The Edmonton Oilers will work on the power play today, having spent time in the offensive (forecheck) and defensive (retrieval) zones in previous days.
Tomorrow, the club gets to work with the Winnipeg Jets in town. We’ll likely see a younger lineup on both sides, as we did one year ago in Game One.
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 Athletic, we are celebrating our 2-year anniversary this week. To mark the occasion, you can get 40% off subscriptions until Sept. 19 here.
- New Lowetide: Handicapping Oilers prospect progress: The development of Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones and William Lagesson
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Eight key questions for the Oilers to solve at training camp
- Jonathan Willis: Predicting the winners of the Oilers’ top-six and top-nine forward jobs out of camp
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: In, out or on the bubble: Breaking down positional battles at Oilers camp
- New Lowetide: Evan Bouchard and the Calder Trophy: The Oilers’ pursuit of the elusive rookie award
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Alex Chiasson prepares to return to scoring form for Edmonton Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: Kyle Brodziak defied the odds, and then the Oilers, to carve out a significant NHL career
- Lowetide: Can Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith stop enough pucks for the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Shutdown success by Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson is a key for the Oilers in 2019-20.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Even if he’s unsure about his return, Oilers’ Connor McDavid looks and sounds like his old self
- Lowetide: RE 19-20: How can the Oilers’ bottom six close the gap in goal differential?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Kailer Yamamoto and Tyler Benson address respective highs and lows as Oilers rookie camp begins
- Jonathan Willis: Riley Sheahan is a prudent signing by the Oilers in more ways than one
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers’ defensive hopes will rest on the new shutdown pair of Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: With Evan Bouchard as the headliner, here are the players to watch at Oilers rookie camp
- Lowetide: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the configuration of the Oilers second line
- Lowetide: Connor McDavid’s 2019-20: Pushing for 50 goals while Dave Tippett loads up the Oilers’ top line
- Lowetide: Estimating reasonable expectations for the 2019-20 Edmonton Oilers: A difficult journey
- Jonathan Willis: How much money will Darnell Nurse make on his next NHL contract?
- Corey Pronman: Oilers No. 9 farm system.
- Lowetide: Oilers coach Dave Tippett might have to take drastic action in order to find a second outscoring line in 2019-20
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
ONE YEAR AGO
Game One was against Calgary, the NHL summary is here and the NTS numbers here. My rundown of the game is here. I wanted to highlight some of the performances, and as I re-post the summary from a year ago, it’s good to note all of these men are one year older.
RD Evan Bouchard. 1-0-1, +3 24:31. Three shots, five shot attempts, one takeaway. I was very impressed in all areas. His goal was the results of heady play, a quick release and good instincts. He made several quality outlet passes, slowed the play often with calm feet. Went 8-7 Corsi for 5-on-5 with Ryan Stanton, a mostly effective pairing (some wobble from both men down low). Corsi for 5-on-5: 50 percent.
LC Ryan McLeod. 0-2-2, +1 22:21. Oh my! Two takeaways, 6-10 on the dot and two incredible assists. I can’t remember the last second-round pick who was squeezing out sparks in his first training camp like this guy. You have to think he’s going to get at least one more game. Goodness what an early run. Went 10-12 with Benson and 8-13 with Yamamoto, line was 2-1 in goal differential. Corsi for 5-on-5: 47.06 percent.
L Tyler Benson. 0-2-2, +1 17:56. Two shots, two blocked shots. Did you see the passes? Music! Benson was noticeable all night with the puck on his stick and battled hard to get it back when not having possession. One of three forwards (McLeod, Yamamoto) who played over four power-play minutes. Went 10-12 with McLeod and 8-12 with Yamamoto, they were impressive all night. Benson is a game rooster on both sides of the puck. Corsi for 5-on-5: 45.83 percent.
R Kailer Yamamoto. 2-1-3, +1 17:39. Three shots, seven shot attempts. One hit, one takeaway, one giveaway.He was exactly as we remember him from a year ago, dangerous with the puck on his stick and opportunistic. Great stealth back checker, he’s a turnover machine. It takes zero imagination to know why the Oilers like him. Impressive player. Went 8-13 with McLeod, 8-12 with Benson. If I had a vote, he would have been player of the game. Corsi for 5-on-5: 36.36 percent.
OILERS PROSPECTS SCORING
Jesse Puljujarvi (SML) 4, 2-2-4. Fans should be thrilled at JP’s quick start, a massive season in the Sm-Liiga will no doubt increase his trade value. Many are ripping the Finnish league in terms of quality, I’d remind you Rob Vollman’s NHLE for the AHL (.47) and the SML (.43) are basically the same. Vollman’s 2017 numbers are here. The rankings are KHL, SHL, AHL, Sm-Liiga, NLA, NCHC.
Maxim Denezhkin (MHL) 2, 1-0-1
Philip Broberg (SHL) 1, 0-0-0. The reports (and the visual above) are encouraging, but it’s early days. How much can he improve from where he is now? That’s the question. Based on his skating, the answer might be a lot.
Filip Berglund (SHL) 1, 0-0-0
Markus Niemelainen (SML) 2, 0-0-0
Ilya Konovalov (KHL) 2, 5.34 .859. MacT’s got him on the bench after two poor outings. Team plays tomorrow.
There will be some hockey in our town today, Oilers plan to have some form of a game at the community rink (which is very nice if you haven’t been) at noon. Doors open 11:30, I will tell you the rink fills up quickly so be there early.
We may see some cuts today, likely junior players like Raphael Lavoie and Olivier Rodrigue. Maybe some AHL types (Nolan Vesey, Beau Starrett, Anthony Peluso, Luke Esposito, Vincent Desharnais, Jake Kulevich) also get optioned.
The big item to look for in the next 24-30 hours will be lines, pairings and goaltenders for the Monday game against Winnipeg. My guess is that the team has specific players they’ll want to have a long look at, plus the kids who have earned a game but are likely ticketed for Bakersfield.
It’s an important week for Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody, Kailer Yamamoto, Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, William Lagesson as well. These men want to perform well in the early games and earn the right to hang around until late. Watch especially who these men are lined up beside, that’s a tell now and certainly as preseason rolls along.
The fun is about to begin! Can’t wait.
As camp enters, Tyler Benson and Evan Bouchard are regarded as possibles for the NHL roster. We are hearing less buzz this year about Kailer Yamamoto. I have a theory.
I think the Oilers under Chiarelli and McLellan were very high on Yamamoto, so strong on him the organization pushed him past Jesse Puljujarvi. Yamamoto made the team twice before his 20th birthday.
Now? He’ll turn 21 in a couple of weeks and the team is slow playing his recovery from wrist surgery. I think it’s wise, but also believe the organization wants to see Yamamoto dominate the AHL before he sees the Oilers lineup again. I have Yamamoto’s chances of making the Oilers at 10 percent (Benson 55, Bouchard 46) and honestly believe he’ll get sent down earlier than most expect. It’s going to be a prove it season for the young winger. Edmonton needs him badly, but when they bring him to the roster next time, management must be sure.