The Oilers have been running low on Finns lately, but it sounds like Eetu Laurikainen is either signed or will be under contract soon. Who is Eetu Laurikainen?
- Shawn Mullin, Swift Current Broncos PBP: He’s not a particularely big goalie although not small. He’s positionally sound and his athleticism makes up for only being average size. Laurikainen’s best asset is his poise. Having been around him for two seasons he was able to stay composed and even keel in every situation. It’s a quality his father talked to me about dating back to his childhood. He doesn’t get high or too low. He just doesn’t get rattled. That poise I think was a big part in the faith his teammates had in him. They played very confidently in front of him and trusted him.
- Cody Nickolet: Extremely athletic and doesn’t quit on a puck, great glove.
- Soft Mitts, Heavy Hits: Standing just 6’0″, Laurikainen isn’t one of the physical giants that have taken over NHL creases in recent years. However, he’s an extremely athletic, even acrobatic player with excellent instincts that give him sound positioning. As a fairly small late bloomer, Laurikainen has remained undrafted, but has the potential to be a work-in-progress for an organization that has room for a developing goaltender.
He looks like a good goalie from here, but G’s are voodoo and the Oilers don’t have any track record at all when it comes to identifying good ones. And that’s for sure.
50-MAN LIST (with Eetu)
- G Ben Scrivens (suspect he’ll return in a backup role)
- G Laurent Brossoit (AHL starter and plenty of opportunity to move up)
- G Eetu Laurikainen (new hire?)
- D Nikita Nikitin (New GM/Coach are going to circle that name and salary in red pen)
- D Mark Fayne (One of the few names the new coach can count on)
- D Andrew Ference (5-6-7D likely role for coming season. Does he remain captain?)
- D Oscar Klefbom (bright lights, big city. Golden decade, straight ahead)
- D Jordan Oesterle (I think they like him a lot, the speed is going to get him NHL looks)
- D Dillon Simpson (His progress in season two pro should be fun to watch)
- D Martin Gernat (One hopes he follows the conditioning program closely this summer)
- D David Musil (Chiarelli employed Adam McQuaid. Musil will be fine)
- D Darnell Nurse (Folks, I think he makes the opening night roster. Seriously)
- D Ben Betker (May need to spend some time in the ECHL if it gets crowded)
- D Joey Laleggia (Can learn plenty from Hunt and Oesterle in Bakersfield)
- C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (He’s a wonderful player already, and has some development track left)
- C Anton Lander (newly signed and bona fide)
- C Boyd Gordon (veteran could be trade bait by deadline if things break right)
- C Leon Draisaitl (Up in the air a little, but he’s a quality talent Edmonton or Bakersfield)
- C Bogdan Yakimov (Shoulder aside, strong season)
- C Jujhar Khaira (Solid checker, offense may keep him from NHL career)
- C Travis Ewanyk (Not enough offense, we knew it draft day)
- C Kyle Platzer (newly signed) (Suspect he’ll play in Bakersfield next season)
- L Taylor Hall (healthy and ripping up Prague)
- L Benoit Pouliot (A rugged winger with skill)
- L Matt Hendricks (Had a wonderful year, can he do it again?)
- L Luke Gazdic (I’m not sure about his future on a Chiarelli team)
- L Ryan Hamilton (he’ll be the veteran hand in the minors helping to guide the kids)
- L Mitch Moroz (I think Chiarelli might like him)
- L Kale Kessy (If he can play, Kessy may have a future)
- R Jordan Eberle (Fun watching him score at the WHC’s)
- R Nail Yakupov (I have absolutely no idea how this will go)
- R Teddy Purcell (I think he’ll be back)
- R Rob Klinkhammer (Signed for next season, may have competition for his job)
- R Iiro Pakarinen (I think he is going to make the team and have an impact)
- R Greg Chase (He has NHL ability, just has to be consistent and play a complete game)
- G Tyler Bunz (RFA) (I don’t think he gets a renewal, .890 in ECHL not good enough)
- G Frans Tuohimaa (RFA) (.876 in the ECHL is even worse than not good enough)
- D Justin Schultz (RFA) (Suspect he will return, but he’s a project at this point)
- D Martin Marincin (RFA) (One hopes Chiarelli saw him good)
- D Keith Aulie (RFA) (May get another two-way contract)
- D Brad Hunt (RFA) (May get another two-way contract)
- D Brandon Davidson (RFA) (prediction: signed to a two-way deal, generous AHL portion)
- C Kellen Lain (RFA) (A big body,long shot get a contract)
- L Matt Fraser (RFA) (prediction: signed to a two-way deal)
- L Curtis Hamilton (RFA) (Very uncertain future)
- R Tyler Pitlick (RFA) (prediction: signed to a reasonable one-way deal)
- R Andrew Miller (RFA) (prediction: signed to a two-way deal, generous AHL portion)
Players who may be signed:
- C Derek Roy (UFA)
- R John McCarron (must be signed, he’s a college senior, or he’s a free agent)
- L Daniil Zharkov (no idea about his signing restrictions but team does own his rights)
- C Marco Roy (he’ll be in the Memorial Cup, so we may not know until late)
- L Anton Slepyshev (rumors afoot he will be signed)
- R Jackson Houck (signs or re-enters, doesn’t look good for him as an Oiler)
- Connor McDavid. !!!!!
Confirmed. Oilers have signed Finnish goalie Eetu Laurikainen. It's 4:41 AM, I need to get a life.
— Dustin Nielson (@nielsonTSN1260) May 12, 2015
Laurikainen can push Laurent Brossoit, while also possibly getting starts in the ECHL or Edmonton, depending on how things roll. He’s a better goalie bet than Tyler Bunz or Frans Tuohimaa or Samu Perhonen at this time, so I consider this a good signing.
I think we can slot a few additions to the 35 above and be reasonably sure of being correct. There’s not a lot of wiggle room here, but I do expect we’ll see a buyout and my beloved three-for-one could come any day now (you shut it right now, mister! It’s going to happen!).
- No. 36—A starting goaltender, we’ll name Michal Neuvirth to make everyone on this blog happy.
- No. 37—D Justin Schultz. I like Chiarelli but don’t think he’s so smart he’ll make a move here in year one.
- No. 38—D Andrej Sekera. I bet they’d prefer a RH, but getting a quality player is the priority.
- No. 39—A veteran D for a package that includes Marincin and the pick at No. 16 or No. 33.
- No. 40—Brandon Davidson. I think the organization likes him plenty.
- No. 41—Connor McDavid. Don’t breathe until they take him!
- No. 42—L Anton Slepyshev. It’s time to red rover.
- No. 43—L Matt Fraser. I’m thinking a two-way deal, maybe he balks.
- No. 44—R Andrew Miller. He’s heading in a good direction.
- No. 45—R Tyler Pitlick. Klinkhammer’s hold on 4R isn’t that strong.
ONE MORE NAME
Josh Winquist. I’d like to see the Oilers retain him, buddy has a sixth sense around the net and is smart with the puck and positioning. If the Oilers step away from a LW like Fraser and are looking for a developing talent, Winquist is my choice.
WATCH: Check out the goals by Andrew Miller and Joshua Winquist from game three>> https://t.co/2hv9efmJvY
— Oklahoma City Barons (@okcbarons) May 12, 2015
I think those two players will/should be with the organization next season. The Oilers have some kids on the farm showing well, I wish Peter Chiarelli was in Oklahoma City to view these games. It might not be sexy but it’s very important to know what’s bubbling under. Man I hope they keep Todd Nelson on staff in some way.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Jonathan Willis, Cult of Hockey and Oilers Nation. We’ll discuss Hall-Eberle and if they’re the best fit for McDavid.
- Andrew Buchholtz, 55-yard line. It’s CFL draft day! Who gets the best rouge guy? Andrew knows!
- Chris O’Leary, Edmonton Journal. Eskimos have been better lately at drafting, WHY won’t they take an O-lineman?
- Tyler Karwandy, Rider Prophet. Best blog out there, I’ll ask him about the SK team at the draft and that strange trade yesterday.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!