In all of the excitement of a playoff spring, it’s easy to forget the Edmonton Oilers added some interesting pieces to their arsenal during this period. The big names for next season are still to come, but some of these hires may end up hanging around for the good times.
- February 1, 2017: Acquired R Henrik Samuelsson. Acquired in the Mitchell Moroz deal, he is RFA and they basically shut him down five games into his Bakersfield career. This is a former first-round pick, it will be interesting to see if the organization commits to him by re-signing him for 2017-18. Is there still a player here?
- March, 1, 2017: Signed RD Ryan Mantha. A giant defenseman who was drafted by the NY Rangers in 2014. After two seasons, New York passed on signing him. He blossomed (65, 17-41-58) with the Niagara Ice Dogs and he’ll get a full AHL season in 2017-18. Important not to overreact to a 20-year old dominating junior, but if reports of improved development (foot speed) are true, the 6.05, 225 defender could be a real find. Ranked here based on potential and possible offensive contributions.
- March 29, 2017: Signed LC Joe Gambardella is a fascinating addition for the Oilers. He is an aggressive forechecker and turns that skill into offense off turnovers. With an NHLE of 82, 13-25-38, I wonder if he pushes for NHL employment sometime in 2017-18.
- April 6, 2017: Signed LD William Lagesson. Shutdown defender had another solid year in college. He signed with the Oilers, who promptly loaned the Swede to Djurgardens IF in Sweden. The key item for a DD is speed and Lagesson is fast and mobile. He can play defense and we will probably see him fall of 2018 (Bakersfield).
- April 12, 2017: Signed LD Ziyat Paigin. After his watershed 2015-16 season, expectations were raised for Paigin. It’s important to remember a lot of his offense comes from power-play time (he has a terrific shot) and that appears to have dried up in 2016-17. Went 17gp, 1-3-4 while battling injury and handling during his KHL season. Signed with the Oilers and finished 5gp, 0-0-0 in Bakersfield.
- April 12, 2017: Signed G Shane Starrett. The Oilers newest goalie has an impressive track record. In his two NCAA seasons, he posted .924 and .925 save percentages, suggesting this is in fact his quality of play. At 22, he is a solid pro prospect. He’s tall and thin (6.05, 180) and I can’t tell you if he is a better prospect than Nick Ellis or Laurent Brossoit or Dylan Wells. I can say all four men have something to recommend them.
- May 17, 2017: Signed G Dylan Wells. Year over year save percentage progress (.871 to .916) was amazing and his playoff performance (.930) added to the strength of his season. Oilers signed him this week, we should look for another strong (final) junior season in 2017-18.
- May 22, 2017: Signed R Iiro Pakarinen. Signing was made necessary by expansion draft rules, but the coach values him. Lost an entire season to injury, he’ll be in the mix for employment this fall and may need to learn What is at will employment when it coes to his role. We can hope he sticks around, as he has a plus shot, may have lost his NHL job to the flood of kids (Puljujarvi, Slepyshev, Caggiula) who found ice time in his absence.
Who in that group will have the most productive NHL career? Or has Iiro Pakarinen already played more NHL games than these other fellows? Paigin is such an interesting player, as is Gambardella. Dylan Wells will have to repeat his solid year, but I would include him in the conversation for sure.
TOP GOALIES, 2017 DRAFT
- Jake Oettinger, Boston University (NCAA). 35gp, 2.11 .927. 6.04, 205.
- Mike DiPietro, Windsor Spitfires (OHL). 51gp, 2.35 .917. 6.00, 200.
- Olle Eriksson Ek, Farjestads (SuperElite). 30gp, 2.16 .924. 6.02, 187.
- Keith Petruzzeli, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL). 35gp, 2.40 .918. 6.05, 180.
- Daniil Tarasov, Ufa (MHL). 9gp 2.55 .918. 6.04, 181.
- Maxim Zhukov, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL). 31gp, 2.25 .913. 6.02, 187.
- Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, HPK (Jr. Sm-Liiga). 35gp, 1.78 .917. 6.04, 196.
- Alexander Samoilov, Armiya Moskva (MHL). 33gp, 1.84 .928. 6.02, 179.
- Matt Villalta, SSM Greyhounds (OHL). 33gp, 2.41 .918. 6.02, 165.
- Kirill Ustimenko, St. Petersburg (MHL). 27gp, 1.74 .938. 6.03, 179.
- Jiri Patera, HC Ceske (Czech U20). 38gp, 2.61 .933. 6.02, 209.
- Stuart Skinner, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL). 60gp, 3.26 .905. 6.03, 205.
- Ian Scott, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL). 50gp, 3.69 .895. 6.03, 172.
- Lassi Lehtinen, Luuko (Jr. Sm-Liiga). 36gp, 1.91 .936. 5.11, 161.
- Dylan Ferguson, Kamloops Blazers (WHL). 31gp, 2.74 .922. 6.01, 192.
- Tomas Vomacka, Corpus Christi (NAHL). 41gp, 2.43 .923. 6.03, 165.
- Alex D’Orio, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL). 28gp, 2.40 .903. 6.03, 204.
- Adam Ahman, HV71 (SuperElite). 34gp, 2.30 .927. 6.00, 163.
- Dayton Rasmussen, Chicago Steel (USHL). 10gp, 2.31 .915. 6.02, 203.
- Jeremy Swayman, Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) 32gp, 2.90 .914. 6.02, 187. 6.02, 183.
- Jordan Hollett, Regina Pats (WHL). 19gp, 2.83 .901. 6.04, 194.
- Cayden Primeau, Lincoln Stars (USHL). 30gp, 3.16 .895. 6.03, 181.
I had Dylan Wells last on my list one year ago, so a voodoo reminder on goalies in general and this list specifically. I still have a couple of draft items (Euro overage, touch list) to go, but those things should get wrapped up this week.
I think the big trade of summer is likely with Vegas, and will further guess it will be No. 22 overall for Alex Petrovic (plus the Golden Knights take Benoit Pouliot). I think the club also signs Kris Russell, Nick Bonino and Spencer Foo.
- Negotiate the expansion draft rapids without giving up a valuable piece of the future. (Benoit Pouliot)
- Find a way to trade Benoit Pouliot off the roster. (Vegas)
- Find a second pairing D with two-way acumen. (Alex Petrovic)
- Find a stopgap measure to replace Andrej Sekera’s minutes until he returns. (Kris Russell)
- Find a C-R who can help the offense and cover off where Leon isn’t at the time and to replace Jordan Eberle if he’s dealt. (Nick Bonino, Spencer Foo)
- Make enough cap room to get everyone in under the number with enough room to spare for the trade deadline. (Pouliot off the roster eases some of the crunch).
PROJECTED 2017-18 ROSTER
- I don’t think Bonino leaves Pittsburgh, but we’ll see how it goes.
- I like Alex Petrovic, but suspect there are others who would fit the bill and be available to the Golden Knights.
- I moved Pouliot out because the money didn’t work, but honestly would rather keep him.
- When Leon moves over to center, the roster makes a little more sense.
- I know I have Lucic and Eberle with Nuge, and yes they had a tough time, but there were also periods where it worked. Until Puljujarvi can take on those minutes suspect we’ll see something like this every night.
- I don’t like trading No. 22 overall, but if the Oilers are going to keep Eberle that’s the next most valuable item (assuming Nuge and Puljujarvi stay).
— Patricia Teter🏡📚💻🎃🍁 (@Artful_Puck) June 12, 2017
Aha! Finally! Thanks, Patricia!
Deadline is today for team's asking for waiver RE: Expansion protection
Pominville…you're up next
— Alan Hull (@alanhull) June 12, 2017
It’s an interesting group and maybe one of these players ends up in Edmonton. Now the money is always massive so it would mean a Steve Austin heading out of town. Hull’s list is interesting, I would add David Krejci (personal favorite), Zdeno Chara, Artem Anisimov and Niklas Hjalmarsson may be of interest to Peter Chiarelli. Never underestimate PC’s love of the ancients.