Since the beginning of the 2016-17 season (including playoffs), Leon Draisaitl has scored 96 points in 98 games. The big man was placed on IR today and the Edmonton Oilers are officially in a tough spot. Without Draisaitl, this Oilers team—already outmanned on defense with the absence of Andrej Sekera—will have the added difficulty of playing without a very dangerous offensive player.
PROJECTED LINE FOR CAROLINA GAME
- Patrick Maroon—Connor McDavid—Kailer Yamamoto
- Milan Lucic—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Ryan Strome
- Jujhar Khaira—Mark Letestu—Zack Kassian
- Jussi Jokinen—Brad Malone—Anton Slepyshev
- Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson
- Kris Russell—Matt Benning
- Darnell Nurse—Eric Gryba
- Cam Talbot (Laurent Brossoit)
Some interesting changes in this group, you can see the coach trying to get more speed at the top of the order—but there’s some real problems with both Leon Draisaitl and Drake Caggiula on the injured list.
- Kailer Yamamoto has that 1R job currently, mostly because Leon Draisaitl is injured. Big shoes to fill for Yamamoto. Anton Slepyshev missing training camp and Drake Caggiula getting injured make it possible, we’ll see if the young man can hold the job. Many believe he won’t get more than nine games.
- Ryan Strome moves up to the Nuge line. I think we’ll eventually see Anton Slepyshev get a chance there once he establishes himself after missing training camp. Strome has shown flashes and it’s early days, but tomorrow night would be a good time to deliver some offense.
- Jujhar Khaira gets a push and that’s a surprise for me. I didn’t see that coming based on usage, but he is now in the Matt Hendricks role. The only difference is this trio is now the third line.
- Jussi Jokinen moving down the depth chart is an early tell in regard to foot speed. One of the things we may see in the next month is the changing out of slower wingers for fast trains. Jokinen is the least expensive and least attached of the veterans, so may be vulnerable. Oilers aren’t there yet of course, but his demotion to the fourth line is news.
- Matt Benning back on the second pairing was predictable and we’ll see if he can step in and play consistently. The next step, in my opinion, might be running Darnell Nurse and Matt Benning second pair.
PETER CHIARELL AND TRADES
Peter Chiarelli has been active in the past around this time of year and often goes in search of players who are at a low ebb. He’s also been aggressive when injury hits and that might be the impetus for an early season deal in 2017. Chiarelli cut bait on Chuck Kobasew in October 2009. Just hours later, Chiarelli brought in veteran Daniel Paille to replace Milan Lucic, who had a broken finger.
- John Beatte, NESN, October 20, 2009: The Bruins have made a move in an attempt to fill the hole left by Milan Lucic and his broken finger by acquiring winger Daniel Paille from the Sabres in exchange for Boston’s third-round pick in 2010 and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2010. Source
The Associated Press story included the word ‘underachieving’ and perhaps we’ll see that kind of trade again. Lucic had a broken finger, Leon has a concussion. Perhaps the big center gets on the plane for the road trip and plays sometime this week, but I wouldn’t count out a trade in the coming days. We wait.