The Edmonton Oilers have called up Jordan Oesterle (again), on the heels of the Griffin Reinhart recall on Monday. The reasons? Multiple. Edmonton may be planning for Darnell Nurse being unavailable (NHL Player Safety would like a chat) or it could be Adam Pardy:
"We'll call them maintenance days, but they're banged up a bit." Coach McLellan on #Oilers absent today (Sekera, Hendricks, Pardy)
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 9, 2016
Edmonton's Darnell Nurse will have a hearing tomorrow under Rule 46.2 (Aggressor) for an altercation with San Jose's Roman Polak.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) March 9, 2016
The recall of Oesterle gives us a chance to remind ourselves about the turnover we have seen at the position this year. Does anyone remember the last game Andrew Ference played? Niki Nikitin? Okay, strike that.
- Andrej Sekera 68, 6-18-24
- Oscar Klefbom 30, 4-8-12
- Brandon Davidson 51, 4-7-11
- Justin Schultz 45, 3-7-10
- Darnell Nurse 59, 2-6-8
- Eric Gryba 53, 1-5-6
- Mark Fayne 56, 2-3-5
- Adam Clendening 10, 0-2-2
- Adam Pardy 5, 0-2-2
- Griffin Reinhart 16, 0-1-1
- Nikita Nikitin 9, 0-1-1
- Jordan Oesterle 4, 0-1-1
- Brad Hunt 7, 0-0-0
- Andrew Ference 6, 0-0-0
That’s a lot of blue. Oesterle is a useful player at the AHL level, and may have an NHL future. He is certainly fast enough, and despite chaos in his game, Edmonton has chosen him for recall over some other candidates considered better defensively.
- Overall 43, 3-20-23
- Evens 43, 1-15-16
- Power Play 43, 1-5-6
- Penalty Kill 43, 1-0-1
Those are pretty good even-strength numbers (Jeff Petry was 4-7-11 in his 41 games in 2010-11) and as mentioned Oesterle is a fabulous skater—Edmonton’s defense is slow currently with Nurse, could be a real drag without him. He was impressive in his NHL debut last year.
- Andrew Ference: “He was really, really good. He had great composure, fantastic skating ability, he was so calm. I remember my first game, I didn’t want to touch the puck and he’s handling and skating up the ice really well and making great plays. It was very impressive.” Source
David Musil photo by Mark Williams
The Condors don’t have a lot to send north if the defense crunch continues in Edmonton:
- D David Musil. If the Oilers are not recalling Musil this season, my guess is that it is a lot about foot speed. Scott Zerr, who is a frequent guest on the Lowdown, has been consistent in his praise of Frank’s boy defensively. If you are looking for clues about future plans, this period of not being recalled is your answer.
- D Brad Hunt. Chaos blue has played in the NHL this season, suspect the organization will move on from him.
- D Joey Laleggia. Unlikely recall, as this is his rookie pro season. He will likely take over from Hunt as the primary power-play quarterback in Bakersfield next season, and we might see him in the NHL during the 2016-17 season if things go well. Zerr insists he is miles better as a forward.
- D Dillon Simpson. Steady defender doesn’t get a lot of mention, seems to be learning his lessons and making slow progress. I wrote about him recently.