Robbed of the opportunity to see Dylan Holloway and Dmitri Samorukov, Oilers fans had to be content with watching the skills of Philip Broberg, Xavier Bourgault, Raphael Lavoie and Ilya Konovalov at the rookie show late summer 2021.
I would add Phil Kemp (sound defender, wins battles, gorgeous outlet to Devin Brosseau early) and Tyler Tullio, who was involved in many events around the puck, as players worth watching.
The talent on display this week shouldn’t be tossed aside like yesterday’s papers. There is no Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl, but there is talent across all positions and a genuine future for six or more young players in the system and currently outside the NHL. The Oilers have a pipeline. For these young men, something is available to them to help with the long climb: Jay Woodcroft to coach them up in Bakersfield.
- New Lowetide: Examining Ken Holland’s Oilers plan and how it could impact the future
- Lowetide: Filip Berglund, sleeper option for Edmonton’s defense
- 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?
We’re going to spend the next few weeks arguing about four or five roster spots, and before we do, let’s acknowledge the heart of the order.
Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Darnell Nurse, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jesse Puljujarvi, Zach Hyman, Kailer Yamamoto, Tyson Barrie, Cody Ceci.
That’s your batting order, and hopefully the goaltending, second pair and third line deliver enough good performances for this team to push for the top of the division.
A year ago, opening night, the heart of the order had a different look. McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse, Nugent-Hopkins, Zack Kassian, Adam Larsson, Kailer Yamamoto, Barrie and Ethan Bear.
The ratio last season was five forwards, four defensemen and zero goalies. This year, it looks like six forwards and three defensemen.
One player I believe will have an impact is Foegele from the Carolina Hurricanes. Based on reading countless online articles about his play, and the comments from his coach, I would say the fast winger held high value with the Hurricanes.
My opinion on the deal is stated here, so I will refer you there if this becomes an issue during the course of the day. If Foegele can help the third line outscore opponents, even if the goal total is meager, the impact of a third unit not bleeding out will be substantial.
I like the bet, but will tell you I also liked the Milan Lucic bet and that one turned quickly. Hyman is a player with great utility and a man who can flourish on more than one line.
Do you remember when Benoit Pouliot played with Connor McDavid back in 2015-16? In 304 minutes with 97 that season, BP was on the ice for an even-strength goal differential of 22-18 (55 percent) and scored 4-12-16, including nine first assists and a pts-60 at even strength (3.16) that always made me wonder why Milan Lucic was the offseason target the following summer.
Edmonton had Taylor Hall, Leon Draisaitl coming and Benoit Pouliot. The answer, of course, is that the injury of McDavid set a course that landed Lucic, Patrick Maroon and eventually Zack Kassian to the No. 1 line.
Hyman has a ruggedness to him, and McDavid is a veteran now, I think this is a nice mix of brains and brawn.
There is now an added security element to the blog and it worked so well yesterday no one could comment! You can comment this morning, simply go to the bottom of the comments page and post. It isn’t fancy but will do for the time being. They are working on the issue and of course my sincere apologies. Hopefully we’ll get it working today.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
This will be a busy day, the Oilers likely to announce the training camp roster, and if not there will be leaks about who is on the list. We’ll have plenty of Oilers talk with Tom Gazzola from TSN1260 at 10:20 and will talk Jays in hour two. I expect this is going to be a busy hockey day. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Tune in!