Brandon Davidson and the Oilers rookies take to the ice tonight against the young Winnipeg Jets, an opportunity to renew acquaintances for two WHA cities. It’s been quite a season for Davidson, and should he find his way to the NHL anytime soon he should write a book about his hockey experiences:
- a young Canadian who didn’t play the game of hockey until later because the price was too dear
- overcame cancer this hockey season and came back to play at a high level during the AHL late and post-season.
- overcoming a suddenly deep Oiler blueline chart that includes some terrific talent.
I’d buy that book, on pre-order. (Davidson photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved).
- Line 1: Khaira-Platzer-Miller
Line 2: Ewanyk-Kessy-Bilcke
Line 3: Schaber-Baddock-Chase
Line 4: Roy-Fyten-Houck
- Pairing 1: Klefbom-Marincin
- Goalies: Cadorette starting Palazzese backup
I think they may give up a touchdown. The top line (Khaira) might produce but Platzer is a complete unknown and Miller didn’t show much offensively in game one. Ewanyk’s line is clearly put together to initiate/answer any crap coming back from the other side (sometimes these rookie tournaments get ugly, and I mean ugly with thugs trying to prove themselves. Alex Plante and some guy named Kyle Greentree are recent examples of injuries early in TC from someone trying to make a name) and the other two lines are a mixed bags of nuts and younger nuts. Defense? Top pairing should have fun, I’m really looking forward to the second pairing and the third pairing are stay-at-home and tough. No idea about the goalies.
8:30 tonight, Edmonton Oilers web.
The signings are coming fast and furious now (Boedker today) and the PTO’s are trickling in (Hal Gill to Philly–perfect!) and the longer we go without an Oiler addition the better the chances we don’t get a center option for the Oilers through the back door. What does this mean? Lander, Acton or Ryan Smyth, and if an injury occurs, then two of those options. Unless there’s more to the Taylor Hall at center conversation. We’ll find out soon enough.
Todd Nelson has a plan for tonight, and although I don’t think this Oiler group has one chance in hell I’m impressed that he’s trying something to hold back the water. This is going to be a tough weekend for these kids.
- Nelson: “We’re going to change our tactics a bit and go with two guys tonight on the forecheck. I think that everybody plays a one-man pressure system usually and so it was easier for the guys to maybe play it the first game. Since we didn’t have practice time I didn’t want to do two-man pressure. We’re going to do that tonight and hopefully it pays off. We’re going to play very aggressive tonight. We want to make sure their defencemen don’t have a lot of time and space to move the puck and we’re going to be right in their face. It’ll be a more aggressive game tonight.”
The Oilers roster doesn’t have a goalie they can count on but does boast some nice defensemen. The 5 best forward prospects by my estimate in this tournament for Edmonton are Marco Roy (#4 on my summer list), Jujhar Khaira (#6), Jackson Houck (#13), Andrew Miller (#18) and Greg Chase (#19); they’re all kids with the exception of Andrew Miller. Miller had a decent third period defensively but should be a more dominant player in all areas–he’ll need a strong game tonight if he’s going to have any traction entering main camp. He’s also very short, listed at 5.10 but I’d guess 5.07 is probably closer to the truth.
The big item is age and experience. Up front, Edmonton has four 1995 born, four 1994′s, two 1993′s, one 1992, three 1991′s and 1988 born Miller. The other night, Calgary had a more experienced group, but they were also far more talented up front than Edmonton and had a prospect goalie. Edmonton couldn’t compete that night, and should get beaten soundly by Winnipeg tonight.
JETS ROSTER HIGHLIGHTS
- C Mark Scheifele, now 20 and coming off a dominant final OHL season.
- D Jacob Trouba, who has a buzz around him that frightens people. He may actually be lethal.
- F Nic Petan, an underrated prospect in this summer’s draft and a potent offensive player.
- D Josh Morrissey, a chaotic but gifted defender who was the Jets 1st rd pick this summer.
- D Cody Sol, 6.06, 235.
- L Adam Lowry, big winger now 20, scored 45 in the WHL last season.
- two goalies who are legit prospects.
I don’t know how many of these guys will play tonight, Sol was looking for Sasquatch and there were reports that Trouba planned on wrestling a bear before the game. So, yeah.