Ten men gone yesterday means we’re down to 45 names and more to come this week. I think we can make one call now: Ryan Hamilton makes this hockey club.
THE CERTAIN OILERS (18)
- Goalies (2) Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera
- Defensemen (5) Jeff Petry and Ladislav Smid, Justin Schultz and Andrew Ferense, Nick Schultz
- Centermen (3) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (inj), Sam Gagner, Boyd Gordon
- Left Wing (4) Taylor Hall, David Perron, Jesse Joensuu, Ryan Smyth
- Right Wing (4) Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Jones
These are the men likely to break camp in the NHL. We’re not hearing any news on RNH but I bet you money there’s an internal timeline that has him playing NHL games well before November 1st. The goaltending is set, these 5 defensemen are here until a trade is made, and the forwards here have enough value to carry the day. The PKers (Gordon, Gagner, Smyth, Jones) are in somewhat short supply but we could see some of the younger set do those chores this season. My picks for the final “5” are underlined:
THE UNCERTAIN OILERS (15)
- Goalies (none)
- Defensemen (7): Anton Belov, Denis Grebeshkov, Corey Potter, Phil Larsen, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin, Taylor Fedun
- Center (4): Anton Lander, Mark Arcobello, Will Acton, Andrew Miller
- Left Wing (3): Linus Omark, Ryan Hamilton, Ben Eager
- Right Wing (1): Mike Brown
I also think Corey Potter may end up on the IR before the season starts, which would make 8 defensemen protected from waivers. I’m picking Acton over Lander and Ryan Hamilton over Omark, and have selected Brown ahead of Eager. If Larsen makes the grade, I’m not sure which of the underlined guys doesn’t make it. The Russian blue have some work to do, but I think they’ll both end up on the opening night roster.
THE OUTSIDERS (12)
- Goalies (4): Richard Bachman,
Olivier Roy, Tyler Bunz, Ty Rimmer
- Defensemen (6): Brad Hunt,
Martin Gernat,Brandon Davidson, David Musil, Darnell Nurse, Joey Leach
- Centermen (3): Ryan Martindale,
CJ Stretch, Travis Ewanyk
- Left Wing (5): Curtis Hamilton,
Austin Fyten,Kale Kessy, Mitchell Moroz, Jujhar Khaira
- Right Wing (4): Tyler Pitlick,
Matt Ford, Derek Nesbitt,Cameron Abney
They’re all outside. ALL. outside.
POSSIBLE LINEUP TONIGHT
- Arcobello-R Hamilton-Yakupov
This is an interesting roster for a few reasons:
- Arcobello and Yakupov play together again. If Arco is proxy for Nuge, that might be a pairing. Coach Eakins could pair up Hall-Eberle, Gagner-Perron and Nuge-Yakupov for three sets of top drawer forwards.
- Omark and Jones also get a push. I don’t have Omark making the team but would love to see it. We’re also in the area where showcase may be happening, so Omark’s performance tonight could help his NHL chances.
- Lander played a lot on Saturday and did fine, but I get the sense Acton is ahead of him. With the Oilers considering Arcobello seriously, Lander may be headed for Oklahoma City again. I wonder if Lander is going to be a long term Oiler? Doesn’t seem to have a role, and this is his third training camp (and third coach).
- Joensuu looks like a player. I think the Oilers pro scouting staff might have found a gem. Who do we credit? That Finnish scout who helped with Belov? Don’t know.
- The 4line should be fun to watch, Pitlick and Martindale with Abney. Man.
- Klefbom! Can’t wait to see him.
- Phil Larsen should be fun to watch, too.
- Don’t get down on Brandon Davidson if he struggles tonight. He’s moving up the depth chart, but has some ways to go. If he’s solid tonight against a pretty strong Winnipeg roster, well that’s one more hurdle.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
Scheduled to appear:
- Jeff Chapman from Copper and Blue. Nuge contract, Hamilton AND Joensuu? and Hall at center.
- Kent Simpson from Team 1260’s pbp team. Oil Kings preview, scene set for Friday opener.
- Alan Hull from Copper and Blue. Oilers blue depth chart, who wins 4C job? and tonight’s lineup.
- Guy Flaming from Pipeline Show. Jujhar Khaira and kids moving from NCAA to WHL. Is it a step down?
@Lowetide_ on twitter, 10-1260 via text.