It’s almost impossible to believe the Edmonton Oilers called out Taylor Hall’s name four years ago. Hall was followed by baby Nuge and then Yak City, Darnell Nurse and now Draisaitl and this organization is sitting on Fort Knox in terms of youngsters under 23. Since the procurement season began, Craig MacTavish has added a lot of pieces, and we haven’t really had a chance to take it all in. The depth is better, the quality is better, the experience is more abundant. However, is this a case of the warmth of the sun and the long stretch of offseason clouding our minds?
- Ben Scrivens 40GP, 2.55 .922
- Viktor Fasth 12GP, 2.82 .903
- Richard Bachman 3GP, 3.02 .916
- Laurent Brossoit 10GP, 3.99 .876 (AHL)
The Oilers were wobbly in their comfort level with last season’s Dubnyk-LaBarbera tandem, this group is MacT endorsed and I must say they look a little deeper. Whatever the reason for last season—MacT’s comments, swarm, snowball headed for hell—I can’t imagine a nightmare as bad two seasons in a row. Scrivens I believe goes in as No. 1, but both NHL goalies appear capable of running with the starting job.
- Justin Schultz 74GP, 11-22-33 23:20 TOI
- Jeff Petry 80GP, 7-10-17 21:35TOI
- Andrew Ference 71GP, 3-15-18 21:03 TOI
- Martin Marincin 44GP, 0-6-6 19:09 TOI
- Mark Fayne 72GP, 4-7-11 18:18 TOI
- Nikita Nikitin 66GP, 2-13-15 17:06 TOI
- Oscar Klefbom 17GP, 1-2-3 15:47 TOI
- Keith Aulie 15GP, 0-1-1 9:49 TOI
- Brad Hunt 3GP, 0-0-0 12:36 TOI
- Martin Gernat 57GP, 4-17-21 (AHL)
- David Musil 61GP, 2-10-12 (AHL)
- Brandon Davidson 68GP, 5-18-23 (AHL)
- Darnell Nurse 4GP, 0-1-1 (AHL)
- Dillon Simpson, North Dakota (NCAA)
I’m pleased with the group overall, Nikitin is jazz for some and Justin Schultz isn’t developing as hoped but there’s a sizable group ready to run over them in the near future if it comes to it. The real improvement in this group will come from the maturation of Nurse, Klefbom and Marincin—and possibly one of the group behind (Gernat, Musil, Davidson, Simpson) joining them.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 80GP, 19-37-56 (1.56/60 5×5)
- Leon Draisaitl (WHL) (82GP, 15-25-40 NHLE)
- Boyd Gordon 74GP, 8-13-21 (0.93/60 5×5)
- Mark Arcobello 41GP, 4-14-18 (1.82/60 5×5)
- Anton Lander 27GP, 0-1-1 (nil)
- Will Acton 30GP, 3-2-5 (1.64/60 5×5)
- Bogdan Yakimov (KHL) (82GP, 14-9-23 NHLE)
- Jujhar Khaira (WHL) (82GP 7-11-18 NHL)
This is a very strong but horribly young group for such an important position. If these men were all three years older we’d be talking about an entirely different depth chart (should they all develop as hoped). As it is, I think the Oilers probably hold Arcobello in higher esteem than we thought, and they hold Draisaitl in very high regard this instant. The Nuge is a killer, don’t let the 5×5/60 here fool you. His shoulder issue should be fine this season and those multiple ‘high and wide’ scoring chances should cash more often this year. Need an addition amongst the vets.
- Taylor Hall 75GP, 27-53-80 (2.91)
- David Perron 78GP, 28-29-57 (1.96)
- Benoit Pouliot 80GP, 15-21-36 (1.79)
- Matt Hendricks 77GP, 5-2-7 (0.47)
- Luke Gazdic 67GP, 2-2-4 (0.62)
- Ryan Hamilton 2GP, 0-0-0 (nil)
- Curtis Hamilton (AHL) (82GP, 7-7-14 NHLE)
- Mitchell Moroz (WHL) (82GP, 12-10-22 NHE)
Taylor Hall is an impact NHL player and this team’s brightest diamond. Perron is an excellent 2line player and Pouliot is too, but I’m hoping they give him to lonely Yak on the 3. Hendricks will get the chores and the rest skate until Hall’s ready to go again. Can the Oilers get 80 goals from LW this season?
- Jordan Eberle 80GP, 28-37-65 (2.03)
- Teddy Purcell 81GP, 12-30-42 (1.37)
- Nail Yakupov 63GP, 11-13-24 (1.43)
- Jesse Joensuu 42GP, 3-2-5 (0.65)
- Steve Pinizzotto 6GP, 0-2-2 (2.08)
- Tyler Pitlick 10GP, 1-0-1 (0.67)
- Iiro Pakarinen (SML) (82GP, 15-7-22 NHLE)
- Andrew Miller (AHL) (82GP, 4-12-16)
This should be a much better position this season. Eberle has chem with Hall-Nuge and soft, soft hands combined with the ‘Steve Shutt sixth sense’ that makes people call him lucky a lot. I’ll take it! Purcell should deliver on the 2 or 3 line and Yakupov has so much talent I expect we’ll see more than 25 goals this season (remember, Ramsay is running the power play). I think Pitlick wins the 4line job unless they sign Winnik/Moss.
Overall, this is a much better roster. Fewer long shots, more NHL players and better bets. Need a center, and a Pisani.