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Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Mark Williams

JIGSAW PUZZLE

The Edmonton Oilers signed one of their draft picks today, college defenseman William Lagesson. We’re going to be looking at a far different 50-man list in late summer and the turnover has already begun. These information pieces trickle in, often as rumor. Anton Lander heading to the KHL? Ziyat Paigin coming over? Slowly but surely, the puzzle pieces fit together. Lagesson is a fascinating piece and a chance for us to see how this is coming together.

PROJECTED 50-MAN

New signings Ryan Mantha, Joe Gambardella and William Lagesson are listed, I held back Ziyat Paigin because he signed only an ATO for this year. Mark Fayne is on the list, but is a probable buyout.

  • UFA: David Desharnais, Matt Hendricks, Tyler Pitlick, Kris Russell, Eric Gryba, Jonas Gustavsson, Justin Fontaine, Jordan Oesterle, Mark Fraser.

My guess is that we see Tyler Pitlick signed, possibly Kris Russell but he might be too expensive for Edmonton on July 1. Jordan Oesterle would be an attractive addition, but seems a good bet to get a more lucrative offer elsewhere.

  • RFA and not listed: Anton Lander, Henrik Samuelsson, Bogdan Yakimov, Jere Sallinen, Zach Pochiro, Eetu Laurikainen, David Musil.

We have heard some things about Anton Lander, and David Musil has been loaned to the Arizona organization. Suspect these men will be down the line, let me know if you disagree.

POSSIBLE ADDITIONS

In terms of position, at least one goalie for the AHL team, plus an NHL second-pairing defender seem obvious. Some additional depth on defense could be added by signing a Mark Fraser type for the Condors, management will want to add experience on that Bakersfield blue.

The real action this summer seems destined to revolve around adding forwards. Evan Polei was recently added on an ATO, an AHL contract (reportedly) to kick in this fall. That’s probably just the beginning, as the Oilers badly need to add forwards to the group pushing up from the minors. The draft has provided this organization with some fascinating defensive prospects, many of whom (Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, Ryan Mantha, Ziyat Paigin and today’s signing William Lagesson) will be playing their first games of North American pro hockey this coming fall.

We’re going to see plenty of action off the ice this spring, in addition to Edmonton’s first appearance in the playoffs since 2006.