I spoke too soon. Yesterday’s post surrounded the 50-man list being stalled at 41, and 21 forwards this year (26 one year ago). Edmonton signed Brendan Perlini yesterday, he’s a big winger (6.03, 211) who was viewed by scouts as a power forward with speed and a plus shot on his draft day.
Perlini has been inconsistent since turning pro, but has averaged 16 goals per 82 games in the NHL. Perlini spent 21 games in the Swiss-A league last season scoring 9-7-16 (0.76 pts-game). Linus Omark led the league in scoring, 22-39-61 in 49 games. My guess is he pushes for an NHL job but is sent to Bakersfield, and he could get a recall during the year. I believe his competition will be Tyler Benson and Devin Shore (fourth-line winger) with his rugged style and speed his big advantage, his play without the puck his weakness. It should be an interesting battle.
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’s the latest!
- New Jonathan Willis: A resurgent Zack Kassian could be an important part of the Oilers’ scoring
- Lowetide: Oilers sign Darnell Nurse to a massive 8-year contract extension
- Lowetide: How many goals will Jesse Puljujarvi score for the Oilers next season?
- Lowetide: 8 unsigned free agents who could help the Oilers
- DNB: Rating the Oilers’ offseason
- Lowetide: What are Oilers’ ideal defence pairings for 2021-22?
- Lowetide: The future may come early for three Oilers prospect defencemen
- DNB: What I’m hearing about the Oilers offseason, 4.0
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers 2021-22 depth chart
- Lowetide: Warren Foegele acquisition possible key to improving the Oilers third line
- DNB: Ethan Bear on being traded, his time with the Oilers
- DNB: Ethan Bear out, Cody Ceci in, Tyson Barrie stays
- DNB: ‘Ultimate competitor’ Zach Hyman signs with Oilers
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects, summer 2021
- DNB: Oilers draft day notebook
- DNB: Oilers come under the microscope after passing on Jesper Wallstedt
- Jonathan Willis: Zach Hyman, by the numbers
- Lowetide: 5 players outside the NHL who could help the Oilers
- Lowetide: Why Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard is poised to exceed expectations
50-MAN LIST (42)
This sets up a fantastic battle for the final five spots at forward, hopefully the Oilers add more to the group. Here’s how I see the battle royale going during training camp. The top 9 forwards as above, and then:
- Josh Archibald will return as a utility forward, he fills the same role Jimmy Roberts filled for those old Habs teams in the 1970’s (except he doesn’t play defense). He could land on any line, will PK like a demon, and be out there late in games when the team is up by one goal. I could see him getting another contract during the year or shortly after the season.
- Ryan McLeod played 10 games at the end of the year and looked fast and good, but he needs to post some offense. Edmonton doesn’t have 10 miles of centers so odds favour him making the grade. His speed is such a weapon on what has been a slow boat fourth line.
- Devin Shore has penalty killing on his side but his five on five results were so poor he’s vulnerable. Shore can play center and that increases his value to the coach, and I expect he’ll begin the season in Edmonton.
- Tyler Benson is out of options and can help the fourth line with his passing and offensive creativity. He isn’t guaranteed a job, but will get a look in training camp and Edmonton hasn’t played him enough in the NHL to know what he is going to be as a mature player. I expect he’ll make the club.
- Kyle Turris is in a tough spot and fighting for his NHL career right now, all kinds of reports that he’s stayed in Edmonton this summer to train. If training was the issue, that’s great, but in my opinion the problem is he’s far better on the wing and the Oilers didn’t have enough skill to give him a strong set of linemates. We’ll see.
- Cooper Marody was qualified, that must mean the organization has plans for him. Marody is the most offensively talented forward coming in from Bakersfield and could help populate a talented fourth line who are familiar with each other (Benson-McLeod-Marody). He is on the wrong side of the bubble but has real talent and could surprise.
- Brendan Perlini is the new man, and has good speed and size on his resume. I think he starts in the minors.
- Dylan Holloway is likely headed to Bakersfield, but could be back soon. Like Shore, he can play wing or center, and like Perlini his size/speed combination will be compelling.
POSSIBLE 2021-22 OILERS ROSTER
Edmonton can get Klefbom on the roster by waiving Zack Kassian OR Mikko Koskinen. Management could also do it by sending Evan Bouchard plus Ryan McLeod to the minors (a paper transaction). That would mean signing Kailer Yamamoto after the season starts, though. Chances are the club simply puts Klefbom on LTIR.