ROUTE 66

klefbom

September long is here, but the Oilers didn’t give us the rookie TC roster to discuss. Word is it’ll be out next week, and the main list will arrive behind it. Since we have all afternoon to talk Oilers (tomorrow will be devoted to the Eskimos) let’s see how close we can get to the actual list.

  1. G Ben Scrivens—I’m picking him to win the No. 1 job. Kiss of death!! Cheering like hell for him. 
  2. G Viktor Fasth—If he wins the No. 1 job, Edmonton will need to sign him. 
  3. G Richard Bachman—A solid AHL option and could see time in the city during 2014-15.
  4. G Laurent Brossoit—He’ll get a chance with OKC this season.
  5. G Tyler Bunz—A big season ahead.
  6. G Frans Tuohimaa—Complete wildcard.
  7. G Ty Rimmer—No roster spot, nothing to lose.
  8. G Keven Bouchard—Latest goalie drafted, maybe 9000th time is the charm?
  9. D Mark Fayne—Big minutes in tough situations all year long. 
  10. D Jeff Petry—In his walk year, could be his last with Edmonton. 
  11. D Martin Marincin—He’s the kid in the lead, how long does it last?
  12. D Nikita Nikitin—Big offseason pickup will get chances in all three disciplines. 
  13. D Andrew Ference—Team captain has more veterans helping this season. 
  14. D Justin Schultz—Ready to take ‘lightning rod D’ mantle when Petry leaves. 
  15. D Keith Aulie—Eakins’ Marlies continue to arrive each summer. 
  16. D Oscar Klefbom—I think he’s close, may pass Marincin this season. 
  17. D Darnell Nurse—Has the potential to leap all of the other youngsters this fall.
  18. D Brandon Davidson—Keeps getting mentioned in good ways. 
  19. D Brad Hunt—Chaos incorporated, his skill set is somewhat unique on this roster.
  20. D David Musil—Unlikely to be in the NHL picture this season, but progressing. 
  21. D Martin Gernat—Range of skills makes him a legit prospect.
  22. D Dillon Simpson—Fascinating player to follow this season. Could move up quickly. 
  23. D Jordan Oesterle—I’m unsure he’s ahead of anyone on the 50-man list. 
  24. D Graeme Craig—WHL grad looking for pro sorties. AHL contract.
  25. D CJ Ludwig—Intriguing NCAA grad, may have more potential than Oesterle. AHL contract.
  26. D Ben Betker—Big man with mobility. NHL teams love these blue.
  27. D William Lagesson—Newest hire on D, rugged kid with ability. 
  28. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—I hope he’s been eating his Wheaties, they’re going to ride him hard. 
  29. C Leon Draisaitl—As we’ve discussed, the minor league boxcars suggest he can deliver the offense.
  30. C Boyd Gordon—Down, down in a coalmine, underneath the ground……
  31. C Mark Arcobello—Oilers believe in him, and this is his big chance. I think he grabs it. 
  32. C Anton Lander—Utility role could increase with injuries. 
  33. C Will Acton—Probably the first C callup, at least early in the season.
  34. C Travis Ewanyk—Oilers love his effort and improved checking, needs to score!
  35. C Bogdan Yakimov—Big man will play a lot in Oklahoma.
  36. C Jujhar Khaira—Brief look with the Barons last year encouraging.
  37. C Jason Williams—Strong OKC option for 1C, unlikely to be in NHL this year.
  38. C Connor Jones—The undrafted twin, no idea.
  39. C Greg Chase—He’s already better than some pro players. Apparently faster. 
  40. C Marco RoyHealthy and on the Mem Cup host team’s roster. Stage is set. 
  41. C Kyle Platzer—Checking center of the future plays a subtle game.
  42. C Liam Coughlin—Can’t wait to see him on the ice.
  43. L Taylor Hall—The franchise.
  44. L Nail Yakupov—I’ve listed him on LW, could be other side. BIG season for Yak’s future. 
  45. L Benoit Pouliot—Important addition, he should be able to fill multiple roles.
  46. L Matt Hendricks—Defensive zone starts, penalty-killing, muscle.
  47. L Luke Gazdic—I’ll list him but he may not play during TC.
  48. L Ryan Hamilton—Too slow for NHL, but solid AHL player.
  49. L Curtis Hamilton—Last chance Texaco.
  50. L Mitchell Moroz—The LW depth chart in OKC is not Everest.
  51. L Kale Kessy—Tough winger should be able to make an impression
  52. L Kellen Jones—The drafted twin, skill and lack of size. 
  53. L Josh Winquist—Exceptional junior scorer last year. 
  54. L Vladimir Tkachev—Junior phenom gets invite. Already 3 points in preseason.
  55. R Jordan Eberle—Goal-scoring winger is very consistent. 
  56. R David Perron—May play mentor to the German C. 
  57. R Teddy Purcell—Could explode offensively with the right linemates.
  58. R Tyler Pitlick—I think he has an excellent chance to play 50 games in a two-way role.
  59. R Jesse Joensuu—He has until Gazdic is ready to show something.
  60. R Steve Pinizzotto—Has an outside shot at an NHL job.
  61. R Mike Ford—Minor league scorer.
  62. R Iiro Pakarinen—Somewhat unknown, blossomed offensively a year ago.
  63. R Andrew Miller—Had an improved second half
  64. R Mitch Holmberg—62 WHL goals last year. 62!!!
  65. R Jackson Houck—An emerging PF talent. 
  66. R Chris Baltisberger—Attended orientation camp, apparently invited to main one too. 

I think that’s close, they’ll probably have a surprise or two, and Alex Krushelnyski may attend as well. Any additions or deletions? Let me know. One thing I’ll say: The depth at center and on defense has improved tremendously since Craig MacTavish arrived as GM.

Cover photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved.

    • McRib

      Does anyone have any information on Liam Coughlin? As I watched Vernon a couple of times last season and Dexter Dancs was always the player I would have drafted…. (Dexter Dancs had 22 more points is five months younger and a much better skater). Dexter Dancs is also headed to the NCAA next year whereas Coughlin is back in the BCHL. Just wondering what they saw in Coughlin over Dancs (late bloomer?)… Regardless I am very suprised Dancs was never drafted really liked his game with Vernon and if I remember correctly the reason why he was not drafted last year is because he was buried on a very deep Penticton team for half the season. The Oilers scouts just seem to get far to invested in players character, rather than skill level (after Draisaitl I don’t get the rest of their picks this year). Liam Coughlin must be the nicest guy in history because Dexter Dancs was always the better player when I watched Vernon.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Curious?

      Was this article titled “Route 66” as metaphor for how far off course the comments were going to be from …. You know …. the actual article or the sport of hockey itself that the website discusses exclusively?

      And BTW, Griffey Jr. was the man. All day. Every day.

      • Serious Gord

        Griffey was great – tragically injury prone like many star outfielders before him…

        But A-Rod was as offensively gifted and played great at short (and was no slouch at third) a position that no too long ago was reserved for great fielders and power/hitting was not given much emphasis. That he could excel defensively at that position AND be a great hitter has changed the game…

        • The Soup Fascist

          The elephant in the room makes all the difference. Griffey’s biggest crime was one against fashion and starting the goofy backward baseball hat look.

          Gotta think the fact it was never hinted that he was anything but squeaky clean in the PED era has to buy him a lot of cred.

    • Lofty

      If you are going to classify Ken Griffey Jr and Jeter in the same era, then Bonds would be included as well. He fits in the middle of the timelines of the other two.

      • Serious Gord

        Touche. Griffey started right in the middle of the other two player’s careers. Got to draw the line somewhere…

        coming back to hockey but in the same vein…

        Joe thornton started in the NHL in 97-98. Taylor Hall in ’10-11. while they have overlapping careers they seem to me to be from very different eras. Joe from the pre-cap era, the era before extreme-conditioning and advanced stats and hall is very much at the beginning of those three realities.

    • Guys guys guys! I figured out the 4th line! 3 former first round draft picks, average size 6’3 and 200lbs, all with ties to the organization, all currently playing pro hockey without NHL contracts. It’s perfect!!

      I call it the bold moves line.

      Mikhnov – Niinimaki – Riesen

      I wonder if this team will be something other than a huge disappointment this year. That would be fun.

    • Sorensenator

      I was thinking about what it would take to get Joe Thornton a few days ago and I am not sure it would be worth what we would have to give up just for a few more years of diminishing asset.

      I think Perron, Arcobello, and Marincin would be something similar to the asking price if we were to acquire Jumbo Joe.

      Look what the Rangers gave up to get Martin St. Louis and he maybe has two years left in him. Callahan the captain and two first round draft picks, good lord.

    • Jaxon

      They should also sign/invite goalie Ty Edmonds from 8 hours west on the Yellowhead, Prince George Cougars. They need all the help they can get on their goalie prospect chart, and many were surprised he didn’t get drafted. I think the Cougars burnt him out by starting him in over 55 games. He played in the Top Prospects game and I like that he tweeted, “I stopped Draisaitl in a shootout once” after the draft.

    • Jaxon

      Here is the opening night roster for the Oilers:

      Hall/Nuge/Ebs
      Perron/Arco/Purcell
      Pouliot/Draisaitl/Yakupov
      Hendricks/Gordon/Pitlick

      Extras: Gazdic and Joensuu

      Nikitin/Schultz
      Fayne/Petry
      Marincin/Ference

      Extra: Aulie

      Scrivens
      Fasth

      There is a possibility that Klefbom or Nurse could force their way onto the roster but it would probably be at the expense of Marincin or if Petry gets traded.

      • GVBlackhawk

        Pretty close but I think Lander beats out Pitlick. Plus Gazdic will still be on injured reserve so won’t be available. And I doubt Petry pairs with Fayne as they are both RH right side defensemen. Nikitin/Fayne, Marincin/Petry, Ference/Schultz are more plausible.

    • Jaxon

      I’d also like to see LW, Nikita Yazkov, of the Windsor Spitfires, get an invite to camp. He was 77th on Central Scouting Mid -Term rankings. But I think he fell on Windsor’s depth chart. It may have been due to injury or issues adjusting to N. American game, but he still fared quite well as a rookie in the CHL. I believe most drafted players from Europe were in their 2nd year of CHL hockey. He’s 6’1″, so he has a decent frame to pack on the pounds (currently around 190lbs). Worth keeping an eye on this season, at least.
      That’s right: Yazkov-Yakimov-Yakupov, baby.

    • Jaxon

      Any sign of talks about bringing Kenney Morrison back to camp this year? I would hope the Oilers are pulling out all the stops to court this young player. He’s an Alberta kid who is probably one of the top coveted college players without an NHL contract. Right D with size, a big shot, a defensively sound game and some offensive skill. Exactly the perfect fit for the Oilers.

    • Serious Gord

      Lowetide: “…The depth at center and on defense has improved tremendously since Craig MacTavish arrived as GM.”

      Talk about faint praise. The team is still probably bottom five in the league in both respects. And MacT has had two preseasons and a season and tWo top seven picks to the make them better. He hasn’t accomplished much.

      And why is Ference still captain?

      • GVBlackhawk

        I was listening to NHL radio and it was stated the oilers will finish 30th I think they will do a fair bit better than that but I agree with you and wonder why everyone is quick to praise Mactavishs recruiting and to this point there has been nothing proven in his tenure other than he is active.

        • Spydyr

          I was wondering the same thing. We went significantly backwards last year and without the addition of a 2C we probably have yet another disappointing year ahead of us. The media in every other city continues to laugh at us. Still I continue to read on this site how great of a job MacT is doing??? Until there is actual progress in the win column my vote is out. Perhaps it has been so long since we have had even “decent” management that we don’t even know what good management is anymore. Or maybe the kool-aid just keeps getting stronger.

          • Serious Gord

            That Perron trade may prove not nearly as good as first thought , as St.Louis got I.Barbachev (pick 33 from Oilers) as well as Paajarvi . Barbachev could be a dandy in the making , sure looked dominant in the subway series as Russia’s captain .

            • O.C.

              Picks other than first and early second i’d probably agree depending on trade . The blog was just to make fans realize the extent of that trade may go well beyond just Paajarvi , and one should judge a trade such as that in it’s full context – nothing more than that was intended .

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            A winger. Yay. The easiest to acquire even if it was a salary dump. Don’t get me wrong , I like Perron but we finished worse than we did the previous year without Perron. My point is that the team has not shown that it has improved one single bit under mactavish yet many are quick to applaud his efforts

    • Quicksilver ballet

      What a redonkulous amount of bodies.

      They’ll waste more than two weeks getting down to the group that really matters. On the other hand it’s refreshing to see they finally have that mid 80’s swagger back, they can afford to waste a couple weeks like that.

      Maybe in a couple years with further expansion the Oilers will find themselves in the division that doesn’t keep score/the win isn’t paramount. They certainly are enjoying the game. The post game/off day parties are legend from what we all hear.

      • Oil Vice

        TC is not just for the Oilers. It’s also for OKC and Bakersfeild. It also gives the junior kids a chance to see how much they’ve improved over the off season and provides them exposure to the habits of the real pros.

      • Reg Dunlop

        Obviously, what seems to be too many camp invites thins out somewhat because, don’t forget, all the young gunz will get to skip camp to continue bombing those lats and traps. All that extra time in the gym, at the expense of representing their country and doing stops and starts in training camp, and these youngsters are going to roll through the NHL like Patton through Bavaria. Like Dan Kroffat through the Stomper.

        Going way off on a tangent and putting aside sarcasm for a moment, today saw Derek Jeter’s final game in TO. He is the best AND classiest athlete, this side of #99, that I have seen. Farewell.

        • Serious Gord

          Re: Jeter

          He is in the conversation for greatest yankee who ever played their whole career with the one team – after Ruth of course.

          According to polls he is easily the most popular player among the other players, so that attests to his class.

          But were he to have played his entire career in say san diego like Tony Gwynn did – you would hardly have heard of him, And it was a great shame that Gwynn didn’t get more recognition at the last all-star game. had he been a yankee things would have been very different for possibly the greatest hitter in the history of the game…

          And the greatest player of jeter’s era was not jeter. It was the guy who came to play short in NY but was not permitted to due to jeter having the spot and the clout with management. As controversial as A Rod is, he still is/was the greatest player of the era – followed closely by Ken Griffey junior.

            • Serious Gord

              And some for the braves – I had forgotten that.

              And jerry rice played on another team beside the 49ers. Perhaps there is a better way to describe a players career that looks like jeters or Ruth or rice or mays compared to guys who bounce from team to team like arod, Clemens…

            • Serious Gord

              Bonds is ten years older than either jeter or arod. Not the same eras really, though with quite a bit of overlap.

              Bonds was a great player but never had home run power like arod until he was on the juice and he played right field – very well mind you, but not nearly as important defensively as short.

            • Serious Gord

              we will probably never know with ARod for sure when he started – some claim it was in high school, though it seems unlikely that he was juicing in Seattle.

              Barry bond’s physique changed dramatically in the latter half of his career and it would seem to be pretty easy to say when he was definitely using them – and again it seems most plausible that he began using when he changed teams to one across the bay from oakland.

            • Serious Gord

              There are many ways to define an era. The pre and post steroid eras for example. The pre and post free agent era. Or pre and post number 42. So calling something “jeters era” is a legitimate thing to do as far as it goes.

              Just as people talked about mantles era being different than dimaggios even though there was some overlap.

              In hockey we definitely now have the pre and post salary cap eras. And here in EDM we are in the midst of the Hall era.

      • Romanus

        I have to agree with you on this one. Bring the guys you expect to make it plus the few with some realistic chance that can push for spots. Use the time to focus and get ready and settling those 4 or 5 available spots.

        Reality is that the league makes money on these preseason games, so to fill those wonderful split squad games requires 50 guys. We pay for them like it or not.