There are approximately four million hockey players looking for work at this time (estimate) and the 31 clubs will sign a few, invite others and tell the rest to wait by their phones. For Edmonton, some checkers, a skill center for Bakersfield and perhaps another depth AHL defender should be on the list.
The NHL roster is pretty much set, possibly one spot open for a forward and another for the defensive group. Backup goalie is a race if you want to have something to talk about, but the guy making $2.5 million probably has the edge.
Give The Athletic as a gift or get it yourself and join the fun! Offer is here, less than $4 a month! I find myself reading both the hockey (Willis, Dellow, Pronman, et cetera) and the baseball coverage a lot, it’s a pure pleasure to visit. We’ll sell you the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge.
- New Lowetide: No. 15 prospect—William Lagesson
- Jonathan Willis: No. 16 prospect—Cameron Hebig
- Lowetide: No. 17 prospect—Graham McPhee
- Jonathan Willis: No. 18 prospect—Ryan Mantha
- Lowetide: If Evan Bouchard makes the team, who is on the outside?
- Lowetide: Oilers 2013 draft: Two NHL players and one crazy trade.
- Lowetide: No. 19 prospect—John Marino
- Jonathan Willis: No. 20 prospect—Tyler Vesel
- Scott Wheeler: The top 50 NHL drafted prospects (Oilers content)
- Lowetide: Top 20 prospects: Forwards outside the top 20
- Jonathan Willis: Are Hayden Hawkey and Phil Kemp underrated gems?
- Lowetide: Tracking Oilers training camp six weeks out.
- Lowetide: Some lingering questions about Oilers 2018 draft and evaluating goalies.
- Lowetide: Oilers training camp: 28 men for 23 jobs.
- Jonathan Willis: Predicting the winners in the top 6 and top 9 forwards.
- Lowetide: The news is out: Youth shall be served.
- Lowetide: Cap decisions of 2017 may continue to hamper 2019 decisions
- Jonathan Willis: Analyzing the Oilers 2018-19 depth chart (including additions)
- Lowetide: Bakersfield Condors could be best Oilers AHL team in ages
- Lowetide: Is Evan Bouchard NHL-ready?
- Lowetide: The maturation of Daryl Katz, or heading down a dangerous road?
THE CERTAIN OILERS
- My estimate has 82.6 percent of the roster being a certainty opening night.
- If the team is close to the cap, you might see a 22-man roster.
- These are not my lines and pairings but I think they might accurately represent Todd McLellan’s opening night roster.
- Opening night rosters are mostly predictable, although we’re some distance from final rosters and training camp invites might change the weather.
- On August 31, 2015, I did the same trio of predictions as I’m doing this morning. I missed on a bunch:
- Anton Slepyshev (he made the team because Jordan Eberle was injured); Griffin Reinhart (Nikita Nikitin didn’t make the team); Luke Gazdic (I don’t know); Brandon Davidson (they were worried about waivers, probably correctly). Opening night roster is here.
— Matt Mosewich (@EDMFutureWatch) August 1, 2018
- Pontus Aberg is probably the 13F but I thought it would represent reality by having job opening in goal, on defense and at forward.
- Koskinen, Gravel and Aberg are the smart bets.
- Kailer Yamamoto could easily push his way into the conversation.
- Evan Bouchard is a fascinating wild card.
- Ethan Bear has a nice opportunity this season, even better if Bouchard fails to make the team. This is the beginning of something called “depth” and if you’re a younger Oilers fan it may be unfamiliar to you. REAL depth would be Bouchard and Bear having spent the coming season outside the NHL, then going head to head for a roster spot (No. 3 RHD) in the fall of 2019.
THE DISTANT BELLS
- No one on this list has even a 25 percent chance to make the team.
- Among the group here who could see NHL time this coming season, I would suggest Tyler Benson, Joe Gambardella, Caleb Jones and William Lagesson.
My player profiles will run on The Athletic later this summer, it’ll be a shared process and I will be contributing. The RE series here has been a popular August feature of the blog, so I’ll be talking about expectations and giving my views about individual and cumulative trajectories for the coming season.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A fresh morning just ahead of the long weekend, we’ll get the party started at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- John Sigler, Saints Wire. New Orleans won 11 games a year ago, can they push beyond and win it all?
- Gene Reilly from the Des Moines Buccaneers. Michael Kesselring is a recent Oilers draft pick we don’t know a lot about. We’ll talk to his coach.
- Rob Vollman, NHL.com and ESPN. Jarome Iginla’s retirement, plus NHL.com’s 31-in-31 series is underway and we’ll chat about it.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.