Photo Credit: Mark Williams

The Blue Horizon

One of the names on Edmonton’s expansion ‘available’ list is Jordan Oesterle. It’s easy to forget about him, he is a UFA this summer and had some injury issues this past season. The fleet defender did some good things last season and remains a player of interest.


Oesterle’s reputation is as a puck mover and an extremely mobile player. He is not known for his defense and at even strength this season was mid-pack in goals-for versus goals-against. You may have a different view, but my reading of this chart is Simpson, Fayne, Reinhart and Musil have a story to tell. At the AHL level, these fellows can play. Oesterle is just shy of that level defensively, but the difference could be luck and injury. Mark Fraser may be in that area where it’s been too long at the fair, and the rest are filler or men getting their first taste of the league. (One final note: Ben Betker had a nice 30 games, we’ll have to pay attention next season).

A year ago, Oesterle was 36-41 (-5) in this discipline. The best number posted by a Bakersfield defender so far? A tie, at +10. Oscar Klefbom (in nine games) and Brandon Davidson posted that number in 2014-15. Source


This is where Oesterle shines and I think what gets him an NHL contract this summer. In the AHL he’s solid defensively and has an impact offensively. Put another way, he’s better than Brad Hunt defensively and has some of the same elements of Hunt with the puck.

Note: Eric Rodgers provides these numbers, in a labor of love that goes back to the Oklahoma City Barons. I sincerely thank him for his hard work (which is here).


Vegas Golden Knights are probably taking Griffin Reinhart as their choice from Edmonton in the expansion draft. George McPhee might be wise to wheel back to Bakersfield in the early days of July to sign Jordan Oesterle. Based on the numbers Eric Rodgers provided to us, Jordan Oesterle’s offense is the one item that stands out from this crowd.

  • camdog

    Two years ago I really liked his game down the stretch with the big club. His ability to skate and move the puck should work with a veteran NHL d-man partner.

    • Yeah, agreed. Depending on who Edmonton acquires, I wonder if the club considers him for 7D. Eric Gryba is a veteran and can play a rugged game, probably still has the edge (both have to be signed).

        • madjam

          Frankly I do not believe Reinhart is even as good as Gryba or Fayne at this stage , and is debateable if he is as good an option as Oesterle or Simpson . Chia might welcome the excuse Vegas took Reinhart and end this storied addition he made .

    • madjam

      That might make our defence very poor again , with Sekara out most of year and Russell gone . We have nothing on team that can fill in adequately for those two to be honest . Makes sense for Vegas to take Russell over Reinhart , who is not even good enough yet to beat out Gryba for a spot on team .

    • O.C.

      How does that conversation go?

      “Chris, Edmonton would like to have you back and they are one of odds on favourite to take it all. How would you like to turn your back on that and play with a bunch of slugs on a new team?”

      • DJ_44

        Probably more like “Chris, we understand Edmonton is trying to lowball you on term and $$$, how does 4 x $3.5M sound. You don’t have to let us know right now.”

  • RJ

    With a talented crop of rookie D coming in, where does he fit?

    I’d want to see Bear, Jones and Paigin get some serious icetime.

    Maybe he fits as a 7D depending what happens over the next month.

  • Big Nuggets

    I think Oesterle is better than Reinhardt. Reinhardt’s defensive numbers look better because he was paired with Fayne for much of the season. There’s also more invested in Reinhardt with the big trade to acquire him, so he will get more opportunity.

  • Tombstone

    Could you imagine being 25 or younger playing in a city that is famous for strippers, drugs and gambling. Sin City! Lap dances during intermission. 😂😂😂

    • RJ

      I looked at it the other way.

      If I ran the Oilers travel, they’d fly in the morning of the game and fly out the same night as the game.

      Otherwise your players are hung over from partying all night.

      • Freddie the fog

        On a typical road trip the visiting team flies in the night before the game ( and if they played that night..lots of back to back road games…they likely dont get into Vegas until at least a couple hours after midnight. Right after a road game a team immediately flies out to its next city on the schedule.

    • Freddie the fog

      From a professional athlete’s point of view none of that will ” lure” players to play there. U can find most if not all of that in any NHL city.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Would it be worth giving up Bear or Jones to sway LV to take Pouliot? PC will be needing all the cap room he can get next summer once 97s new contract kicks in and still has to re-sign Drake, Nurse and a few other players as well.

    • Nanook

      no its not. Bear and Jones have the potential to be very good d-men. When they talk about the depth in our defence within the system its those 2 they are basically talking about. As much as I wasn’t to see Pouliot and his contract gone, I don’t want it at that expense. Those 2 will be fun to watch in the AHL next year, hope they make lots of room and get them good ice time.

  • Devolution

    With a pretty good pool to pick from, and all sorts of extra draft picks coming in, am I the only one who thinks the Vegas team might me good sooner rather than later?

  • Oiler Al

    McLellan would rather have pylons and shot blockers on the back end.Scoring from the back end is not in his playbook.
    [ie; power play] . He is not a very inventive coach.What a concept defense men scoring.

  • TKB2677

    I have never been a fan of Oesterle and never understood the love he gets. He can skate and move the puck. Great. He’s small, loses puck battles, can put up some points at the AHL level but not elite points and the biggest problem, he can’t defend. Even a Oesterle supporters like Lowetide say he can’t defend. That is a red flag to me when it comes to dmen. If you can’t defend you better be absolutely amazing offensively to make up for it. He’s not.

    • camdog

      I don’t really see that much love… Every team needs a 7th and 8th d-man. I think he’s better than Hunt and Fedun and they both played some games in the NHL last season. With another team in the league, I think their will be an opportunity for him to get some NHL games in. Whether he succeeds or not, I have no idea.