We’re one week in to training camp and it’s pretty clear coach Dave Tippett has three of his four lines surrounded and most of the defense set. For those who appear to have won a job, giant relief. Those still in the fight, sleep well. The outsiders? Continue making a good impression.
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: 9 bold predictions for the Oilers’ season
- Lowetide: Early roster rumblings as Oilers open training camp
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers training camp: Forecasting the big roster battles
- Lowetide: Dylan Holloway’s world juniors work offers clues about Oilers future
- Lowetide: The Bakersfield Condors will be competitive in the coming AHL season
- Athletic: How we’d run the Oilers: Maximize primes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl
- Eric Duhatschek: How a stint in Sweden prepared Oilers prospect Evan Bouchard for NHL camp
- Jonathan Willis: After a brilliant rookie Oilers season, how high is Ethan Bear’s ceiling?
- Lowetide: How secure is Zack Kassian’s role on Oilers’ top line?
- Lowetide: Why fans should expect an Oilers playoff berth in Canadian division
- Jonathan Willis: Dave Tippett has more options now thanks to versatile Oilers forwards
- Lowetide: 7 big questions facing the Oilers heading into next season
- Lowetide: What if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins doesn’t sign with the Oilers?
- Jonathan Willis: Left-side logjam will force the Oilers to make a choice, and perhaps a sacrifice
- Lowetide: Theodor Lennstrom is the Oilers’ latest European bet on defence
- Lowetide: Seattle Kraken expansion mock draft 5.0: Who could the Oilers lose?
- Lowetide: Why McDavid and Nuge together could be key to Oilers’ playoff success
- Carter Savoie (NCHC) 12 games, 8-5-13
- Matt Cairns (NCHC) 12 games, 0-4-4
- Skyler Brind’Amourt (ECAC) 11 games, 1-2-3
- Mike Kesselring (H-East) 8 games, 0-3-3
- Dylan Holloway (Big-10) 2 games, 2-0-2
- Filip Engaras (H-East) 6 games, 1-0-1
The three 2020 picks are going to drive this segment of the prospects pool, and Kesselring has a growing reputation that began at his first orientation camp after he was drafted in the summer of 2018. You’d like to see Holloway, Savoie and Kesselring graduate from this group, but that’s a significant percentage of the group.
- Raphael Lavoie (Allsvenskan) 30 games, 14-8-22
- Maxim Denezhkin (VHL) 30 games, 6-15-21
- Matej Blumel (Czech) 28 games, 12-8-20
- Evan Bouchard (Allsvenskan) 23 games, 6-11-17
- Tyler Benson (Swiss-B) 15 games, 2-11-13
- Jesse Puljujarvi (Liiga) 16 games, 7-5-12
- Ryan McLeod (NLA) 15 games, 4-7-11
- Philip Broberg (SHL) 23 games, 2-6-8
- Dmitri Samorukov (KHL) 37 games, 2-6-8
- Tyler Tullio (Slovak) 9 games, 3-4-7
- Aapeli Rasanen (Liiga) 20 games, 3-4-7
- Jeremias Lindewall (Allsvenskan) 23 games, 2-2-4
- Tomas Mazura (Sarja) 3 games, 1-2-3
- Filip Berglund (SHL) 11 games, 1-2-3
- Markus Niemelainen (Liiga) 14 games, 0-3-3
- Phil Kemp (Allsvenskan) 10 games, 1-1-2
- Kirill Maksimov (KHL) 12 games, 1-1-2
- Maxim Berezkin (KHL) 25 games, 0-2-2
- Patrik Siikanen (Liiga) 8 games, 0-0-0
- Ilya Konovalov (KHL) 12 games, 2.61 .912
- Olivier Rodrigue (Austria) 21 games, 3.02 .909
This is the rest of the group, I think Puljujarvi has a great chance here and his rise from wayward son to No. 3 right wing is a fantastic and welcome turn. The future on defense runs through Bouchard, Broberg and Samorukov. Konovalov is playing today.
I’ve been impressed by Lavoie since his draft day, and believe McLeod is on track or a little ahead of where he was expected to be at this time. Matej Blumel is raining down blows like Dick Pound at a hammer convention. Benson is going to need a little help. He’s a year away from being waiver eligible, that’s fall 2021. A big season ahead.
TODAY’S ROSTER AT CAMP
Coach Dave Tippett has wasted little time in separating the roster from non-roster players, today’s NHL roster has 30 names on it. If you project James Neal (who appears to be skating today) as an IR addition, these men represent the 23 man roster and the six man taxi squad:
- Koskinen (Smith)
On the ‘off-roster’ list are Tyler Benson, Ryan McLeod, Seth Griffith, Theodor Lennstrom, Markus Niemelainen, Anton Forsberg, Stuart Skinner. The Marody line also made the ‘off roster’ list, I expect they’re ticketed for the AHL too but more bodies were needed for practice today.
Benson’s impression may have been solid, but as we’ve discussed before camp and in the early days, Ken Holland’s left wing work in the offseason was impressive and there are six LW’s ahead of Benson at this time.
What does this tell us in the larger view? The first 15 forwards above, along with the top 8 defensemen and two goaltenders, are the 25 men being considered for opening night. Bouchard and Patrick Russell could move to the taxi squard and Neal to IR. We’re close now, ladies and men.
It’s worth a lot, thank you Mr. Brar. Griffith has been the biggest surprise in a positive way on the scoreboard, although McLeod’s two assists are pleasant to see. The most important crooked numbers belong to Puljujarvi. He’ll enter the season in full flight.