Nikita Nikitin, the Oilers’ D and Mr. Right

Jonathan Willis
October 04 2014 08:00AM

The Oilers have made some real progress in improving the back end of their roster. The addition of Mark Fayne from New Jersey checked off a lot of boxes, adding a guy with size and solid underlying numbers who is capable of playing tough minutes and should be for years to come. Nikita Nikitin probably isn’t as good of a player, but like Fayne he’s a big veteran with a history of at least competence at the NHL level.

But it’s still a weak group, as Nikitin’s injury last night demonstrates.

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Where does Yak fit?

Jason Strudwick
October 03 2014 03:42PM

Nail Yakupov is the wild card the Oilers have up their sleeve. The problem is they don’t really know what kind of a wild card he is. He could be a strong offensive force and be a legit NHL scoring weapon. He could also be a streaky player with defensive lapses like we saw last season. 

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October 03 2014 01:42PM

pitlick lander ferguson

NHL teams are always a little worried at this time of year, as they are forced to make decisions on prospects who are now waiver eligible. There are players who come available at this time of year who have value, and miles of track left on their careers. For the Oilers, two players may be vulnerable this season and the next few days will offer some challenges for management.

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Robin Brownlee
October 03 2014 10:43AM


When a team uses the first overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft to take a player, it goes without saying that it’s in the best interests of that team to do everything reasonably possible to ensure the player develops, succeeds and thrives.

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Nikitin injury opens up roster spot

Jason Gregor
October 03 2014 07:32AM


Nikita Nikitin injured his ankle last night and he will be out a few weeks according to Dallas Eakins. His injury opens up a roster spot for either Oscar Klefbom or Darnell Nurse.

Mark Fayne and Andrew Ference, Justin Schultz, Jeff Petry and Martin Marincin have spots locked up, while Keith Aulie is likely the #7 D-man, but with Nikitin going down Eakins and his staff will need to decide if they keep Klefbom or Nurse.

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