The Oilers under Ken Holland appear to be on the way to signing a ‘shadow team’ of minor leaguers to AHL contracts. Honestly, it was crazy before all the kids signed to NHL deals started getting loaned out to European teams, and then the Adam Cracknell signing seemed to signal the completion of signings for Bakersfield. Yesterday? Two more.
I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.
- New Lowetide: Roster projections for Oilers, including trade and free agent targets
- New Jonathan Willis: Why the Oilers should buy out James Neal
- Lowetide: Oilers approach 2020 draft with increased depth in important positions
- Lowetide: For Oilers prospect Tyler Benson, the past can be inspiration
- Lowetide: Stock Watch: Hot starts and safe landings for Oilers prospects
- Jonathan Willis: There are no good shortcuts for the Oilers with Jesse Puljujarvi
- Lowetide: Potential trades and partners for the Oilers’ offseason
- Lowetide: The Oilers could find a world-class agitator in the draft
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Should the Oilers select goalie Yaroslav Askarov 14th at the NHL Draft?
- Lowetide: A bold draft strategy for the Oilers in 2020
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers third-line centre search should include other teams’ cap casualties
- Lowetide: Dealing a defenceman? Taking stock of Oilers’ blueline assets
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers prospect Raphael Lavoie has opted for Europe. Will others follow suit?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Oilers GM Ken Holland on improving internally, the flat cap and goaltending
- Jonathan Willis: Can the Oilers find value picks among the 2020 NHL Draft’s impressive Russians?
- Lowetide: 10 free agent targets for the Oilers this offseason
- Lowetide: What if the Oilers went scorched earth in front of 2020 free agency?
- Lowetide: Oilers Top 20 Prospects, Summer 2020
- Jonathan Willis: Unqualified RFAs could be top offseason targets for the Oilers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Who stays? Who goes? The most likely players to stay with and leave the Oilers
BAKERSFIELD CONDORS ON NHL CONTRACTS 2020-21
- Goalies (4): Stuart Skinner, Dylan Wells, Olivier Rodrigue, Angus Redmond
- Left Defense (5): William Lagesson, Dmitri Samorukov, Philip Broberg, Theodor Lennstrom, Markus Niemelainen
- Right Defense (2): Evan Bouchard, Logan Day
- Center (3): Cooper Marody, Ryan McLeod, Cam Hebig
- Left Wing (4): Tyler Benson, Joe Gambardella, Ryan Kuffner, Nolan Vesey
- Right Wing (4): Adam Cracknell, Raphael Lavoie, Kirill Maksimov, Ostap Safin
Let’s start with the RFA’s. I think Lagesson, Day and Kuffner get signed but you should know that all these minor league free agents mean a major cull of the 50-man. Redmond, Hebig, Vesey and Ryan Mantha are not qualified in this model.
- Goalies (0):
- Left Defense (3): Ryan Stanton, Jake Kulevich, Yanni Kaldis
- Right Defense (1): Janis Jaks
- Center (3): Brad Malone, Luke Esposito, James Hamblin
- Left Wing (3): Blake Christensen, Devin Brosseau, Graham McPhee
- Right Wing (2): Jakub Stukel, Liam Folkes
Stanton will play in the top-4D with Bakersfield, that’s a great get by Bakersfield general manager Keith Gretzky. Malone will also be a big part of the team. I think Holland signs a goalie to an NHL deal and that player will be the NHL recall for 2020-21 in net.
PROJECTED 2020-21 CONDORS ROSTER
- Goalies (2): Stuart Skinner, AHL starter
- Left Defense (4): William Lagesson, Ryan Stanton, Jake Kulevich, Markus Niemelainen
- Right Defense (3): Evan Bouchard, Theodor Lennstrom, Logan Day
- Center (5): Cooper Marody, Brad Malone, Ryan McLeod, Luke Esposito, James Hamblin
- Left Wing (4): Tyler Benson, Joe Gambardella, Ryan Kuffner, Blake Christenson
- Right Wing (5): Adam Cracknell, Raphael Lavoie, Kirill Maksimov, Ostap Safin
Lagesson may be in the NHL, if so Edmonton will need another top-4D for the season. They could use some help on the wings too, but it’s important for the young wingers to play.
OILERS 2020-21 50-MAN ROSTER (41)
I’ve included only the RFA’s who are likely to be on the roster or could be on the roster.
- Goalies (4): Mikko Koskinen, Stuart Skinner, Dylan Wells, Olivier Rodrigue.
- Left Defense (9): Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Caleb Jones, Kris Russell, William Lagesson (RFA), Philip Broberg, Theodor Lennstrom, Dmitri Samorukov, Markus Niemelainen.
- Right Defense (6): Adam Larsson, Ethan Bear (RFA), Matt Benning (RFA), Evan Bouchard, Logan Day (RFA), Filip Berglund
- Center (6): Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Jujhar Khaira, Gaetan Haas, Cooper Marody, Ryan McLeod
- Left Wing (8): Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Andreas Athanasiou (RFA), James Neal, Joakim Nygard, Tyler Benson, Joe Gambardella, Ryan Kuffner (RFA), Ostap Safin
- Right Wing (8): Zack Kassian, Kailer Yamamoto, Josh Archibald, Alex Chiasson, Patrick Russell, Raphael Lavoie, Kirill Maksimov, Adam Cracknell
It’s plain to see the needs: NHL goalie, NHL No. 3 center, AHL goalie, AHL defenseman if Lagesson is on the NHL team. I think the two-way winger is also a need for the McDavid line, and there seems to be a lot of smoke around acquiring a defenseman.
Draisaitl last played August 7, that was five weeks ago. Previous to those four games against Chicago, LD played last on March 11. That’s 189 days, so yeah, playing would seem to be a good idea. Don’t get hurt, Leon!
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we deliver the goods with strong guests, good conversation and cold, hard cash! At 10:20, Bruce McCurdy will join me from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal to discuss the next four weeks for the Oilers. What changes does he see? Priorities? Joe Osborne from OddsShark will talk Stanley Cup Finals, the NBA playoffs and NFL lines for Week 2. Reid Fowler from Draft Kings will discuss the U.S. Open and who to bet on (I say Dustin Johnson). 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.
We’ll also have the $20,000 Mystery Moment at 10:15, your chance to win cash with that sports knowledge of yours. We’re at $2,200! Text in at 10-1260 with the secret word (I’ll give it to you at about 10:12 on TSN1260), then we’ll call you, play a clip from a famous sports moment and ask you for a detailed answer.