After yesterday’s loss to the Anaheim Ducks, the Edmonton Oilers announced via their Twitter account that they had assigned Cooper Marody back to the Bakersfield Condors. It’s a smart decision for the organization to make as it gets Marody back into a spot where he’s playing and able to work on his game. In his place, I was told that Jesse Puljujarvi will be recalled in time for Sunday’s game against the Kings and not Tuesday’s game against Dallas as was previously expected.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 24, 2018
Cooper Marody is a prospect that I’ve been cautiously optimistic about since he was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers earlier this year, but I think we can agree that he should not be with the Oilers yet. The guy led the Big 10 in scoring with University of Michigan last season and that’s not something that happens by fluke. Marody has the kind of hands and offensive instincts that are sorely lacking on the Oilers’ depth chart, but that doesn’t mean that he’s ready to play for the Oilers right now — the guy still needs some polish. Actually, I was hoping that we wouldn’t see Marody at all this year but with injuries higher up in the lineup and a general lack of skilled depth that’s ready to push for primetime he got fast-tracked to the NHL.
In five games played with the big club this season, Marody has no points and is averaging only 7:38 per night with that number being propped up a bit by the 12:12 he got against the Golden Knights last Sunday. In the two games played since Hitchcock has been on the bench, Marody only got on the ice for 4:59 and 3:19 respectively and that’s not nearly enough to justify him being here. In Bakersfield, Marody is producing at better than a point-per-game pace and getting the kind of situational minutes that will actually help him get better. Sending him back to the Condors makes the most sense for his development and for that spot on the Oilers’ roster, and I was glad to see them make the right call.
In seven games played with the Condors this season, Marody has three goals and seven assists for 10 points to go along with two PIMs and a +1 rating. Marody is expected to be back in the lineup for the Condors tonight when they face off against the Tuscon Roadrunners.
WHO COMES BACK?
Got hit up last night by someone in the know that told me Jesse Puljujarvi will be getting recalled for the game on Sunday night against the LA Kings. At the time of posting, the Oilers haven’t put out the official word out on the move just yet, but it’s still early so we’ll have to wait and see what happens. Puljuarvi scored for the Condors again last night and has been dangerous since being assigned to them two weeks ago (4GP – 2G, 2A). By all accounts, Puljujarvi has been a handful for the opposition to handle but I still thought the plan should be to leave him down there for a little while longer than this. But maybe things have changed with a new sheriff in town? Ken Hitchcock likes big bodied players with skill so maybe the change of voice behind the bench is exactly the fresh start that the big Finn needs to get his game going.