Peter Chiarelli’s first summer slam is done in Edmonton and he certainly added up the middle. Three defensemen were added for the heavy work this winter and two centermen join the camp to do things great and small. The goaltending was addressed with a strong (if somewhat unproven) option and there’s enough room on the roster for every gifted kid to see daylight if he earns it.
GONE FROM THE 50-MAN
- G Tyler Bunz (RFA) (.890 in ECHL not good enough)
- G Frans Tuohimaa (RFA) (.876 in the ECHL is even worse than not good enough)
- D Martin Marincin (RFA) (Now resides in the big Smoke)
- D Keith Aulie (RFA) (Still a free agent)
- C Boyd Gordon (I think they worried about his speed)
- C Travis Ewanyk (Not enough offense, we knew it draft day)
- C Kellen Lain (RFA) (A big body, we didn’t really see him)
- L Matt Fraser (RFA) (Found a new prairie home)
- L Curtis Hamilton (RFA) (Still a free agent)
That’s mostly making calls on RFA’s although the Boyd Gordon trades stands out in this group. Martin Marincin’s underlying numbers looked solid, but the Oilers never did see him good. Notice the immense turnover up the middle: PC (correctly) identified the entire middle as something that badly needed an upgrade.
- Chiarelli: “There are teams that aren’t necessarily hard and heavy but they strip pucks. They’re hard on battles, they win more than their share of battles … they [can be] heavy but they’re not huge. A lot of that has to do with the coach, the philosophy of the organization, that’s part of what I hope to instill.”
CHIARELLI’S ADDS TO THE 50-MAN
- G Cam Talbot (Edmonton has a starter, many fans wanted a more veteran option. I like the bet)
- G Anders Nilsson (Fascinating deal made by Chiarelli, we haven’t seen this kind of trade in awhile)
- G Eetu Laurikainen (Excellent bet. Transaction took place before PC arrived)
- D Andrej Sekera (Oilers needed him badly, he’s an outstanding addition)
- D Eric Gryba (Tough, defense-first addition. Oilers clearly felt a need)
- D Griffin Reinhart (Big, strong defender close to NHL-ready or already there)
- C Connor McDavid (Thank you, Jesus.)
- C Mark Letestu (Swiss Army knife will spend the season at C)
- L Lauri Korpikoski (I think he’ll be high in the order many nights)
No surprise here, Chiarelli poked a hole in the middle and then replaced it with upgrades. Plenty of good fortune for sure (McDavid), but I think we should credit him for Talbot, Sekera full bore and some of the other bets seem reasonable. At the very least, Edmonton is going to have more actual NHL players in the lineup. They bled picks and prospects but that was the play.
CHIARELLI’S HANDLING OF OUTSTANDING CONTRACTS
- C Derek Roy (UFA)—Unsigned at this time and available. Seems unlikely
- R John McCarron—Oilers passed on signing him. FA.
- L Daniil Zharkov—Unsigned, I believe he is now a FA.
- C Marco Roy—Oilers signed him to an AHL deal.
- L Anton Slepyshev—Signed and instantly one of the best prospects in Bakersfield.
- R Jackson Houck—Oilers passed on signing him. FA.
THINGS I’D LIKE TO SEE BEFORE OPENING NIGHT!
Beginning tomorrow, the KHL season begins and we’ll be able to track Ziyat Paigin’s progress as an Oilers prospect. There is precious little to follow outside the NHL and AHL this season, though:
- Paigin in the KHL
- Miroslav Svoboda in Czech
- Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones and Keven Bouchard in the CHL.
- John Marino in the USHL.
- William Lagesson, Zach Nagelvoort, Tyler Vesel, Evan Campbell and Aidan Muir in the NCAA.
That’s it! So I’d like to see the Oilers sign Loik Leveille, Tyler Soy and Rihards Bukharts. Speaking of the training camp invites, the list continues to grow!
- G Jordan Papirny
- D Kevin Davis
- D Colton Waltz
- D Loik Leveille
- C Tyler Soy
- C Cole Linaker
- F Rihards Bukarts
- R Cole Sanford
Keep an eye on that crazy NHL.com list. They might be trolling us, but Papirny and Leveille have been confirmed by second sources, lending credibility to the list.
I’d also like to see some legit TC invites, veterans still hanging out there. Why not? If it pushes someone to the AHL or risks waivers on a fringe player, I’ll take it. Making the playoffs should be the goal and there’s still work to do. No one can claim otherwise.
- G Cam Talbot
- G Ben Scrivens
- G Anders Nilsson
- G Laurent Brossoit
- G Eetu Laurikainen
- D Andrej Sekera
- D Mark Fayne
- D Oscar Klefbom
- D Justin Schultz
- D Nikita Nikitin
- D Eric Gryba
- D Andrew Ference
- D Brandon Davidson
- D Griffin Reinhart
- D Darnell Nurse
- D Brad Hunt
- D David Musil
- D Jordan Oesterle
- D Dillon Simpson
- D Martin Gernat
- D Ben Betker
- D Joey Laleggia
- C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- C Connor McDavid
- C Anton Lander
- C Mark Letestu
- C Leon Draisaitl
- C Bogdan Yakimov
- C Jujhar Khaira
- C Kyle Platzer
- L Taylor Hall
- L Benoit Pouliot
- L Lauri Korpikoski
- L Matt Hendricks
- L Luke Gazdic
- L Ryan Hamilton
- L Anton Slepyshev
- L Mitch Moroz
- L Kale Kessy
- R Jordan Eberle
- R Nail Yakupov
- R Teddy Purcell
- R Rob Klinkhammer
- R Tyler Pitlick
- R Iiro Pakarinen
- R Andrew Miller
- R Greg Chase