Anton Lander to IR; Jordan Oesterle recalled from OKC

51-Lander-4

If there was any question that Anton Lander really belonged with the Edmonton Oilers, it was addressed on Friday when he went through the age-old team tradition of being placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

Replacing him on the roster is a player who has been a positive surprise pretty much all season: defenceman Jordan Oesterle. 

While Lander is on injured reserve, the good news here is that Jeff Petry, who suffered a rib injury in Wednesday’s win over Boston (I know “win over Boston” sounds implausible, but it’s seriously a thing that happened that you can look up) is not joining him, at least for the time being. The recall of a defenceman is suggestive that Petry is day-to-day and questionable for tonight’s game, but the placement of Lander on IR is equally suggestive that his injury isn’t seen as overly serious by the Oilers. 

Perhaps the most interesting item here is that the player getting the recall is Oesterle. 

Rising Star

Diehard fans will naturally remember Oesterle’s performance in training camp this season, a performance which gave him a good head start on a climb up the defensive depth chart. We recapped his performance early in rookie camp, but it wasn’t just the blogs noticing that Oesterle was off to a fast start: 

Over two Oilers’ rookie contests I’ve listened to a pair of interviews with general manager Craig MacTavish and one with head coach Dallas Eakins. In each of those interviews, they were asked to name an under-the-radar player who had impressed them favourably in the tournament to-date. In all three cases, Jordan Oesterle was mentioned in answer.

Now, obviously, Oesterle hasn’t been recalled because he showed well in rookie camp; that was him pushing the door open and he then had to do something with it. 

That sounds good, and of course it must be when one takes a second to look at the Barons’ defence and realize who Oesterle was called up instead of:

  • Brandon Davidson
  • Brad Hunt
  • David Musil
  • Dillon Simpson
  • Martin Gernat

We’ve seen Davidson and Hunt already this year, albeit not lately. The other three have all been prospects of some note (more than Oesterle?) for the Oilers and while they’re all a year younger than the guy who got the recall it’s interesting that they aren’t higher on the depth chart at the time being. It’s not damning by any stretch – in Detroit all three of those guys would probably be looking at the middle of next season for their first recall – but it’s an item worth noting.

But that’s the negative way of looking at things, and this really isn’t a move that should be seen in a negative light.

From the player perspective, Oesterle was never drafted but now at 22 years of age is going to have a chance to play his first NHL game. It’s easy to lose sight of how special that is; as a kid I used to dream of lining up at centre ice of an NHL rink, even just for one game, and it’s a sure thing I’m not alone in that. The first recall is a massive professional milestone; if Oesterle plays it’s even bigger.

From the team perspective, Oesterle is one of Bob Green’s players, an undrafted free agent the Oilers didn’t spend a pick on who has established himself as a prospect of interest to the organization. If he plays in even one game, that’s more return than any team gets from most late draft picks and a clear win for the amateur procurement side.  

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

  • What does this say about Davidson? I thought that he had a good outing last time.

    I liked Jordan Osterle in the pre-season…….but he seems more of a Justin Schultz type of player?

    I wish him all the success and hope he is another pleasant surprise!

  • derrickhands

    This one has Baron fans stumped, to say Oesterle has been developing well is a major overstatement. If Oesterle didn’t look bad a the beginning of the season, but since then his play has gone south. If it wasn’t for the babysitting job Musil has been doing things would be a lot worse. MacTavish must love these soft Dman, because that is what Oesterle is. Willis you must be seeing things in those stats that fans that watch the games don’t.

    • bradleypi

      If there is one thing oilersnation is not, is consistent. They like one soft player, hate another. Anybody that’s on the team except petry is public enemy number 1. While anybody on the barons blue line is “so promising”. Except hunt who plays the exact same game as petry, just with a harder shot.People around here pick and choose who they like based on popular opinion. That’s all.

      • derrickhands

        Hunt has a great shot, but that is it. What has this Barons fans so stumped is why Davidson wasn’t called up, he’s the one that is deserving and way better than Osterle. Even Musil is a better option, and don’t let the Edm media fool you. Musils skating still needs work, but it’s not a issue. He’s a better skater and player than Aulie.

        • pkam

          This is my speculation.

          Since Petry is likely the player out tonight, the Oilers need a puck moving defenseman to play with Ference. It is hard to put a pair of stay home shutdown defensemen to get the puck out of our zone.

          And it is about audition time for our young prospects, since we have seen enough of Hunt, it is the chance for the other offensive defensemen.

      • pkam

        Hunt plays the exact same game as Petry? Where do you get that from? When was Hunt put on ice in our own zone start against opponent’s top 6?

        Edit: And I forget to ask, when was Hunt put on ice to kill penalty?

        • bradleypi

          And here we go again with the “petry takes defensive draws”. How is that relevant in any way as to how a player plays? They are both mobile, puck moving dmen are they not? Neither one is overly physical. Neither one is great defensively. Same player. Petry gets defensive zone draws because in essence it’s either him or Schultz and it’s quite obvious Schultz is the better option in the offensive zone

    • toprightcorner

      Really pleased about the Klinkhammer signing, he is an energizer bunny that hits everything that moves. He is 4th on the Oilers in hits in only 18 games avg over 4 hits per game. He ranks 16th in the NHL. His passion and aggressive forchecking has been rubbing off on the Oilers who are averaging over 10 hits a game more than before he arrived.

      Now if they can resign Roy that would be a good start heading into the draft

    • Lowe But Now High Expectations

      When waiting for an intro from the “Clown Principe” is the highlight of the night, that’s sad. Oh wait a minute, I just did one myself.

    • derrickhands

      Yakimov needs to work on his foot speed, has flashes of brilliance at times though. He’s not a option right now, not close to being ready. Not much with the Barons when it comes to C.

  • Lowe But Now High Expectations

    I DON’T THINK IT MATTERS AT THIS STAGE WHO THEY CALL UP

    About ten weeks ago I posted this, December 9 2014. on GDB 28.0:

    “OILERS FIFTY-FIVE GAME EXHIBITION SCHEDULE BEGINS TONIGHT!”

    “…The call-ups are not based on need or ability, it’s basically “I wonder what that guy would look like if played in the NHL?””

    I thought that was true ten weeks ago and I still think it is true.

    • Hemmercules

      Oesterle has been playing well on the farm, the oilers have a couple injuries, why not call him up?? Every NHL team does this, callups aren’t solely based on the highest paid guy or the guy that played well when you called him up for a stint 2 months ago.

      The season is lost, no playoffs. it would be stupid to not give a few of these guys some NHL games.

      10 weeks ago is another story. I don’t think anyone can figure out what Eakins was thinking when he was the coach.

        • Hemmercules

          I’m not going to pretend to know a lot about the Barons but he is second on the team in points for Defensemen and has obviously done something right to warrant a call up.

          • derrickhands

            He plays the PP, and before Nelson left OKC had the best PP in the AHL. It was deadly to be honest. Of late that cannot be said, and are having problems scoring on the PP. They have paired Osterle with other partners to have terrible results, especially with Dillon Simpson. Big Musil seems to settle Osterle down and is able to cover up for his defensive misgivings, but Musil does that with all his partners. This call up could do a lot with just points and not if the player is ready or any good.

          • dougtheslug

            I enjoy your posts, they sound like you are reporting from actually watching the games, rather than just looking at boxcars. I especially appreciate your observations on Musil, as I was worried he might be a lost cause.

          • derrickhands

            Thank you. I like Musil, but he will be no better than a 3rd pairing D that is good at the PK. He had a slow start this season, but has recovered his game. Nelson & Fleming would often use Musil to settle another D down, IMO. Davidson is the one that should be up with the Oilers, been the best all around D with the Barons, like him better than Marincin. Outside Musil, Davidson, and Nurse not much there for the Oilers coming up. Hopefully MacTavish doesn’t do the stupid thing and trade one away.

          • Hemmercules

            Fair enough man, you seem like you watch them regularly so I wont argue. I guess with the playoffs out of reach maybe they just want to give him a taste of the big show for a couple games and see how he handles himself.

          • derrickhands

            Then the best place to be is with his former mentor in coach Nelson and besides nobody should poop on this kids parade he will be possibly playing his first NHL game so good on him. If Petry can’t go the kid might be on the second unit power play and I doubt Musil could do that job.

  • Anton injured his shoulder in Oiler silks? He’s a keeper

    And good on Oesterle for working his ass off to make the big show! I’m glad they passed on Hunt for the call up.. that ship has sailed, yeesh

  • derrickhands

    SPEAKING OF THE OKC BARONS

    With Lander, Pakarinen and Ryan Hamilton spending good stints on the Oilers roster, here are the top four scorers on the OKC Barons:

    Andrew Miller, 26 years old, zero NHL games.

    Jason Williams, 34 years old, 4 years since he played in the NHL, AHL contract only.

    Brad Hunt, 26 years old, 14 NHL games.

    Matthew Ford, 30 years old, zero NHL games.

    Several people (including Stauffer and I think MacTavish) have stated that in the recent past the emphasis for OKC has shifted from “winning in the AHL” to “developing NHL talent”. Is that really true? I was looking for something that I could not find, maybe someone else knows where to look: average ice time per game for all the OKC players for the entire season.

    Those numbers might confirm something I suspect, which is that the Oilers are not too interested in developing “prospects” like Yakimov, Khaira or Moroz.

    • pkam

      You can’t build a team with only 20 and 21 years old, don’t you think we need some veteran to teach the kids how to play?

      And Miller is in his 2nd pro year although he is 26. He had 34 pts in 52 games as a rookie last year and he has 39 pts in 46 games this year. So he is developing, and we hope the same for the other young prospects. Don’t expect the kids to join the pro and outperform the veterans in their 1st year.

  • toprightcorner

    I would have guessed Davidson would have gotten the call up but maybe they already decided to resign him and want to see if Oesterle is someone they want to keep or move out in a package? It could also easily be that they don’t expect him to play and it is easier to have him fly around a bit instead of some of the other guys on the team.

    I would like to see him play but he may just be in the press box unless Petry is out longer or gets traded.

    With Nurse hope3fully playing in the AHL they may have to make some decisions to those playing on the farm to make room for everyone to play meaningful minutes. Either way Oesterle is likely flying back home by the end of the weekend.