This fall the Edmonton Oilers will be auditioning several defensemen for depth roles at the NHL level. With Andrej Sekera injured, the possibility exists for a minor leaguer from one year ago to make the big club and gain some traction as an NHL option.
Two of the hopefuls are sons of former Oilers—and big name Dads too, in Kevin Lowe and Craig Simpson. It’s likely to be a fairly close competition based on age, experience and AHL usage.
DILLON SIMPSON VS. KEEGAN LOWE
- All numbers via the excellent Prospect-Stats.com.
- Time-on-ice is estimated.
- Qual Comp also estimated and the gap is very fine for all teams. Lowe played with two different AHL teams during the year, bringing more clouds to his number.
- Lowe is the better offensive player based on this past season, but neither man is going to make his living offensively.
- Time on ice and Qual Comp estimates have these two men playing basically the same role. Remember, this is 15 minutes a night at even strength, so they’re both playing a lot.
- The GF-GA while each was on the ice is strong, good things were happening with Simpson and Lowe on their respective teams.
The biggest gap appears to be penalties and that could benefit Keegan Lowe. The Chiarelli Oilers are an edgy bunch, and Keegan Lowe got his Dad’s rugged style. It may come down to that when the recall comes during the season. From here, this looks like a very close race.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
If you look at the Oilers & Condors depth charts, there are a bunch of defensemen who are unlikely to play a lot in the NHL this coming season. Ziyat Paigin, Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones may get a cup of coffee and veterans like Mark Fayne and Ryan Stanton are also in photo.
If we’re honest, those options are probably either too young or too old. Somewhere in the middle are Dillon Simpson and Keegan Lowe, with one or both in a very good spot to receive a recall this winter. Which one would you choose?