After missing out on the Matt O’Connor sweepstakes, the Oilers made a move to improve their goaltending depth by signing Finnish goaltender Eetu Laurikainen. First order of business: How do we pronounce this guy’s name? I’m going with (Eat-you).
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) May 12, 2015
It’s no secret that the Oilers don’t have much in terms of goaltending prospects in our little prospect stable. You want wingers? We’ve got wingers. Various flavours of defenceman? We’ve got ’em. Goaltending is another story entirely. Aside from Laurent Brossoit, the goaltending pool is very shallow and in desperate need of some love. This move is just the beginning.
So who is our new goalie? From Soft Mitts, Heavy Hits:
Standing just 6’0″, Laurikainen isn’t one of the physical giants that have taken over NHL creases in recent years. However, he’s an extremely athletic, even acrobatic player with excellent instincts that give him sound positioning. As a fairly small late bloomer, Laurikainen has remained undrafted, but has the potential to be a work-in-progress for an organization that has room for a developing goaltender.
What are his stats like?
Whether or not Laurikainen will crack the NHL roster will be seen in time, but for now it looks as though Peter Chiarelli has started checking things off his to-do list. I can’t imagine this will have much impact on Chiarelli’s plans to address the NHL goaltending issues, but it is certainly a good start at plugging the hole in the organizational depth. In the very least, we should expect Laurikainen to challenge Brossoit for the starter’s role in the AHL and that kind of competition is a welcomed change.