Laurent Brossoit and Leon Draisaitl were teammates for about five minutes in 2015-16 with the Bakersfield Condors. Draisaitl was recalled after six games, Brossoit played 31 in Bakersfield and five in Edmonton that season. Brossoit continued to gather air miles through 2017-18. He would eventually find steady NHL work with the Winnipeg Jets, and will see the Oilers more in 2021-22 as a backup for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Five years from now, we’ll know the story on Ryan McLeod, Tyler Benson, William Lagesson and Stuart Skinner. Today, this morning, decisions are being made on their futures that could have massive impact on these young men. Will someone hit waivers today? One of these young men is going to get optioned to Bakersfield, and two of them (Benson, Lagesson) are staring at waivers, high noon local time.
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- Jonathan Willis: How the 2021-22 Oilers mirror their coach’s best teams from the past
- DNB: Maxing out LTIR
- Lowetide: What might Oilers do if Kailer Yamamoto’s goal scoring slump continues?
- DNB: Oilers’ Mikko Koskinen much happier with family by his side again
- Lowetide: Is this Jay Woodcroft’s final year coaching the Bakersfield Condors?
- Lowetide: How could waivers impact Oilers’ roster decisions?
- New DNB: Duncan Keith’s decline, by the numbers and video
- Lowetide: 9 bold predictions for the 2021-22 Edmonton Oilers
- Lowetide: Connor McDavid, Zach Hyman and line chemistry
- New DNB: Oilers training camp invitees tell us what it’s like to face McDavid in practice
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- Lowetide: Why Colton Sceviour could be an important addition for the Oilers
- DNB: Derek Ryan Q&A
- Jonathan Willis: How can the Oilers find a long-term solution in net?
- Jonathan Willis: Darnell Nurse, in context
- DNB: Warren Foegele Q&A
- Lowetide: Oilers reasonable expectations for 2021-22: Goal differential
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2021-22: Goal scoring
Mikko Koskinen was rock solid with his start, 11 saves in 20 minutes and six were HDSC. That’s not unexpected, to see a large number of difficult shots, as Vancouver’s roster was superior. Well done by Koskinen and he’s ready to play next week. One hopes he gets a regular rotation opportunity this season.
Stuart Skinner looked good throughout, he gave up two late but the Canucks were desperate and some of the Oilers were wilting. Stopped 14 of 16, .875 and one of two HDSC’s. He is going to get sent down, but has done enough to warrant first recall position.
Duncan Keith-Cody Ceci played 13:57, going 3-8 shots and no goal. Keith had one shot, two giveaways and four shot blocks (all of these numbers are five on five via NST), that’s a Kris Russell evening. Keith was 1-3 away from his regular partner. Ceci had one shot and two shot blocks, had one reasonable look. This pairing was the main PK duo, going 1-1 shots and 1-0 goals (that’s stellar). Duo had minimal PP time. They are going to make the team, the shot differential at five on five during presesaon was 46.5 percent, the goals 2-1. I thought the pairing was solid on a night when the Oilers were outmanned and needed veteran acumen. Here’s the key, though: Small sample sizes are dangerous things. Beware of those who get ahead of themselves in describing this pairing. I think Corsi and shot differential are going to take a powder, but this duo might make like Kris Russell and run around even in goal differential. Early days. Keith spent 5:07, Ceci 4:12 against the Pettersson line.
Slater Koekkoek-Evan Bouchard played 12:10, going 5-5 shots and no goals. Koekkoek had two shots on goal, performed well in 2:28 PK, plus took a penalty. Bouchard scored a fabulous PP goal, four shots and six minutes in penalties. He also spent 1:01 on the PK. Bouchard looked composed and effective, and the last penalty call was a poor decision by the referee. I prefer Koekkoek to Russell as Bouchard’s partner, we’ll find out this week what the coach thinks. Koekkoek played 3:04, Bouchard 3:01 versus Pettersson line.
William Lagesson-Kris Russell played 10:33, going 3-3 shots and 1-1 goals. Lagesson had one shot and drew a penalty, he got zero special team minutes. I was surprised, because the idea of last night was to audition players. All five blue got PK time of more than one minute, Lagesson none. That’s a tell, in my opinion. Russell had an assist, shot, penalty, two hits, three blocked shots. Lagesson played 4:37, Russell played 5:43 against the Pettersson line. The duo went 1-0 goals against the Pettersson trio because of course they did. Edmonton has six defensemen, the coaching staff of Vancouver got their best forward out against Russell for almost six minutes, and Van loses the goal share 1-0. Luck is a very powerful thing.
Zach Hyman-Nuge-Kailer Yamamoto played 9:19, 1-5 shots and no goals. Hyman had a HDSC, worked hard all night and never gave up on a play. Two clean PK minutes. TML observers told us Hyman could play anywhere and flourish, turns out they’re correct. Nuge had a power-play assist, was effective around the puck and found a forechecking groove with this unit. Yamamoto scored a SH goal, it was a beauty. All three men were over two minutes on the PK, Nuge was the only PP regular. If there was one thing I wanted to see last night, it was a Yamamoto goal. The fact it was a great one only added to the fun.
Warren Foegele-Derek Ryan-Jesse Puljujarvi played 8:01, going 3-4 shots and no goals. Foegele had two shots and two HDSC (one at five on five and one at five on four) and battled hard. He had some good looks, we know from the Carolina scouting report it takes a few more chances per goal with this player, I think we’re seeing that now. Ryan had an assist on the Yamamoto goal, smart player doing good things. He’s like Letestu a little, a real Swiss army knife of abilties. I bet he could help the power play. Puljujarvi was aggressive, skated, forechecked, turned over puck, joined the rush. He didn’t have another top level player on his line and because of it his natural talent wasn’t able to shine. Give him a skill center. Always.
Brendan Perlini-Devin Shore-Kyle Turris played 7:06, going 4-3 shots and no goals. Perlini scored at five on five, the only Oilers goal of the type on the night. Turris had a shot and two takeaways. Shore got pucks deep, and had one good look. Turris got some PP time, Shore was on the PK for one minute. I believe all three of these men will play in Edmonton in the week to come.
Tyler Benson-Ryan McLeod-Colton Sceviour played 5:46, 2-6 shots and 0-1 goals. Benson had a difficult sequence that led to the first Vancouver goal, that’s the kind of thing a player trying to make the club doesn’t want to do. McLeod was quiet again offensively but showed real life late and maybe that’s enough. Sceviour set up the Perlini goal with a stunning pass, and played the consistent game coaches have been add to he roster forever. He also spent time on the PK.
Power Play regulars: Nuge, Puljujarvi, Turris, Foegele; PK regulars: Ryan, Yamamoto, Nuge, Hyman, Shore, Sceviour. Those names have a better chance to make it than the group who isn’t listed.
There are several attractive targets available today, I would make a claim for sure. Here are the players worth choosing, in order of preference:
- LC Logan Brown, St. Louis Blues. He’s 6.06, 23, plays center. He has 79 points in 91 AHL games, that’s 35 points NHLE. If he doesn’t work out, you’re still the third (really, second) team to have a long look at a unicorn. Did I mention he’s a 6.06 center? 1-8-9 in 30 NHL games, his career five on five pts-60 is 1.36 in the world’s best league. Someone will take him before Edmonton has a chance, but my goodness this is a gigantic opportunity here.
- LW Richard Panik, NY Islanders. He is $2.75 on the cap, two years remaining. His possession stats are solid compared to teammates and has been for some time. His offensive output fell off last year and he is 30, but I like him as a waiver pickup. Oilers won’t take him but someone should consider it.
- RC Dylan Gambrell, San Jose Sharks. His underlying numbers are not fab, but he’s a right center with two-way skill with110 NHL games in the role. Sometimes losing teams employ players who thrive on better ones. I would take a chance with Gambrell.
I would expect waivers today on one of the Oilers draft picks, one of Lagesson or Benson. The rights-holding media have been saying Benson won’t be waived for fear of losing him, and Lagesson didn’t get a sniff of the PK on a night when auditioning was kind of the point. Prepare yourself for anything. My guess is we see a Colton Sceviour signing today.