The Edmonton Oilers appear on the verge of adding some additional veteran help for their new AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors.
According to various sources, the Oilers are in the process of finalizing a deal with former Calgary Flames first-rounder Greg Nemisz. It would be an AHL-only contract which would put the centre in the Condors’ nest for the 2015-16 season.
Nemisz played sparingly over the past two seasons with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers due to injuries. He suited up for only 14 games in 2013-14 after suffering a hernia, and then appeared in only 21 games last season thanks to a knee injury.
Selected 25th overall by the Flames in 2008, Nemisz was alongside the Oilers’ Taylor Hall as the Windsor Spitfires claimed Memorial Cup championships in 2009 and 2010. Nemisz and Hall, along with Jordan Eberle, were part of Team Canada that claimed the silver medal at the 2010 world junior hockey championship in Saskatoon.
Nemisz turned pro in 2010-11 but ultimately played only 15 games with the Flames. During his fourth season with Calgary’s AHL affiliate in Abbotsford, Nemisz was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for Kevin Westgarth.
Injuries have been a long-time hindrance for Nemisz. On top of his two setbacks in back-to-back years in Charlotte, Nemisz suffered a 40-stitch gash in his thigh when cut by a skate in the OHL, and he missed five weeks during ’11-12 season in Abbotsford with a shoulder injury.
If he can stay out of the doctor’s office, Nemisz, who stands 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, not only brings a hefty load of AHL-level experience and leadership (he was an alternate captain in Charlotte), he could offer some scoring touch as well.
… (At the start of the 2014-15 season) He was the leading scorer for a team struggling to score goals to open the year and was pushing for a call up to the NHL club. While it is unlikely he will be the dominant scorer envisioned by Calgary when they selected him in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft, Nemisz’ sound two-way game and willingness to compete suggests he can be a valuable lower line forward. The tenacity he has shown in dealing with setbacks is another plus in his favor.
If a deal with Nemisz, who had eight goals and 14 points in just 21 games with the Checkers last season, is consummated, the Condors will have plenty of AHL experience up front with Nemisz, Ryan Hamilton, Andrew Miller, and Matthew Ford. Where Nemisz fits in pretty much all hinges upon whether the Oilers keep Leon Draisaitl out of training camp or not.
If Draisaitl stays with the big club, Nemisz could slide in between Hamilton and Miller to form a veteran No. 1 or No. 2 line. Another option is to put Kyle Platzer or Jujhar Khaira in between the two vets, and situate Nemisz on a line with Mitch Moroz and Greg Chase which could wind up being a rather rough-and-tumble trio for the opposition to go up against.