According to their official Twitter account, the Oilers have placed forward Brad Malone on waivers with the purpose of assigning him to Bakersfield of the AHL. A few days ago, the Oilers also placed Dillon Simpson and Ty Rattie on waivers for assignment, and both cleared successfully.
Malone had a strong showing in camp, but it was always going to be an uphill battle for him to crack this roster. The highlight of Malone’s camp was a two-goal performance against the Winnipeg Jets last week in which he looked like a fully capable NHL depth player.
But like I said, barring some kind of injury catastrophe, Malone wasn’t going to make this roster. The Oilers have a lot more depth than we’ve seen in previous years, and that’s evident in the fact they have players like Malone (assuming he clears) and Rattie waiting in the AHL for an opportunity to fill in a depth role. Unless the Oilers manage to navigate through the season injury-free, I’m sure we’ll see Malone play some games with the team this year. He definitely earned one of the top injury call-up from the AHL spots with his showing in camp.
At this point, the major battles left in camp are between Yohann Auvitu and Mark Fayne for the final spot on the blueline, and Kailer Yamamoto and likely Jesse Puljujarvi for a right wing spot in the top nine. That said, with Anton Slepyshev likely unable to go for the start of the season, Puljujarvi and Yamamoto could theoretically both crack the roster, though it seems odd to have one of them watching from the press box. Chris Kelly, who’s with the team on a PTO, also remains an option.
I would be shocked if Fayne made the team over Auvitu, as the latter has looked very good in camp. Auvitu skates and moves the puck well, which makes him a candidate to actually fill in Andrej’s Sekera’s role for the first few months of the season. Yamamoto has looked like an NHL player and gives the Oilers that skill they need in their top six, making him very hard to cut. I have a gut feeling Kelly will end up with a contract and that one of Puljujarvi and Yamamoto will be sent down.
The Oilers have one more pre-season game on Saturday in Vancouver. I imagine shortly after that we’ll have the answer to those questions.
Source: Edmonton Oilers, Verified Twitter Account, 09/28/17, 10:05 am MST