There are pockets of procurement that provide opportunities for NHL teams. It should probably be titled ‘this is probably nothing’ or ‘you might also enjoy’ because most times nothing comes of it. However, when everything breaks right, things can get good in a hurry.
An example came in 2002, when Jarret Stoll refused to sign with the Calgary Flames, re-entered the draft and was chosen by Edmonton in the second round. The Oilers were on the other end of the deal in 2013, when Tobias Rieder made it clear he wouldn’t sign with the team. Is there a Jarret Stoll among the players who didn’t sign this year?
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: Why the Oilers should extend Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as soon as possible
- New Lowetide: Oilers farmhand Josh Currie’s small window of opportunity
- Lowetide: Oilers coach Dave Tippett’s track record in developing young players
- Jonathan Willis: Misguided priorities helped turn the Oilers’ 2010 rebuild into a debacle
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘It’s what’s best for the league’: Oilers accept challenge of play-in series
- Lowetide: Oilers greatest areas of need for the 2020 draft
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Six bold (and not so bold) predictions as the Oilers prepare for the Blackhawks
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers facing a bonus penalty for 2020-21 but the news isn’t all bad
- Jonathan Willis: Multiple choice: What might an Oilers trade at the 2020 NHL Draft look like?
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers return to play guide: How the NHL’s 24-team format impacts Edmonton
- Lowetide: Mike Green’s playoff role and possible future with the Oilers
- Lowetide: Oilers’ most likely recalls from Bakersfield for the playoff run
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘We rallied and regrouped’: How the Oilers won the 1990 Stanley Cup
- Lowetide: Why Kailer Yamamoto represents ‘Money Puck’ value for NHL teams
- Lowetide: Exploring hidden-gem draft options for the Edmonton Oilers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘He set his place in history’: On Bill Ranford’s Conn Smythe run, 30 years later
- Jonathan Willis: Why NHL teams should gamble on defencemen over forwards later in the draft
- Lowetide: Oilers GM Ken Holland should shop for picks at the draft
EXPIRED SIGNING RIGHTS
LD Xavier Bernard. Big defenseman with good speed blossomed after a mid-season trade to Sherbrooke in his final junior year.
RD Xavier Bouchard. Big defender with good speed took a big step forward (46 points in 60 games) in 2018-19. He did not repeat the performance this past season
LW Cole Fonstad. I had him No. 46 on my 2018 list, he’s skilled but didn’t progress as an offensive player.
LC Luke Henman. Spiked in his final junior season, increasing point total (in 63 games both times) from 46 to 74. Good skater, smart player, I’m a little surprised he didn’t get signed.
LC Allan McShane. I had him No. 31 on my final list, excellent passer and a nice range of skills. NHLE in his final OHL season (28.6) was shy.
RC Greg Meireles. Smaller forward, speedy, responsible. Florida didn’t offer him a contract. He’s 21, might be a European contract in his future.
LC Riley Stotts. I had him No. 107 overall, he improved slightly during his junior career but didn’t spike. Final junior NHLE (26.3) doesn’t stand out in the crowd.
If they gave me a vote, I’d select Henman as the player to pursue. He can skate and delivered strong offense. He might be worth a draft pick.
The next deadline is the college deadline, the one that freed Matt Benning to sign with the Oilers a few years ago. Graham McPhee, who we discussed the other day, is the lone Oilers prospect whose rights are set to be lost. Here are some other attractive possible free agents.
L Karch Bachman, drafted in 2015 by the Florida Panthers out of Culver Academy (USHS). Speedy skill winger, explosive. 31 points in 34 games as a senior with Miami of Ohio. NHLE: 32.8 and he is 23.
RD Ben Finkelstein, drafted in 2016 by the Florida Panthers out of Kimball Union (USHS). Played top pair with Boston College this season, a capable two-way college defenseman. NHLE 19.9
LW Matt Filipe drafted in 2016 by the Carolina Hurricanes out of Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL). Big power forward who will take some time to develop. Might get an AHL deal.
RD Luke Martin, drafted in 2017 by the Carolina Hurricanes out of Michigan (NCAA). Big, mobile defender plays intelligent game. Handedness a big advantage.
RW Carson Meyer, drafted in 2017 by the Columbus Blue Jackets out of Miami of Ohio (NCAA). Undersized offensive winger, good passer. NHLE: 24.2
LW Cameron Morrison, drafted in 2016 by the Colorado Avalanche out of Youngstown Phantoms (USHL). Power forward could get a lot of attention should he reach free agency. NHLE 19.9
LC Nikita Pavlychev, drafted in 2015 by the Pittsburgh Penguins out of Des Moines (USHL). Towering two-way center had a mammoth junior season but fell to earth (and it’s a long way, he’s 6.07). NHLE 14.2
LC Lukas Sedlak, drafted in 2011 by the Columbus Blue Jackets out of Ceske Budejovice Jrs (Czech Jr). Two-way center who is tough to move (6.0, 205) and has 162 games. I’m not saying he is Jaroslav Pouzar but he’s tough to play against.
LD Ryan Shea, drafted in 2015 by the Chicago Blackhawks out of Youngstown Phantoms (USHL). Excellent passer, he can defend and his senior campaign was his best season. Might have the most potential in this group. NHLE 29.4
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
It’s a fun show today as we change up guests and subjects this week. At 10 this morning, TSN 1260, we’ll discuss the NHL’s return plus the Oilers-Hawks with Tom Gazzolla from Locked on Oilers podcast. We’ll also chat mlb with Simon Sharkey-Gotlieb from The Score, as baseball prepares for a 50-game “season” and very little pay. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!