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The Edmonton Oilers could go a decade before they grab another college kid with the potential of Justin Schultz. The quality and depth of the college free agent crop is not considered outstanding this season, but it’s a key procurement option. Here’s how things are shaping up so far during the college signing window.


First things first: if you’re on twitter, it’s a good idea to follow Chris Peters (@chrismpeters). He’s on top of the college signings and is a major resource throughout the season. A good chap based on tweets back and forth too, as it turns out. His website is here

So far, the college signings have gone like this (this all comes from Peters’ blog)

  • NYI: D Kevin Czuczman (Lake Superior State) March 11
  • NYR: R Ryan Haggarty (RPI) March 12
  • VAN: C Mike Zalewski (RPI) March 14
  • DET: RW Colin Campbell (Lake Superior State) March 17
  • WAS: G Pheonix Copley (Michigan Tech) March 19
  • PHX: LW Greg Carey (St. Lawrence) March 19
  • TBAY: C Cody Kunyk (Alaska) March 20
  • CHI: C Matt Carey (St. Lawrence) March 20


The Oilers used to dabble in free agent signings (they famously won a battle with Detroit for Ty Conklin more than a decade ago) and in recent years have signed men like Justin Schultz, Taylor Fedun, Mark Arcobello (via an AHL/ECHL deal), Andrew Miller and Tanner House.

This spring there are a few players (including the now-signed Zalewski) Edmonton might look at:







Craig MacTavish has the Oilers 50-man list at 45 (48 minus three sliderule’s for Nurse, Moroz and Khaira). There’s plenty of room to sign one of these men as their college season and and they come available to turn pro.

Dillon Simpson gets one spot. Do the Oilers sign another?

(50 man list here) 

  • Acumen

    I know fans are feeling better about the Oilers after a few wins over non playoff teams. But the Oilers ruin players. Justin Shultz never would have signed . You get to play but . This team is horrible the environment is horrible. Bad workplace is only good for people who can’t find jobs anywhere else.

    • Acumen

      You are correct on all counts!!!

      The Oilers do not deserve to draft or even sign any future young talent until they can demonstrate that there is accountability in the organization and knowledge around providing the proper guidance, coaching and a good environment for young stars. The NHL has a vested interest in this.

      If not it will continue to be shattered dreams for young prospects !

  • Acumen

    Maybe Oilers will get Taylor Hall to recruit players. I think Justin Schultz fell for the line were young and going to be great. Everybody knows the story now. Oilers are not a playoff team and won’t be for a long time. I don’t know if you realize but Oilers are in 29th place. Now that is performance.

    You can trash me all you want it won’t change the facts on the ground/ice.

  • Retsinnab5

    I watched Mark Zengerle in the BCHL, and wow can this kid score! He had 113 points in 52 games in his last year in the BCHL. He could defiantly be a useful player. Would love to see the Oil sign him and MacT better sign Simpson too!

  • Zarny

    Call me a pessimist if you want, but I honestly see no reason why Simpson would elect to sign with the Oilers and not pull a Schultz on the Oilers.

    Look at the long term depth of this team on D – and that’s without taking any free agent signings or trades into consideration. Simpson isn’t dumb and neither is his father and you can be sure that he’s eying up the defensive depth in the AHL and NHL right now and wondering if he actually has a shot for playing good regular minutes in either league and an honestly good shot at the NHL within the next couple years. There’s a lot of very quality competition and it might be better to go to another organization that’s not quite so log-jammed, with the added bonus of not having to play for a losing organization.

    But who knows. Maybe he’ll feel some sort of loyalty towards the team or they’ll throw enough money at him at the AHL level of his contract to make it worthwhile.

    • Zarny

      Im confused as to why you would think Simpson may not sign. The Oilers have the softest defensive depth in the NHL. Who cares what the prospect depth is. If he signed today the prospect defensive depth would be Nurse, Klefbom, Gernat, Simpson. Simpson should not and will not slot in on a NHL roster next year. Nurse is most likely to be back in the Soo, Klefbom is anyones guess, and the Oilers have 2 holes gaping holes they can’t fill. One may be Eckblad or come through trade or free agency, but Simpson’s best shot is in Edmonton hands down. Prospect depth means squat. None of us has any clue if he is legit. Has he overcomed some of his apparant weaknesses like skating. We have not seen this kid.

  • Zarny

    If you think a kid is good enough you sign him. Most NCAA prospects still take a few years to develop. I know nothing about these prospects but if I had to gamble it would be on the G Rumpel. You can never have too many good G and the Oilers have very few.

  • Sick and tired of the love for Hemsky. Oilers had him on a 3rd line, destroyed his confidence and MacT trying to tell us how good he is. You got nothing for him. Are we suppose to feel better now he looks like a star. Is MacT trying to get more on future trades by telling teams you don’t know how good he is. He now takes credit. Well if he was so good why did he play on the 3rd line? Enough

  • I tried it at home

    Ref; The Oilers used to dabble in free agent signings (they famously won a battle with Detroit for Ty Conklin more than a decade ago)

    Well whoop-di-doo. Yay, we “won” the back up of back ups. With that sort of record and our history of professional scouting, Im always sort of surprised we didn’t offer a big contract to Alex Daigle.

  • I tried it at home

    Ok, sorry, Im still somewhat bitter from a certain cup run a few lifetimes ago. But seriously, our involvement with college prospects doesn’t really overwhelm me, we either get the skilled but soft (Tom Poti), the big hearted but undersized (Taylor Fedun), or the just not good enough. Its always a good idea to explore your options, but Id be all over the WHL long before I started looking at the lettermen.