Its now or never for the Oilers forwards vying for the “future role player” jobs that will come available as Jones, Hordichuk, Eager, Belanger and Petrell fade away. This blog has focused heavily on names like Anton Lander, Tyler Pitlick and Curtis Hamilton, but Cameron Abney and Chris VandeVelde also have skills the Oilers may be looking for in the coming years.
I think it is pretty safe to say that no Baron forward will threaten the high end skill players on the Oilers:
- Taylor Hall
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Jordan Eberle
- Nail Yakupov
- Sam Gagner
- Alex Hemsky
That’s a supreme set and they’re mostly just kids. However, the 6′s and 7′s and 9′s for the 2015+ run are still to be determined. While its true the Oilers could always trade a 3rd round pick for an established role player–like they did with Mark Fistric this week–its always good to have a productive minor league team that is graduating quality each fall. Certainly the Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings have that kind of pipeline, and the Oilers will need successful AHL-to-NHL players in the coming seasons.
For the group in OKC I think this might be a chance to salvage what has been a very trying season. Lets face it, there is no one in tonight’s lineup who can bitch or moan about not getting called up to training camp. So, the future starts tonight.
Lineups when they arrive via OKC Barons twitter.
(Curtis Hamilton photo courtesy Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved).
- Posted at 5:16pm scratches: Brandon Davidson, Alex Plante, Dan Ringwald, Curtis Hamilton, Antti Tyrvainen, Jordan Henry
- Olivier the starter, Tyler Bunz to backup.
- Line 1: (C-L-R) Arcobello-Green-Cornet
- Line 2: Lander-Rajala-Pelss
- Line 3: Martindale-Byers-Pitlick
- Line 4: VandeVelde-House-Lizon
- 1D: Deck-Fedun
- 2D: Lafranchise-Teubert
- 3D: Hotham-Marincin