TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL #4: WILL ACTON

The Edmonton Oilers said goodbye to an entire dumpster worth of centers this summer, and brought in men they believe will be better solutions. Will Acton is among the most interesting, because of his name, his skill set, and his story.

RE 13-14: 20, 0-3-3

Will Acton is 6.02, 190 and came from NCAA hockey to play in the AHL. At 26, he’s certainly in the “time is now” portion of his career and Edmonton is an outstanding landing spot for his skills.

  • Dallas Eakins: “One day he asked if he could sit in on the penalty-killing meeting. Before long, he was on the penalty kill. He’s like a smell that just won’t go away.”

Acton is extremely likely to be the new Chris VandeVelde in OKC, but his penalty killing prowess and the fact that he’s got some size AND that he’s coming off a strong playoff performance suggest to me there’s a window here. It might go like this:

  • Lander has a subpar camp
  • The penalty kill is inconsistent during pre-season
  • Acton keeps showing up in a good way

There’s no 10-year career here, but for me this is a player of interest in training camp. Oilers have Boyd Gordon as the #1 PK man at center, and Lander is the next option up unless they’re going to ask Ryan Smyth to play out of position. Can Will Acton beat out Lander for the 4th line job in the fall? I’m not sure either way, so the reasonable assumption is we see him some this season.

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23 Responses to "TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL #4: WILL ACTON"

  1. Racki says:

    I’d bet that for most of October we will have someone other than Lander centering line 4. Unless Eakins gets a lot more out of him than Krueger did

  2. Ducey says:

    Lets hope they can handle him well enough that we don’t hear cries of nepotism.

  3. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Point of Order.

    You’ve finished your RE series for the center position without a post on Arcobello and now you are two centers into your “TCH” series again without mentioning him… and yet in your Miller post you wrote:

    “I ran Vollman’s new numbers through the AHL team and found Arcobello (82, 11-23-34) to be a significantly more talented offensive player, and considering they’re both undersized players and that Arcobello is about one month older (25 in 10 days, Miller turns 25 September 18th), I’m comfortable in making the bet on Arcobello for 2013-14 over Miller (in terms of GP in the NHL).”

    So… should he be ahead of Miller and Acton in some way? Or are you working some weird order again.

    ———-
    I’m very curious to see if Acton can get a cup with the team and how the inter-office politics of that goes. That’s less a “hockey” question, then a human drama one.

    If he can fill in at 4C for 20 games and not bleed shots, I’ll be very satisfied with him. Unless I’m missing something VDV didn’t set a very high bar for him to clear as far as “replacement level” goes:

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f5=EDM&f7=10-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

  4. Lowetide says:

    Rom: I will have another RW tomorrow, then a TCH tomorrow afternoon. On Tuesday, another RW, then one more TC hopeful. I think that’s all the forwards.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Rom: I will have another RW tomorrow, then a TCH tomorrow afternoon. On Tuesday, another RW, then one more TC hopeful. I think that’s all the forwards.

    Isn’t that only 3 RW?

    and… are you planning on counting Arco as C/RW? I certainly hope MacT/Eakins are. I’d rather see him than Brown or Eager on the 4th line W. Extra centers!!

  6. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Isn’t that only 3 RW?

    and… are you planning on counting Arco as C/RW? I certainly hope MacT/Eakins are. I’d rather see him than Brown or Eager on the 4th line W. Extra centers!!

    Sorry, 2RW tomorrow, 3RW Tuesday and 4RW Wednesday. TCH’s tomorrow night and Tuesday night.

  7. Cobbler says:

    So in terms of GP for the 4C position:

    Lander 50
    Acton 20
    Miller 2
    Arcobello ???

    LT, are some of Lander’s games going to be played higher in the order or are his 50 GP allocated to the 4 line?

  8. Lowetide says:

    I have 317 games designated to players we could reasonably call centers.

  9. Cobbler says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks LT, so a few games to asign at C yet.

    I look forward to Yak RE tomorrow.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Sorry, 2RW tomorrow, 3RW Tuesday and 4RW Wednesday. TCH’s tomorrow night and Tuesday night.

    Cool.

    This pace can’t go on forever, though, right?

    ——-
    Here’s a thought:

    Jimmy Carson = the Oilers’ George Lazenby

  11. Hammers says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but Acton senior , now coach , killed penalties as a player and didn’t he run both PP & PK as an assistant coach. Maybe rubbed off on the son . I think they need to give Lander the ball (puck) and let him run with it especially if Eakins is so good with young players .If they screw Lander over it will be another high pick gone .

  12. striatic says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Jimmy Carson = the Oilers’ George Lazenby

    this is fun.

    Gretzky = Connery
    Carson = Lazenby
    Weight = Moore
    Pronger = Dalton
    Hemsky = Brosnan
    Hall = Craig

    ..

    god damn let it be September soon.

  13. Chester Copperpot says:

    Just gonna throw this out there cause I read this site everyday and have never commented.

    Manny Malhotra. Wouldn’t he be the perfect fit for a 4th line centre?

    I know he’s got that nasty eye injury but he played a full season after it happened and only got shut down because the team was worried but not based on any major decline in play. Mile Gillis felt he was an injury risk but Mike Gillis is also a well documented idiot. The Oilers had interest in him a few years ago before he signed in Vancouver from what I remember from an episode of Oil Change. He’s insisted he’s healthy and can play. Isn’t he worth at least a training camp invite?

  14. Lowetide says:

    Chester: Welcome! I’d welcome it, and do suspect he has something in his back pocket, but may be wishful thinking.

  15. Chester Copperpot says:

    Lowetide,

    Omg omg omg Lowetide spoke to me!! Freaking out over here.

    Anyways I love this site. I have read it everyday for over a year and as a transplanted Oilers fan living in Vancouver aka failure town, I find this the most educated articulate group of commenters ever compared to Canucks fans. For example, one of the ‘reputable insiders’ said gillis was making legit inquiries about the availability of OV for a package of blah blah.

    Thanks for the awesomeness that’ is Lowetide. You complete me…err nevermind. Megalodon is real.

  16. OilLeak says:

    If Will Acton plays 20 games for the Oilers this upcoming season then we are screwed… again. I think as fans of the Oilers we become so accustomed to having terrible players in the bottom 6 that AHL replacement level plugs start to look like reasonable options. The “He’s better than Chris VandeVelde” bar is just not high enough.

    Funny thing is, I’m not sure he is better than CVV. I’ll take my chances with one of the smurf center hopefuls.

  17. bookje says:

    I wonder if it would be easier for our brains if next year you ran RE series first and then TCH series.

    I am a bit worried that your primary assessment of the team for the coming year is basically RETCH.

    That’s got to be a bad omen.

  18. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Bruce Boudreau ‏@RealBoudreau 3h

    Football is on. Don’t text me. Don’t call me. Don’t tweet me. Fuck off.

  19. Lowetide says:

    bookje:
    I wonder if it would be easier for our brains if next year you ran RE series first and then TCH series.

    I am a bit worried that your primary assessment of the team for the coming year is basically RETCH.

    That’s got to be a bad omen.

    Ha, bookie. That’s brilliant. Hahahaha

  20. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Chester Copperpot,

    Welcome to the best Oiler site around. Oiler fan out in Abbotsford, but Sherwood Park bred. Glad to have more lower mainlanders.

  21. JAG-041 says:

    It really bothers me that we’ve put together the best defensive core and top 6-8 forwards this team has seen in YEARS and now it looks like we have to fill in the bottom 4 with empty calories.

    I want a legit 4 line C on this team, I would love to see Lander pull it together but I just don’t think it will happen.
    And Nuge is going to miss some of the start of the season so we’re going to have 2 plugs?

    As much as I don’t want Hemsky gone I think the roster would look better without him and with a physical winger and strong 4 line C instead.

  22. Ryan says:

    I’d like to see some usage of the waiver wire to grab a 4c.

    You know, we could really use a player like a Colin Mcdonald for the third line. I wonder where you find a player like that..

    I keep seeing wowy stats for Nuge and Eberle without Hall. Sure Hall’s driving the bus, but half the problem with those stats is the LW depth chart since Penner left town

  23. Woodguy says:

    Ryan,

    I’d like to see some usage of the waiver wire to grab a 4c.

    That might happen.

    Unfortunately for us, there’s nothing good on waivers until the end of September.

    We have 2 months to burn…..

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