters quite well – but of every one of the last 10 or so shots; he stopped none. It was as if his mind was elsewhere. His body was in position but his glove and stick did not move. I thought Edmonton was doomed.

    Maybe his mind was getting in the zone; once the game started, he was as calm as I have ever seen a goaltender play…

    Really appreciated the updates last night and this morning again. Thanks!

  18. leadfarmer says:

    The proper pronunciation of Skinner

    https://youtu.be/3V8nl8v24cQ

  19. Professor Q says:

    leadfarmer:
    The proper pronunciation of Skinner

    https://youtu.be/3V8nl8v24cQ

    I was thinking more like this:

    “Mr. Skinner to the Manager’s office. Manager’s office. Mr. Skinnerrr.”

    https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/16f4f96d-5bbd-4f21-83fc-1088dbadf655

  20. digger50 says:

    Just read a few verbal shots fired McDavids way. Called him “NcGreedy” and “baby”

    Interesting.

    Cause when I remember the great one (Gretz) back in the early 80’s he was not the great one. He was dam good but surrounded by jealousy and always under attack. His skating was considered poor, he was too slow, he was too weak, he was not tough enough.

    Do you remember all the stones thrown his way? Crybaby, pussy, entire stadiums would erupt in “whiner, whiner,” Not to mention all the on ice shit. I remember thinking he’s actually got to be a tough SOB to put up with everything.

    Unbelievable. But now he’s the great one.

    No real point to my post. Lol. Just walk down memory lane after reading those remarks about Connor.

  21. Lowetide says:

    digger50:
    Just read a few verbal shots fired McDavids way. Called him “NcGreedy” and “baby”

    Interesting.

    Cause when I remember the great one (Gretz) back in the early 80’s he was not the great one. He was dam good but surrounded by jealousy and always under attack. His skating was considered poor, he was too slow, he was too weak, he was not tough enough.

    Do you remember all the stones thrown his way? Crybaby, pussy, entire stadiums would erupt in “whiner, whiner,”Not to mention all the on ice shit.I remember thinking he’s actually got to be a tough SOB to put up with everything.

    Unbelievable.But now he’s the great one.

    No real point to my post.Lol.Just walk down memory lane after reading those remarks about Connor.

    Yeah, I think there’s always going to be that distance now. He’s proven that he is as good as people said and some people don’t like it/look to knock him down a peg. He’ll have to deal with people calling him all manner of things and he will lead a public life. No bargain, for sure.

  22. New Improved Darkness says:

    Spam filtered again. There seems to be a pattern. I guess it’s me.

  23. russ99 says:

    At the cap, we’re going to need to add veterans inexpensively who can be relied upon to handle a specific role.

    Kelly has a decent shot to stick if he’s effective on the PK in camp, and we’ll see more of this the coming years.

  24. Lowetide says:

    New Improved Darkness:
    Spam filtered again.There seems to be a pattern.I guess it’s me.

    Nothing in the pending file, N&I. Sincere apologies.

  25. Jethro Tull says:

    Professor Q: I was thinking more like this:

    “Mr. Skinner to the Manager’s office. Manager’s office. Mr. Skinnerrr.”

    https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/16f4f96d-5bbd-4f21-83fc-1088dbadf655

    “I’m not Judge Judy and executioner!”

  26. OriginalPouzar says:

    Nice entry re: Samurokov on ON this morning.

    Love that kid’s attitude.

  27. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Nice entry re: Samurokov on ON this morning.

    Love that kid’s attitude.

    He’s shown well this weekend. Otten was raving about him, easy to see why. Good boots.

  28. OriginalPouzar says:

    The ceiling must be high for the ELC to come so early.

    I only saw bits and pieces of last night’s game so can only really go on the various write-ups and it sounds like he was a bit steadier than Friday night.

    I imagine he gets tomorrow off and then plays the GM/Nait game.

  29. pocession charge says:

    So Chia admits that Draisaitl is being paid more than his comps. It was fairly obvious but it’s nice to hear that he doesn’t have his head in the sand.

  30. JDî says:

    OriginalPouzar: I only saw bits and pieces of last night’s game

    Full game archive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K30xtR20YyY

  31. OmJo says:

    digger50:
    Just read a few verbal shots fired McDavids way. Called him “NcGreedy” and “baby”

    Interesting.

    Cause when I remember the great one (Gretz) back in the early 80’s he was not the great one. He was dam good but surrounded by jealousy and always under attack. His skating was considered poor, he was too slow, he was too weak, he was not tough enough.

    Do you remember all the stones thrown his way? Crybaby, pussy, entire stadiums would erupt in “whiner, whiner,”Not to mention all the on ice shit.I remember thinking he’s actually got to be a tough SOB to put up with everything.

    Unbelievable.But now he’s the great one.

    No real point to my post.Lol.Just walk down memory lane after reading those remarks about Connor.

    Wasn’t around for the Gretzky days but obviously around for the Crosby days and I recall the same stones were thrown at him, too.

    It ain’t easy being the best at what you do.

    I think players like Gretzky, Crosby and McDavid ignore that kind of stuff for the most part – or better yet, feed off of it.

  32. OriginalPouzar says:

    3pm start tomorrow – interesting time – not the best as part of it will be missed for sure.

    You know what just kind of dawned on me? Considering the first exhibition games (stupid split squad) are in 8 days, camp must open soon.

    I haven’t checked the exact date but, if the last rookie game is tomorrow, then the Nait/GM game is on Tuesday, I’m guessing physicals, etc. on Wed with the first skate on Thursday?

    That’s awesome – the season is coming.

    I love hockey season.

    I know there is effectively no substance to this post but I’m excited and I refuse to hide it!

  33. Jordan says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    3pm start tomorrow – interesting time – not the best as part of it will be missed for sure.

    You know what just kind of dawned on me? Considering the first exhibition games (stupid split squad) are in 8 days, camp must open soon.

    I haven’t checked the exact date but, if the last rookie game is tomorrow, then the Nait/GM game is on Tuesday, I’m guessing physicals, etc. on Wed with the first skate on Thursday?

    That’s awesome – the season is coming.

    I love hockey season.

    I know there is effectively no substance to this post but I’m excited and I refuse to hide it!

    I’m not a doctor, and will never play one on TV or the radio.

    However, I think the Pointer Sisters have the medicine you are looking for.

    Especially if you’re about to lose control, and think you like it.

  34. OriginalPouzar says:

    McLellan was interviewed by Stauffer today and many of our questions were answered.

    1) While Leon will play both C and RW this year, he will start camp at center – his use on RW will generally be an in-game adjustment.

    2) They have talked a bit about Nuge as a winger but he will play center (at least to start) – McLellan trusts him as a center.

    3) He does want Nuge to take some more offensive risks and trust his linemates to provide cover defensively.

    4) Given the foregoing, of course Strome will play RW and he will essentially be Drai’s mirror man as we’ve expected.

    5) Very likely to start Russell as 2LD with Benning as 2RD.

    6) Talbot’s games will be cut but he plays well when he play’s more so they need to be cognizant of his rhythm. He will play alot.

  35. Munny says:

    Direct link to Stauffer-McLellan interview… player is halfway down the page:

    http://globalnews.ca/news/3732486/edmonton-oilers-coach-says-leon-draisaitl-will-start-camp-at-centre/

  36. JDî says:

    OriginalPouzar: I know there is effectively no substance

    And no material substance.

    And no substantial material.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMGdGTwNWLw

  37. Jaxon says:

    I see Paigin as being near the top of the “Uncertain Oilers” category, not 3rd on the “Distant Bells” category. If Paigin has a good camp and pre-season, Russell may get moved to the right side, pushing Benning to 3rd pair, and Gryba to the press box, then he could make the 3rd pairing with Nurse on the 2nd pair. Otherwise, he should be in the minors as he shouldn’t be sitting in the press box at this stage in his development. North American experience, not pro experience may be the only thing holding him back. Do that many “ifs” make him a distant bell? Maybe, but I think those same “ifs” apply to Stanton, Lowe, and Aivitu as well.

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