Oilers release training camp roster; looking for enforcer


The Oilers main camp starts today, and the team released its roster via Twitter this morning. There aren’t any major shocks, but there are a few names Oilers fans might not recognize.

Changes Coming?

The list the Oilers put out today is likely missing an ingredient if Bob McKenzie can be believed (and can’t he always be believed?). The list above doesn’t include an obvious candidate for the heavyweight role outside of maybe Ty Bilcke; ergo he will likely need to come from outside the organization via signing, trade or waivers (which is how the Oilers landed Steve MacIntyre a few years back). 

Under The Radar

Ty Bilcke. The 19-year-old is a little young for his chosen role at the professional level, but his OHL stats line from last season leaves no doubt as to what it will be. In 46 games with Windsor, the right wing recorded zero goals, one assist and 76 penalty minutes (down significantly from his five-point, 221-penalty minute season the year before). 

Matt Ford. A 28-year-old right wing, Ford signed an AHL deal with Oklahoma City over the summer. He has decent size and has mostly been a secondary scorer in the high minors the last few years.

Austin Fyten. Fyten is a second-year professional who spent last season playing mostly with the Idaho Steelheads in the ECHL, where he came in just under the point-per-game mark. He has decent size, plays a gritty game and can score a bit and might be a candidate for a minor-league job.

Joey Leach. An unsigned Calgary Flames draft pick (73rd overall, 2010), Leach is graduating to the professional ranks after a decent WHL career. He brings size and some scoring ability on the blue line.

Derek Nesbitt. Another minor-league journeyman. Nesbitt turned 31 in April and has signed on to play with the Barons. In the last three seasons he’s posted between 42 and 55 points, and he’ll add some experience and auxiliary scoring to a Barons roster light on serious forward prospects.

Reid Petryk. An undrafted Edmontonian who played with Everett (WHL) last year, Petryk’s offensive numbers in junior have been underwhelming (he topped out at 40 points). By most accounts Petryk’s a defensive forward who plays with a bit of grit; he’s hoping to land a pro contract after playing two games in the AHL last year when his junior career season ended. (As pointed out in our comments section, Petryk still has another year of junior eligibility.)

Ty Rimmer. Another undrafted Edmonton native, Rimmer posted a 0.912 save percentage in 65 games with Lethbridge (WHL) last season, and ran up a 0.922 save percentage with the Tri-City Americans the year before. He looked good in half an hour in the game between the Oilers’ rookies and the University of Alberta Golden Bears, and might round out a minor-league depth chart that includes Richard Bachman, Olivier Roy and Tyler Bunz in net.

C.J. Stretch. The 24-year-old centre worked his way up from the ECHL and on to the Barons last season, and adds a bit of internal competition for players like Ryan Martindale and Travis Ewanyk.

  • Concur

    I think that no heavy weight is required but you do need your players to be willing to stand up for each other. No one should take liberties with your teammates. I was always the smallest when I played hockey and my teammates regularly stood up for me and when the need arose I stood up for them too. That is what makes a team, having each others back. Hockey does not have that same brotherhood that it used to.

    • Spydyr

      Sure Gagner will beat down a 6’4″ 240 lbs fighter.

      The team needs someone to keep the other teams honest with the kids.The powerplay will help some in that regard but nothing beats a punch to the head.

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    This is hockey, not boxing or MMA. A heavyweight is not required.

    Having our goon fight your goon solves nothing, and proves nothing. Stop living in the 1980’s Mackenzie.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      I get the fact that this isn’t the eighties however small, friendly, polite team don’t win Stanley Cups. A decent heavy weight that will stand up for team mates is a must.

    • Oilerz4life

      It’s not about having “our goon fight your goon”, its about protecting your goal scorers. Hall, Nuge, Ebs, Yaks. Can you see any of them standing up for themselves against a team like Boston? Get it right. It keeps the game honest. This is the Canadian game. Its a contact sport.

    • Wax Man Riley

      Obvioulsy you don’t play hockey and beer league where you run around and fall down with skates on doesn’t count either. I shall try and enlighten you. The reason many teams apply the use of an enforcer is to help safeguard the players who otherwise cannot do it alone. You wouldnt want Yak and Hall having to fight all the time would you? It also helps to referee the game so that other teams dont take liberty after liberty with younger or weaker players. Enforcers keep players honest and make them accountable for their actions on the ice. You better believe that a player who thrives on being dirty will think twice before laying an elbow or punching the face of one of our young guys when there is a fighter who will make them answer the bell. Not to mention its great entertainment for the fans and a fight can be used as a huge momentum swing for a team when implemented at the right time. So, in closing, you dont know what you are talking about.

      • pkam

        If I remember correctly, Steve Macintyre was an Oilers in 2010-11. The question is why we only played him 34 games that year and less than 2 minutes a game when we dress him?

        Also, why did Hall have to fight Derek Dorsett and finished his season early with an injury? I thought there should be no one dare to touch our young players, right?

        With the instigating rule, the heavyweight is as effective as a scarecrow, but it takes up one of your 23 roster spot. How do you stop the other team from taking liberty with our young players and refusing to fight our heavyweight?

        • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

          How?…… you pound the p*ss out of their star player (or at least rub him out against the boards) forcing the other teams enforcer to have to step up…..that’s how!

          (And there are other ways…that you and your kind don’t discuss at your fancy dinner parties…and while I may appear grotesque to you and my very presence may repulse you…deep down inside …you want me on that wall…you need me on that wall!!)

        • pkam

          make a good point about a one dimensional oversized goon, but thats not what im referring to. I would like a body that can play the game at a decent level but his main attribute is that he beats the snot out of people. Doesn’t have to be a Macentyre.

          When Hall fought Dorsett he did so out of his own fruition and im sure was told afterwards to never do that again. Plus Dorsett is an agitator not a heavyweight.

          Last I checked, Scarecrows still work at keeping the crows away. Also, simply because the Oilers misused a player like Macintyre doesnt mean they are of no use. Big Steve found himself a home in the NHL…With the Penguins! Safe to say a few of their players are incapable of doing the fighting. If PIT can use a guy like that, how can the Oilers not? Plus he wouldnt need to dress every game, only against those teams which play a game suited to having a guy like that around.

          • pkam

            Your argument that nobody is dare to take liberty at our young stars if we have a tough guy to hold them accountable. The fact is Derek Dorsett was still taking Liberty at our young stars even though McIntyre was an Oilers.

            So what happen if I continue to take liberty at your small players and refuse to fight your tough guy, are you going to sucker punch me and take 7 minute of penalty and risk getting a suspension?

            Scarecrow can only scare the idiots. Do Avery and Clutterbuck ever stop taking liberty of smaller players?

            And by the way, McIntyre only played 24 game in 2011-12 and 1 game 2012-13 with the Penguins. Wonder why? Nobody is willing to fight him but continue to take liberty at your smaller players.

      • northof51

        Playing hockey and playing in the NHL are not the same thing. In the NHL, there is video replay and an adjudicating body who is willing to throw out random suspensions on a whim. Not to mention national media coverage dissecting every single play.

        In other “hockey” (I’m thinking specifically of Senior), random psychos take over the game with all out brutality and that is best combated with your own random psycho.

        In the NHL there is a middle ground between having a face puncher and a lack of masculinity. There are tougher players who can play more minutes. I am in favour of that coming from the 6th dman, not from a 2.5 min per game “tough guy”.

  • Greg S

    “Petryk’s” junior career has not ended.
    He has 20 year old WHL eligibility.
    If he is back in Everett and Khaira ends up with the Tips they are slated to billet together.

  • Ducey

    I hope Bobby Mac is wrong. This team needs a 4th line center, not some lugnut 3 minute a night heavyweight.

    Bilcke is only maginally better than Abney – who should be long gone by now. No thanks.

    Fyten and Leach looked ok in the Youngstars tourney. They have ok numbers. Maybe they might earn minor league deals.

  • Bishai in the Benches

    If the oilers bring in a serious heavyweight, is there any room for Brown on the roster? And eager just gets buried to the point of having no chance whatsoever of playing with the big club.