The NHL’s 30 teams are about to release their training camp rosters and it’s a fun time of year. Veterans without contracts, college kids looking for the pro camp experience before heading home or to Europe, and juniors attempting to impress enough to get a pro contract. It’s one giant audition and the total player count across the entire NHL is almost 2,000 all told. The entire training camp process begins week two of September and everything is decided by first week October. That’s a lot of skates cutting ice.
Last year the Oilers put Anton Lander on waivers and he cleared before going to Oklahoma City. It’s a nervous time for management and fans but for players it’s a great opportunity. Rob Schremp played most of his 114 NHL games after the Oilers waived him and chances are someone in the Edmonton system now will be waived this fall or later and catch on. Let’s go around the league and see if there are players who are both fringe on their teams and substantial enough talents to be considered worthy of pickup.
- Arizona: F Jordan Martinook. He’s an interesting player (6.0, 200), physical and has playmaking skills.
- Calgary: F Drew Shore. A big forward with playmaking skills. Flames may not have room.
- Dallas: D Jordie Benn. Good size and mobility, he’s in tough for that Stars’ defense.
- Detroit: F Landon Ferraro. Good skater and has a goal scorer’s touch.
- Edmonton: D Brandon Davidson. No outstanding skill, but inexpensive and capable.
- Florida: D Dylan Olsen. Has good size and mobility.
- Los Angeles: C Jordan Weal. Small and very skilled forward.
- Nashville: L Austin Watson. Wishful thinking on my part, a nice two-way winger.
- New York Rangers: D Dylan McIlrath: Giant.
- Ottawa: D Chris Wideman. A substantial offensive prospect.
Andrew Miller is a guy I can see someone grabbing but defensemen are always in short supply. I love Watson’s game but he’ll make the Preds, and the Flames will find a way to keep Shore. After that, I like Wideman but Edmonton has that position covered at this time. Weal? Suspect he starts on the coast with the Kings. Davidson? I’ll suggest he clears waivers but there’s a chance EDM keeps eight men on blue.