With the pre-season underway, the Oilers started their roster cuts early with three players already being sent back to their respective junior clubs. Ahead of yesterday’s pre-season game against the Flames, Kirill Maksimov, Olivier Rodrigue, and Dmitri Samorukov were all sent back to their respective junior teams.
Considering the team will be leaving for Europe to kick off their 2018-19 season relatively soon, the Oilers wasted no time in trimming their training camp roster with their first round of roster cuts. Although it’s not exactly surprising that the organization would want to get started early with their demotions, I would have expected that a guy like Maksimov would get into at least one pre-season game, but, I guess, it was not meant to be. Clearly, the coaching staff knows what they want to see and are only interested in keeping players around that meet those criteria.
— Olivier Rodrigue (@orodrigue33) September 17, 2018
Kirill Maksimov (RW) – Niagara (OHL)
Olivier Rodrigue (G) – Drummondville (QMJHL)
Dmitri Samorukov (D) – Guelph (OHL)
Personally, I like the idea of moving towards the opening day roster as quickly as possible so that the boys can start to gel a little bit before heading off to Sweden. With another pre-season game coming up tonight against Vancouver, I would expect more demotions to happen either pre-game as we saw yesterday or immediately following the game as a means to further trim the roster. With these first three cuts out of the way, the Oilers training camp roster sits at 59 players, including six goaltenders, 18 defencemen and 35 forwards.