Based on age and skill, there will be significant turnover on the blue for the Edmonton Oilers in the next 24 months. Based on the sheer number of defensemen drafted and procured since 2010 summer, there’s a trainload of defensemen coming soon. How soon will these kids arrive?
A quick look at the Oilers defensemen under contract tells us there is much room for movement over the next two summers. Here’s a list of NHL defensemen signed for the next two seasons:
- Tom Gilbert $4M caphit UFA 2014 summer
- Ryan Whitney $4M caphit UFA 2013 summer
- Ladislav Smid $2.25M caphit UFA 2013 summer
- Corey Potter $775,000 caphit UFA 2014 summer
You can look at that list two ways: one, there’s not a lot of depth and they sure aren’t signed long term so there’s not a lot of security for the Edmonton Oilers hockey club at this posiiton. On the other hand, there’s miles of freedom and a chance to make a trade or free agent signing in the 4’s if the value is there for the team.
Aside from those four signed NHL players, the club has several restricted free agents who will either be signed, set free or dealt over the summer:
- Cam Barker
- Theo Peckham
- Jeff Petry
- Taylor Chorney
- Alex Plante
It’s dangerous for a layman such as myself to guess what an organization is thinking, but at this point I’d suggest Jeff Petry is a lock for a new contract. Cam Barker and Theo Peckham are players the Oilers will probably have an interest in bringing back (depending on price) and Chorney plus Plante are clearly lagging and in danger of being set free or offered two-way contracts. Those two will have waiver issues next fall and could be plucked by another team.
The Oilers also have a group of young defensemen at the AHL level. They’re players who are learning on the job but have shown enough to be considered legit pro prospects.
- Colten Teubert
- Taylor Fedun (injured all year)
- Kirill Tulupov (AHL contract)
- Ryan Lowery (AHL contract)
I’ve taken the liberty of including two AHL contracts that have worked out well. You never know, but from reports both have impressed and I think the Oilers may have those two earmarked for their 50-man list when the dust clears from expiring contracts.
THE SOON TO BE NEW PRO’S
Edmonton has a plethora of young defensemen who are about to emerge as pro players beginning as early as fall 2012. Signing these young men and then seeing where they stack up against each other will be an enormous part of the summer development, rookie and training camps. Edmonton has a lot of people coming who play defense.
- Martin Marincin (already signed)
- Kyle Bigos (older prospect from NCAA)
- Jeremie Blain
- Brandon Davidson
- Oscar Klefbom
- David Musil
I don’t think the Oilers will sign Dillon Simpson and it is unlikely that Martin Gernat turns pro. From this list, I’d say that Marincin is a lock for the AHL, Bigos is a probable signing and that Blain and Davidson will also turn pro.
My hunch is that they send Klefbom back and that Musil pushes for an NHL job but falls shy and they send him to the WHL for another season.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Oscar Klefbom is the jewel in the crown and he may turn pro in 2013 fall. Meaning the amateur players to watch are Martin Marincin, David Musil and a couple of long shots. Bottom line: The Oilers will be looking to add over the summer, and with four signed veterans and three rfa’s considered NHLers (Barker, Peckham, Petry) there’s likely someone headed out as someone is coming in this summer.
And I’ll bet a 2-4 that the Oilers choose a defenseman with their first pick in this year’s draft.