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.