Edmonton made five roster moves yesterday, culling the herd to the point where we can finally have meaningful life and death arguments about how this thing turns out. By my estimate, it’s Evan Bouchard and Jakub Jerabek in, Ethan Bear and Jason Garrison out. It’s Kailer Yamamoto in, Alex Chiasson and Pontus Aberg out. Thoughts?
The Athletic Edmonton event went last night and was an absolute blast. Thanks to those who came out and for excellent questions and interactions. We met everyone (I think) between the four of us and had a great time. Jon will join me this morning for two segments on the Lowdown, I’ll ask him about what we can expect to read in The Athletic during the 2018-19 season.
Proud to be part of a lineup that is ready to cover the coming year. Outstanding coverage from a large group, including Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis, Lowetide, Minnia Feng and Pat McLean. If you haven’t subscribed yet, now’s your chance. Special offer is here, less than $4 a month!
- New Lowetide: Impressive Cooper Marody preseason could lead to NHL recall.
- Lowetide: Oilers farm system beginning to resemble the real thing
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: A pair of Ryans: Oilers McLeod, Strome strengthen families’ bond as teammates.
- Lowetide: After more Oilers’ cuts, roster decisions coming into focus.
- Tyler Dellow: Is Connor McDavid good enough to make a power play with five left shots work?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Former Oiler Dave Manson on coaching, nicknames and his raspy voice.
- New Lowetide: RE 18-19: Cam Talbot is key to Oilers success in 2018-19
- Lowetide: RE 18-19: A case for the defence.
- Lowetide: RE 18-19: Ryan Strome and the Oilers long journey to competent third and fourth lines
- Lowetide: RE 18-19: Leon Draisaitl and the pursuit of a second outscoring line in ’18-19
- Lowetide: RE 18-19: Can the McDavid line lead the 2018-19 Oilers to the playoffs?
- New Jonathan Willis: Challenge accepted: Young RW’s showcase skill in Oilers preseason game.
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Assessing the aftermath from Darnell Nurse’s deal with the Oilers.
- New Jonathan Willis: Pleasant and unpleasant surprises from Tuesday’s training camp cuts.
- New Lowetide: Oilers sign Nurse to a two-year deal.
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Can Tobias Rieder be the perfect complement to Leon Draisaitl?
- There are some cracks forming around Jakub Jerabek but I’m going to keep him here because of the contract.
- Tobias Rieder is listed as 2RW but that may be fluid, his performance so far in this preseason suggested he may not play in the heart of the order to start the season.
- Ryan Strome has picked up an injury, should be ready for the opening of the season but it should be noted and could be a factor in populating the opening night roster.
- The Oilers made several moves yesterday, releasing Scottie Upshall from his PTO being the biggest news. It sounds like the team might like him to get healthy and then spend some time in Bakersfield getting fit and ready for the campaign.
- Keegan Lowe, Kevin Gravel, Brad Malone were all placed on waivers and will head to the Condors, as will Cooper Marody who doesn’t require waivers to get sent down.
- My choices for the three final names to make the team are: Kailer Yamamoto, Pontus Aberg and Evan Bouchard.
- Alex Chiasson’s skills are duplicated by Zack Kassian, Ethan Bear can be sent down to Bakersfield and recalled if Bouchard flounders (or if there is an injury) and Jason Garrison’s foot speed has me hesitant (although I like veteran defensemen).
- Ryan McLeod won training camp. Full stop.
PROJECTED OPENING NIGHT ROSTER
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Connor McDavid—Ty Rattie
- Milan Lucic—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto
- Tobias Rieder—Ryan Strome—Jesse Puljujarvi
- Jujhar Khaira—Kyle Brodziak—Zack Kassian
- Drake Caggiula—???
- Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson
- Darnell Nurse—Matt Benning
- Kris Russell—Evan Bouchard
- Jakub Jerabek—???
- Cam Talbot (Mikko Koskinen) (Al Montoya)
I think the final roster player will be a waiver pickup, either a defender or a forward. Alex Chiasson or Ethan Bear are possible, but I think Peter Chiarelli is going to be looking for a speed option via waivers. Thoughts?
One of the things I was asked about last night at The Athletic event was prospect updates. I’ll endeavor to deliver more in the coming days at The Athletic, here’s a quick update on drafted players whose seasons are already underway.
- L Patrik Siikanen, Blues U20 (Jr. Sm-Liiga) 8, 4-5-9
- L Anton Slepyshev, CSKA Moscow (KHL) 9, 2-1-3
- RD Filip Berglund, Skelleftea (SHL) 3, 1-2-3
- R Kirill Maksimov, Niagara IceDogs (OHL) 1, 2-0-2
- LC Skyler Brind’Amour, Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) 7, 0-2-2
- LD Dmitri Samorukov, Guelph Storm (OHL) 2, 0-1-1
- LC Bogdan Yakimov, Neftekhimik (KHL) 9, 0-0-0
- LD Markus Niemelainen, HPK (Sm-Liiga) 3, 0-0-0
- RD Joel Persson, Vaxjo Lakers (SHL) 2, 0-0-0
- Olivier Rodrigue, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL) 2, 4.00 .867
Too early to draw conclusions but nice to see some crooked numbers among prospects already. Filip Berglund is off to a strong start and Kirill Maksimov appears to be putting the disappointment of rookie camp behind him.
FIVE CUTS FIVE
Edmonton clipped five names from its roster yesterday, most of the moves inevitable. Scottie Upshall couldn’t get healthy and the Oilers have a squeeze in timeline so his release comes as no surprise. Keegan Lowe didn’t play well in his only preseason game, and it was always going to be Bakersfield for him (with a recall possible). Kevin Gravel was a surprise, I thought he played well and is a likely recall from the Condors at some point during the year. Cooper Marody was optioned out after a strong camp, he is close to NHL-ready and should get a cup of coffee during the season. Brad Malone had a poor camp and was sent down, but remains a recall option based on the center depth chart.
OILERS PRESEASON SHOTS
- Jesse Puljujarvi 13
- Cooper Marody 9
- Kailer Yamamoto 8
- Ty Rattie 8
- Jujhar Khaira 7
OILERS PRESEASON IND. HIGH DANGER SC’S
- Cooper Marody 8
- Jesse Puljujarvi 6
- Kailer Yamamoto 6
- Ty Rattie 4
- Jujhar Khaira 4
All via NaturalStatTrick and the right wingers are having a field day so far this preseason. Have to keep that going as the competition quality increases. Marody showed very well (this is all disciplines).
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A fun show this morning, featuring a two-segment live appearance from Jonathan Willis at The Athletic. Jon will pop in at 10:20 and we’ll spend the rest of the hour talking Oilers and what the site has planned for the season. Mike Heika will join us after 11 to talk Dallas Stars and Kristopher Martel previews at Preds at 11:20. Dave Jamieson will preview his show at 11:40 and trades start happening as my show ends. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!