The young group of forwards currently in the Oilers employ should probably ask for asylum at the Grand Ole Opry after tonight’s game. All that jazz up front added to that Nashville sound would make for beautiful music into June every year.
We had a nice chat in the post below about Oscar Klefbom and his immediate future. My sense is that the Oilers will likely sign him and then send him back to (or have him stay in) Sweden for another year. Why? First, there’s no hurry. The club can afford to be patient with their teenage defensemen–even the first rounders–because there just aren’t very many of them who can play NHL hockey effectively.
Plus they have an enormous graduating class–potentially Martin Marincin, Jeremie Blain, Brandon Davidson and Kyle Bigos–and may want to sign Klefbom, Gernat and Musil from the 2011 draft. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the Oilers draft Ryan Murray or Griffin Reinhart (more in a minute) and then sign Klefbom. Let’s say they also add an NHL defenseman and decide against re-signing Cam Barker.
- Ladislav Smid (signed through 2013 summer)
- Jeff Petry (RFA likely to sign multi-year deal)
- Free agent addition
- Ryan Whitney (signed through 2013 summer)
- Nick Schultz (signed through 2014 summer)
- Ryan Murray or Griffin Reinhart (entry level)
- Oscar Klefbom (entry level)
- Andy Sutton (signed through 2013 summer)
- Theo Peckham (extremely unlikely to return)
There. I’ve placed Smid-Petry at the top and after that it’s the UFA/trade addition and Whitney or Schultz depending on the quality of the addition or Whitney’s health. That’s 7.
- Corey Potter (signed through 2014 summer to NHL deal)
- Alex Plante (RFA this summer, effective AHL player)
- Taylor Chorney (RFA this summer, effective AHL player)
- Taylor Fedun
- Colten Teubert
- Martin Marincin (rookie pro, entry level deal kicks in)
- Jeremie Blain
- Brandon Davidson
- Kyle Bigos (has one more year of NCAA eligibility)
We’re at 18 names and haven’t added in those AHL veterans (Bryan’s Helmer and Rodney this season) yet. So we’re about 20 names deep for Edmonton, OKC and a couple in Stockton. Seems at least three too many, no?
Let’s say Edmonton goes with 18D and 5G, leaving 27 forwards for their 50-man list. This past season Edmonton’s 50-man list included 13D (plus Marincin, whose contract doesn’t count toward the 50 since he was sent back to junior) and 4G, plus 30 forwards.
- Shawn Horcoff
- Ryan Smyth (UFA but likely to be signed)
- Ales Hemsky
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Taylor Hall
- Jordan Eberle
- Sam Gagner
- Eric Belanger
- Ryan Jones
- Ben Eager
- Linus Omark
- Teemu Hartikainen
- Magnus Paajarvi
- Tyler Pitlick
- Curtis Hamilton
- Mark Arcobello
- Anton Lander
- Chris Vande Velde (RFA)
- Tanner House
- Cameron Abney
- Phil Cornet
- Ryan Martindale
- Antti Tyrvainen
- Hunter Tremblay (RFA)
- Milan Kytnar (RFA)
- Drew Czerwonka (graduating junior)
- Kristians Pelss (graduating junior)
plus the forwards who will make the 50-man list and play in the AHL (Josh Green, Ryan Keller, Arcobello this past season). Plus of course the Oilers will no doubt want to add and subtract from the forward group.
I get 29 forwards, 20 defensemen and 4 goalies. 53.
Finally, Murray-Reinhart. My sense is that the Oilers will draft a franchise defenseman this season, in the belief this will be their last lottery pick for ages. The club may miss the playoffs again next year–that would be my bet today–but getting a can’t miss player at #10 is not always possible.
Anyway, that’s my premise. Draft Murray, send Klefbom back signed. If Murray can make the grade out of camp and continues to play well during his early season audition, then it’s wonderful news. If not, send them both back and get things started 2013 fall.