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Will the favourite, a darkish horse or a wild card fill the Edmonton Oilers open 12F slot: 9 Issues

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The Edmonton Oilers captain skates have begun. Coaching camp is actually proper across the nook.

And as a lot because the Oilers roster is more-or-less set, there stays some vital choices for the teaching employees between now and when the significant video games start.

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What battles might be fought for which positions, and who will win?

That’s our predominant focus on this mid-September version of…

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9 Issues

9. First to 50 targets. Will it’s Leon Draisaitl or Connor McDavid? Can each do it once more? Can Draisaitl be the following Oilers to hit 60? PREDICTION: Draisaitl first to 50. However in a yr the place extra focus might be on 2-way play, I forecast that neither hits 60.

8. First D call-up. Candidates embody Cam Dineen, Ben Gleason, Philip Kemp, and Markus Niemelainen. I anticipate all 4 to start out in Bakersfield. PREDICTION: Relies upon. If a spot on RHD opens, I choose Kemp. But when it’s the LHS, I’ll exit on a limb and say Gleason, the extra predictable veteran.

7. First F call-up. Candidates will embody Drake Caggiula, Brad Malone, Xavier Bourgault. There are different names that might even be within the working, however they’ve spots elsewhere on this article within the midst of different battles. PREDICTION: Brad Malone. Previous dependable, he has belief with the teaching employees.

6. PP2. If the Oilers are having a extremely good yr proper out of the gate one of many larger causes might be that the person benefit turns into double-barreled. Can the twond Unit be productive to the purpose the place they get 45 second per PP? In that case, it places your greatest gamers on the ice extra typically 5v5. PREDICTION: No. The items are there, however PP1 is simply too deadly to take off the ice.

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5. Energy Play web entrance. Zach Hyman, Evander Kane. PREDICTION: It’s Zach Hyman’s job to “lose”. I simply see him because the extra prototypical web entrance man, Kane extra of a Energy ahead. However in my subsequent breath, I’ll argue that the Oilers Energy Play is more practical when Glen Gulutzan makes use of them interchangeably. The 2 totally different seems to be may help upset the opposition defence.

4. 3rd Line Wingers. Candidates are Dylan Holloway and Mattias Janmark on the LHS, after which Warren Foegele, Derek Ryan, and Raphael Lavoie over on the RHS. PREDICTION: I believe they’re Holloway and Foegele’s jobs to lose. On the Left Wing, I believe Holloway must change into almost as defensively dependable as Janmark to win the job on offence. On the suitable facet, I believe Foegele will get numerous runway, however Ryan is so good and had a super-productive 2022-23. Lavoie the darkish horse.

3. G1. Based mostly on the final twelve months of labor it could be logical to pin Stuart Skinner with the “favourite” tag. Jack Campbell might be on the lookout for a major bounce-back season. And I hear Jack has are available lighter than final season. The one different starter choice can be an out of doors one. If one or each of those guys can’t seize the ring, Ken Holland can solely afford to be so affected person with them in a yr that’s absolutely the Stanley Cup or bust. PREDICTION: Stuart Skinner continues his ascendancy and turns into the #1 in a 60/40split. However I additionally anticipate Campbell to even out his sport.

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2. 6D. Philip Broberg and Vincent Desharnais. Partially is as a result of my opinion of veteran Brett Kulak is so excessive. He is a superb NHL 5-6D and I’m comfy if he has to fit greater for some time in case of harm. So, if Borberg goes to play commonly he might want to beat out Desharnais on the RHS. PREDICTION: Broberg will play tons early, however Darkish Horse: An outdoor choice, acquired on the deadline. If the youngsters usually are not all proper, then the Normal Supervisor must be proactive. Each of those gamers actually have their attributes, however neither fills me with confidence come the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But. Show me mistaken.

1.12F. Is there any query that that is shaping as much as be the #1 battle in camp? I see Raphael Lavoie, Sam Gagner, Brandon Sutter, Lane Pederson, and James Hamblin as the principle candidates. The three names beforehand talked about in Level #7 are exterior pictures. Right here is the way it breaks down on my spreadsheet/ First…

-James Hamblin. I offered him quick a yr in the past so I cannot this Fall. I love his pluck. However with the competitors lined up for this slot, he might be in robust.

-Brandon Sutter. Quite a lot of good gamers have one hell of a time staying within the NHL at 34. Sutter is making an attempt to return again into the league after two years away from professional hockey, not to mention from a debilitating illness. If he can, his names jumps up a pair rungs on this record.

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-Raphael Lavoie. As I’ve said lately, I don’t assume Lavoie is an ideal match in any respect for the 4th line in any respect. Lavoie’s defence is undeveloped and he isn’t a Heart. Then, consider the truth that his contract is about $100,000 greater than Edmonton can afford proper now.

-Lane Pederson. He positive ticks numerous helpful bins. A paltry $775k cap hit. A great Saskatoon child stable on his ft, a proper shot, a pure middle, a profession 49% within the faceoff circle. A stable professional. However on the finish of the day, and with all due respect to Pederson, he’s a “tweener”. Most likely too good for Bakersfield. However he has performed elements of 8 seasons within the AHL for a purpose.

-Sam Gagner. The perfect participant of the 5 candidates listed right here. 1,015 NHL video games. 519 profession factors. Gagner performs the sport the suitable method. Has turned himself right into a accountable de3fensive participant and respectable PK man. A number of expertise at Heart and strong-side faceoff man, though primarily a winger now. Nice within the room. I don’t assume he would have been provided a PRO if Ken Holland didn’t assume he might make the squad. Nonetheless has to beat double hip surgical procedure.

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PREDICTION: I give Sam Gagner the within observe. However a common supervisor within the hunt for a Stanley Cup must be relentless. I anticipate Ken Holland to be watching the waiver wire like a hawk in case a distinct participant kind, one the Oilers don’t presently have, comes out there.  Assume Brett Murray, a man I’ve talked about earlier than.

Murray is an enormous (6’5, 228lb), robust Ontario child within the Buffalo system. Scored 23 on the AHL degree final yr. A accountable 2-way participant. Makes simply $775K and would want to clear waivers to return to Rochester. Oh yeah…and Jeff Jackson used to signify him.

Once more, I give Sam the sting. And I’m cheering for him. I believe he can and must be an Oilers in some kind for a very long time. However it is going to be a battle.

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

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