The Edmonton Oilers are making decisions way up and down the line of the prospect pool these days. On Saturday, the team signed Raphael Lavoie and at some point in recent days may have made the decision to pass on signing defenceman Filip Berglund.
What does that mean? Lavoie is probable for Bakersfield in the fall and Ken Holland has a defenseman he likes more than Berglund. Unless Berglund’s contract contains an out clause that allows him to sign with Edmonton, the die is cast.
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, check it out here.
- New Lowetide: Oilers get good news from the farm as second-half performances spike
- Lowetide: Should Oilers prospect Philip Broberg play in North America next year?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Which former Oiler has the best argument to have his jersey number retired?
- Lowetide: Which Oilers veterans are in roster peril?
- Jonathan Willis: How good is Anton Slepyshev and what will an NHL return mean for the Oilers?
- Jonathan Willis: Peter Chiarelli wants to be a GM again. Has he learned from his Oilers mistakes?
- New Lowetide: Oilers’ challenge could be finding relief with a low cap ceiling
- Lowetide: Projecting Oilers prospects Raphael Lavoie and Kirill Maksimov
- Lowetide: What does Jesse Puljujarvi’s Liiga season tell us about his future?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How Oilers plan to help arena workers unclear with games postponed
- Lowetide: NHL season on hold might impact Oilers evaluations, summer plans
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Key questions surround Oilers in wake of NHL’s coronavirus suspension
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: GM Ken Holland on Oilers’ playoff push, offseason plans and Hart thoughts
- Jonathan Willis: Evan Bouchard, Tyler Benson and more: 20 observations on the Bakersfield Condors
- Lowetide: Caleb Jones represents Oilers template for development success
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Determining Connor McDavid’s linemates remains a pressing and perplexing problem
- Jonathan Willis: Which players pose the biggest threat to Leon Draisaitl winning the Hart Trophy?
- Lowetide: Is the OHL still the Oilers’ primary resource at the draft?
50-MAN LIST (40)
If you look at the defense today, and assume Ryan Mantha won’t return, Edmonton has 12 men signed or RFA at this time. Even if the club signs Mike Green in free agency, the AHL club will need four more blue. That assumes Broberg comes over and there are no assurances.
No. I think the Berglund news tells us the organization is pleased with Bear and Bouchard for the NHL and have superior options for Bakersfield.
Anything internal? Philip Kemp has one more year of college but could sign. Michael Kesselring completed his first college season at Northeastern, it’s unlikely he’ll sign.
Markus Niemelainen and Graham McPhee are the two men who must be signed this summer or Edmonton will lose their rights (along with Berglund).
Among the players on the Oilers reserve list, I think Anton Slepyshev is the most likely to be signed. That’s based on several reports (believe Matty was the first) over the last few months.
THE 2016 DRAFT
As you may know, I’m a believer in draft clusters. A two-or three year run can build a dynasty or pretty near, with the 1972-74 Islanders, 1979-81 Oilers and 1989-91 Red Wings being prime examples.
The Edmonton Oilers 2014 draft produced Leon Draisaitl, the 2015 edition Connor McDavid, Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones (plus John Marino). The 2016 draft? Nine picks, including Jesse Puljujarvi at No. 4 overall and Tyler Benson at No. 32 overall, and three picks in the third round that have a good chance to miss (or emerge later with other teams).
To borrow a word from the great philosopher Casey Kasem, the 2016 draft was ponderous. Edmonton badly needed a couple of forwards from that draft and it looks like it might be just Benson.
That 2016 draft needed to be far better. I don’t know how you recover from it, but the Oilers are down a couple of scoring wingers today. I wonder what Ken Holland is thinking about Jesse Puljujarvi today.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A fun show today, with actual news to talk about and great guests. We begin at 10, TSN1260, with the brilliant Dan O’Toole from TSN joining us at 10:20. We’ll chat entertainment in sports, the Olympics and the power of staring. Jason Gregor pops in at 11 and talks NHL meetings, Olympics and more. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!