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The race for 2 remaining Edmonton Oilers roster spots seems neck and neck: 9 Issues

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The Edmonton Oilers have 3 pre-season video games left.

However it’s tough to say if they’re any nearer to deciding on the scant few positions nonetheless left open on the large membership’s roster.

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We are going to zero in on these races in one other coaching camp version of…

9 Issues

9. Except one thing final minute comes up, count on each Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl within the lineup subsequent recreation versus Seattle.

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8. It was only one exhibition recreation. However the Jack Campbell I noticed have a tendency purpose earlier this week appeared just like the man I believed the staff had signed the earlier summer time. A protracted method to go earlier than I’m ready to pronounce him ‘again’, however it was extraordinarily encouraging.

7. The Edmonton Oilers beat a gradual path to the penalty field once more Saturday night time. Dangerous penalties plagued this membership final season, and they aren’t off to a greater begin up to now this 12 months. It’s simply pre-season so I cannot panic but. However it’s abundantly clear that higher self-discipline is required.

6. If I’m the Oilers, I’m pondering how precious it will be to have a 100% wholesome Mattias Ekholm within the lineup for all 82 common season video games. Consequently, with Ekholm being a seasoned veteran, why even take the distant likelihood with him in a meaningless exhibition recreation? I certain wouldn’t.

5. Then again, a youthful participant equivalent to Ryan McLeod may most likely use a couple of reps earlier than the season begins. McLeod has been making good progress in his rehabilitation from what was described as a “tender tissue” lower-body harm. I totally count on him to play one and even two of the remaining pre-season video games.

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4. It will likely be one other two months earlier than we all know how all of the modifications in Edmonton Sports activities Radio shake down, scores smart. The brand new Sports activities station on the town really just isn’t rated in any respect. Apple podcast charts are one other method to view the publicity and attain of the product. The Oilers Now podcast with Bob Stauffer was #16 amongst Canada’s most-listened to Sports activities podcasts as of Saturday. The Jason Gregor Present was #54. New Heights, the NFL-focused podcast hosted by the Kelce brothers, was #1.

3. Sam Gagner is travelling with the membership on this fast, staff constructing west coast street swing. I’m advised Gagner has appeared good in practices however that docs nonetheless really feel he ought to keep out of video games till the one hip specifically is prepared for full exercise. I count on the group plans to maintain Sam, most likely on an ATO, just like how Jason Demers stayed on as an Oiler final 12 months. That will give Gagner the reps he wants at AHL Bakersfield to completely get better from double-hip surgical procedure and be prepared if and when his alternative again within the NHL arises. In the meantime, what a wonderful function mannequin he could be for the younger Condors.

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2. The battle for the 6 and 7D spots has been fascinating to look at. Philip Broberg has had some good moments however has hardly knocked it out of the park, both. Nor do I believe that Vincent Desharnais has been at his greatest. And to his credit score, Head Coach Jay Woodcroft has performed every man loads, so we have now had a very good take a look at each. The person who has outplayed them each to my eyes is Markus Niemelainen. Huge #80 is shifting the puck higher however specifically has stored his gaps tighter and appears to shut on attackers quicker than I’ve seen him do up to now. And I really like his physicality. However the competitors will solely get quicker. Broberg would appear greatest geared up to adapt to that. However the proof shall be within the pudding. In the meantime…Niemelainen is giving them one thing to consider. That in itself is an efficient factor.

1.The 12F place remains to be up for grabs. Of all of the younger and rising Edmonton Oilers in camp Dylan Holloway has been by far the very best up to now. However I believe he’ll in the end find yourself within the High 9. For the second consecutive coaching camp Mattias Janmark has been “simply o.ok.” however given how robust he was final season there is no such thing as a hazard of him not making the membership. And Derek Ryan nonetheless seems to be very like the participant he was final 12 months and might do a variety of various things. He’s very versatile. Some have mused that Ryan may very well be the odd man out, however I don’t see it that manner in any respect. So, that leaves only one spot. And with Sam Gagner possible destined to an prolonged rehab in Bakersfield, the 12F battle comes all the way down to a handful of gamers. Right here once more, I’m a giant fan of how a lot ice a number of the key rivals have seen. That is the way it appears to be taking part in out:

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Brandon Sutter “thinks an excellent recreation”. Sutter is aware of the place he must be and when. Like Ryan, Sutter does a variety of necessary little issues. And his conditioning appears to be o.ok. It’s his footspeed that also worries me. At instances, in locations, he seems to be sluggish. And the sport shall be shifting a lot quicker two weeks from now than it’s now. Will Sutter have the ability to elevate? They most likely want to present him two of the final three pre-season video games. I believe he most likely has an edge at this second however not more than.

Lane Pederson strikes a lot quicker than Brandon Sutter. It isn’t even shut. I like his skating heaps. However regardless of the appreciable TOI he’s getting (together with vital PP time), Pederson just isn’t in the end conducting a complete lot extra. I wrote a pair weeks again that I concern what Pederson is…is a “tweener”: Too good for the AHL, however not fairly adequate for a daily NHL gig. My opinion has but to alter in these pre-season viewings. Is it a case of “he’s good…however adequate”?

-Then there may be Raphael Lavoie. The purpose he sniped on Saturday was pretty. And he appeared to select it up a bit bodily thereafter. Nonetheless previous to that, Lavoie was not particularly noticeable. And he must be. In any case, Lavoie just isn’t more likely to see any PP or PK time. He won’t be taking any faceoffs. He’ll most likely be the costliest of the three choices. After which there may be the nagging waivers query. Would the group commerce Lavoie versus risking dropping him for nothing? I’m wondering…

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At this second in time, I say this race is simply too near name. It is usually attainable that not one of the three names above make the grade out of camp. Maybe Derek Ryan begins at 4C, and PTO Adam Erne (who scored Saturday, and his motor all the time appears to be operating) slots in because the 12F as a substitute. Though, I imagine it’s extra possible Erne will get supplied a two-way deal and begins within the AHL. Can James Hamblin maybe nostril his manner in? I’ve under-estimated him earlier than.

At this level, I don’t assume the Oilers coach employees or G.M. have made up their minds but on any of those guys.

However the clock will quickly run out.

Now on Threads @kleavins. Additionally, discover me on Twitter @KurtLeavins, Instagram at LeavinsOnHockey, and Mastodon at [email protected]

Not too long ago, at The Cult…

STAPLES: Crucial roster battles proceed regardless of Oilers loss to Canucks

McCURDY: Waivers, demotions in Edmonton Oilers camp

LEAVINS: Out-manned Oilers fall to Winnipeg Jets

McCURDY: Holloway shines in Oilers Calgary win

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