This should be a boat load of fun for Edmonton Oilers fans. A goalie, several wingers, maybe a trade, possibly a buyout and by this time next month a much better idea about the 2019-20 roster.
Peter Chiarelli traded a mountain of draft picks 75 days after he was named Edmonton’s general manager; Ken Holland is 50 days into his time in the position and it’s Joakim Nygard with six draft picks.
We know Ken Holland is working, the information drops are in the dozens. When will the levee break? Soon. Soon.
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group, here’s an incredible Offer!
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘He comes as advertised’: Philip Broberg’s skating makes him development camp standout for Oilers
- New Jonathan Willis: Oilers have a tough decision to make as the NHL buyout deadline looms
- Lowetide: Analyzing the free agent options Ken Holland may consider as he builds a bridge to the future
- Jonathan Willis: Brett Connolly could be a good fit for the Oilers at a reasonable price-point.
- Jonathan Willis: Five free-agent goalie options who might make sense for the Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: What we learned about the future of NHL at the 2019 Draft
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers plan to skew younger on defence could open the door for Evan Bouchard, Dmitri Samorukov
- Lowetide: Taking stock of Oilers prospects ready to graduate with a clear shot at an NHL job in 2019-20
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers keep two, cut five, and potentially add new targets as qualifying deadline passes
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Raphael Lavoie’s QMJHL coach is confident the Oilers’ No. 38 pick will prove worth the wait
- Jonathan Willis: Having added top KHL stopper Ilya Konovalov, how will the Oilers handle a crowded goalie pipeline?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland doesn’t lose sight of the big picture in drafting defenceman Philip Broberg over a forward
- Lowetide: The heat is on Ken Holland’s Oilers for Day 2 of the NHL Draft.
- Lowetide: Oilers Draft Day 1: Getting it right at No. 8 overall and multiple trade winds for Ken Holland.
- Willis and Mirtle: Are the Oilers and Maple Leafs good trading partners?
- Lowetide: Are these Jesse Puljujarvi’s final days with the Edmonton Oilers?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Analyzing the early Edmonton Oilers’ 2019-20 depth chart.
- Lowetide: The Oilers’ conundrum in taking Philip Broberg with the No. 8 overall pick
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ranking the Oilers’ trade assets from the high-priced diamonds to those needing fresh starts
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Evaluating the pros and cons of potential Oilers buyout candidates
- Lowetide: Oilers GM Ken Holland is shopping for 20-goal scorers on a budget. What will he find?
CURRENT OILERS DEPTH CHART (ESTIMATE)
I’ve included the two RFA’s (Khaira and Puljujarvi) and given them the Matt Cane estimate. If the team signs Brett Connolly, Mike Smith and Brian Boyle for a total of $6 million, that would use up the cap room above ($3.4 million) and the money devoted to Puljujarvi ($1.4 million), Cooper Marody ($925,000) and Shane Starrett ($700,000). Edmonton would have $400,000 or so in cap room with those three transactions. I think a trade that eases cap worries, or a buyout, is likely.
CURRENT CONDORS DEPTH CHART (ESTIMATE)
The defense has several (many!) possible recalls, but the forward group boasts only Yamamoto among the young set. Matriculating older college men (Gambardella, Russell) have a clear view, and veterans like Malone and Currie are available. Work to do here, too. Marody probably starts in Bakersfield, but the Oilers need more AHL entry contracts (forwards) with a high enough ceiling to project into the NHL mid-season. Maybe Holland will do enough to force Benson to start the season with the Condors. One thing to keep in mind? Jones, Bear and Lagesson are about to enter their final entry-level seasons, meaning they’ll be eligible for waivers this time next season. Cashing one for a forward may make sense. Soon.
A LITTLE MORE ON RAPHAEL LAVOIE
HockeyProspect.com: Lavoie’s toolbox is very impressive; he’s a big kid who has made some nice progress with his skating ability over the past 3 seasons. He has a big time shot and can score from almost anywhere in the offensive zone. It’s an NHL caliber shot which is accurate, has great velocity and he’s quick to get it off. He’s got above average vision, can make plays for his teammate with some high caliber passes.
Red Line Report: Tremendous natural sniper who buries his chances – deadly from the circles in. Gets great wrist snap on a lightning fast release around the slot – needs almost no time or space to get dangerous shots away. Tremendously accurate too, picking corners at will. Combined with his great size and knack for sliding into open ice at the right moment, he’ll be a scorer at every level.
The Draft Analyst: A puck-possessing machine with speed, size, and great awareness in the offensive zone. He owns an excellent shot, both for its quick release and also for its velocity, and Lavoie’s penchant for creating his own chances expands the ice for his linemates. He is a controlled and patient stick-handler who looks to incorporate the rest of his teammates into every cycle, and his keen vision and pass accuracy in tight spaces or off the rush allows him to play the role of playmaker. Lavoie is an excellent skater with above-average straight line speed and enough agility to weave around or fake opponents out of position.
WHAT MIGHT WE SEE THIS WEEKEND
I’m planning a relaxed weekend, but will be close to the rotary phone. Based on all the rumors we’ve heard, I would say a buyout today is possible (Sekera the most likely) and that Brian Boyle is the most likely free agent added. Goaltending will be addressed, uncertain about how it will get done.
People are already counting Brett Connolly, suspect that is unwise. Another team could wheel back and grab him, and perhaps the Capitals have asked him to play it cool early days. That said, it sounds like the Oilers are deep in the game on Connolly.
Jesse Puljujarvi traded to Carolina, Boston, Lightning or Pittsburgh. Tanev is a fascinating name, goalies include Mike Smith, Petr Mrazek, Curtis McElhinney.
Lower case forwards are Daniel Carr, Brett Ritchie, Brandon Pirri, Curtis Lazar.
Benning for Brown deal may still be out there, Donskoi and Chiasson whispers have been heard. One (apparently) sure thing? Gaetan Haas will be announced as a signed Edmonton Oilers player, giving more competition at center. A piece of trivia you may not know? Only one Haas has ever played in the NHL, David Haas, who was drafted by Edmonton in 1986. He played a little on the 1990-91 Oilers and then later for Calgary.