The long hockey season is already underway in parts of the world, Maxim Berezkin has played in six KHL games while averaging about 4:17 a night and not scoring. Maxim Denezhkin has played four VHL games and has an assist. Matej Blumel, who some believe is waiting to sign an Oilers contract in the future, has played four games in the Czech league, 0-1-1.
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise early this season is Patrik Siikanen, who has played four games in the Liiga (Finland) and has two goals. Those two goals equal his entire output in the same league one year ago.
Tonight, Oilers rookies play the Flames rookies, both teams lacking a lightning rod prospect but there are men who will play tonight and in the NHL down the line. Let’s have a look.
- New DNB: Cooper Marody Q&A
- Lowetide: Oilers preseason stories of the past, from Tony Hand to Leon Draisaitl
- Lowetide: The Oilers and the Cooper Marody experiment are at a crossroads
- DNB: Oilers voice their frustration over top prospect Dylan Holloway’s injury setback
- Lowetide: A set roster? Oilers training camp gone wild? Expect the unexpected
- Lowetide: Xavier Bourgault and his ETA with the Edmonton Oilers
- DNB: Warren Foegele Q&A
- Lowetide: Dylan Holloway’s season and why patience is vital for Oilers’ prospect
- Lowetide: Oilers reasonable expectations for 2021-22: Goal differential
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2021-22: Goal scoring
- New DNB: Mailbag.
- Lowetide: What should the Oilers expect from Cody Ceci in his first season?
- Lowetide: Projecting the 2021-22 Edmonton Oilers opening night lineup
- Lowetide: What should Oilers expect from Duncan Keith in his first season?
- Jonathan Willis: Tyler Benson, Devin Shore and the 4-year difference between a prospect and a has-been
- Lowetide: What should Oilers fans expect from Zach Hyman in his first season?
- Lowetide: How much playing time will Evan Bouchard get with the Oilers this coming season?
- Jonathan Willis: A resurgent Zack Kassian could be an important part of the Oilers’ scoring
- Lowetide: How many goals will Jesse Puljujarvi score for the Oilers next season?
POSSIBLE LINEUP TONIGHT
Line 1: Raphael Lavoie-James Hamblin-Xavier Bourgault: This line has a volume shooter (Lavoie), an accurate sniper with passing ability (Bourgault) and a smart center who has skill and is a perfect veteran mentor for these talented wingers.
Line 2: Matvei Petrov-Henrik Rybinski-Tyler Tullio: The second line features another volume shooter (Petrov), an agitating winger with skill (Tullio) and determination, and a righty center with size who is one of the best playmakers among the forwards.
Line 3: Ostap Safin-Devin Brosseau-Dino Kambeitz: Safin is a PF with an edge when he’s on, I’d love to see him play the way he has teased during his career. Brosseau is a fine playmaker with experience and Kambeitz brings some bite to the lineup. He does have some scoring ability and is signed to an AHL deal.
Line 4: Brady Burns-Drew Englot-Tim Soderlund: This is a makeshift line and I have a feeling some of these men will move up depending on the score. Burns is a small and very skilled forward from the QMJHL who is one of Edmonton’s best forwards based on math. Englot is 6.03, 190, a righty and a November 2002, hard working center with a no nonsense attitude. If MacT were coaching tonight he’d be on the 1PP. Soderlund is part of a trade with Chicago and as Swedish Poster has been telling us, he has speed and tools but the results have not followed.
Pairing One: Markus Niemelainen-Mike Kesselring: Two men coach Jay Woodcroft knows and has coached some, I was impressed with both during their time with the Bakersfield Condors. Watch for Niemelainen’s good mobility and size, and for Kesselring’s creativity with the puck.
Pairing Two: Philip Broberg-Filip Berglund: A natural pairing as they played together for Skelleftra in the SHL. Broberg is a fast train on ice and his coverage is good. He sometimes makes the wrong decision, but that’s what youth is all about. Berglund is an older prospect and should stand out in this group despite being new to North American rinks and hockey. I’m looking forward to seeing him this fall and believe he is being overlooked by most fans (understandably).
Pairing Three: Dmitri Samorukov-Phil Kemp: The early star of rookie camp is Samorukov, who is bigger, stronger and faster since he last attended a camp. As I’ve mentioned through the summer, he is a player with a chance to play in the NHL this season. I projected him to get into some games in my RE series. Kemp is the type of defender you have to actively watch in order to appreciate, he has shutdown potential.
Goalies: Olivier Rodrigue, Ilya Konovalov: The rookie games are often split (30 minutes each) between goalies, and perhaps we see it tonight. I believe both goalies have NHL potential, Rodrigue’s road probably a little longer but things can change in a hurry. Konovalov, for me, is a goalie close to being NHL-ready and may be there now. Will the Oilers trust him? We’ll see.
FALL 2014 ROSTER V GOLDEN BEARS AND POST GAME COMMENTS
Mitch Moroz – Leon Draisaitl – Mitch Holmberg
Vladdy Tkachev – Bogdan Yakimov – Greg Chase
Travis Ewanyk – Jujhar Khaira – Kale Kessy
Connor Jones – Kellen Jones – Kyle Platzer
Jordan Oesterle – Dillon Simpson
Darnell Nurse – C.J. Ludwig
David Musil – Martin Gernat
- Mitch Moroz gets another push, as does Mitch Holmberg. Draisaitl looked very good in G2-Penticton, hopefully we’ll see more of those ridiculous passes. 100% chance he makes the Oilers.
- That second line is gold. Big Russian center blocks out the sun, the RW has skill and yaps more than Tikkanen, and the LW is the hockey personification of ‘it came out of the sky‘.
- Khaira hasn’t been given one damn break on linemates at EVs this camp, and that continues tonight.
- That 4line should be able to play the Golden Bears at par tonight, lots of experience there and some penalty-killing acumen.
- Oesterle-Simpson have some chem, I’m beginning to think we’ll see them early in the year down in Oklahoma territory.
- Nurse gets Ludwig and that’s freewheelin’ Bob Dylan—we may see a minus or two with this duo.
- Musil—Gernat should be able to dictate a few things out there tonight, this should be Martin at his best.
- Brossoit-Rimmer would be my choice for ‘two goalies I’d like to see again’ from the Penticton camp.