In what can only be described as a surprising day, the Edmonton Oilers showed a massive—and possibly unwise—amount of confidence in their internal wingers. Nail Yakupov is in St. Louis, Kris Versteeg is in Calgary, and Eric Gryba the defenseman is here. What an unusual day. Breaking news: None of this will make enough of a difference for you to break a sweat. Calm your tits.
EDMONTON OILERS 50-MAN LIST (CURRENT)
- Moving Leon Draisaitl to RW—it appears this is the plan—means the team has two scoring lines, and not much on the 3 and 4 lines. The top two lines will probably play 60 percent of the game, but an outscoring third line is needed to make progress. Can you see a third line?
- Two rookies—Drake Caggiula and Jesse Puljujarvi—appear ticketed for the same line. Kid Line’s have a long and successful history, and this is why I have been cranking on a Pisani. Edmonton has two—Nuge and Pouliot—but they are needed up the order.
- The Oilers sent away Kris Versteeg today, apparently because they could not guarantee him steady work. Versteeg scored 38 points last season—good not great production but a very nice insurance policy for the skill lines. I think the Oilers probably decided Leon is 2R and that was all she wrote for Versteeg. Cannot blame a man for looking out for his own.
- Oilers draft picks did pretty well this camp—more below—and that is an interesting result of this camp. I expected Pitlick and others to be flushed, seems Chiarelli and McLellan have found some useful players among the AHL men.
- I do not believe in the backup goaltending, but probably believe in Talbot more than most so there you go. I would not be surprised to see a trade for a better goalie during the year.
- The signing of Gryba makes the Leftorium count (13-4) less Cy Young and more Urban Shocker but it is impressive just the same. It is not balanced at this time.
- Gotta say I like that first pairing, plus Sekera and Davidson. Four good defenseman is progress, ladies.
- Connor McDavid is going to need to score 100 points for this team to have a chance, and you know what? They have a chance.
OPENING NIGHT 23-MAN ROSTER ( I THINK)
- My RE suggests the Lucic—McDavid—Eberle line should be expected to score 82 goals (REs are listed here). That number includes a substantial power play, something we have yet to see.
- The RE total for Pouliot—Nuge—Draisaitl line should score 52 goals, and that should be about right. If the top two lines can score 135 goals, surely this team can get past 210 for the year.
- The RE total for Maroon—Caggiula—Puljujarvi is 35 goals in a full season, and that represents the end of Edmonton’s offense.
- I love the top pairing. Love the top pairing.
- 2010 draft pick Tyler Pitlick made it, as did 2013 pick Anton Slepyshev. Edmonton finding some useful players from previous drafts is a big deal.