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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers recall Andrej Sekera from the Bakersfield Condors

After spending five games down in Bakersfield with the Condors, Andrej Sekera is set to make his return to the Oilers’ lineup as the defenceman has now been recalled from his conditioning stint.

It’s been a brutal couple of years for Andrej Sekera as the defenceman has had to deal with a pair of very tough injuries that have kept him on the shelf for months at a time. As we all know, Sekera tore his ACL during the playoffs against the Anaheim Ducks and was forced to miss all but 36 games in 2017-18. When he did come back past the midway point of the season, you could clearly tell that his mobility had been hampered and that the ACL injury made Sekera look like a shell of himself. Even so, hopes were high that a full summer spent rehabbing would do him a world of good. Then, during his offseason prep for the current season, Sekera tore his Achilles tendon, putting him back on the long term injured reserve before even having a chance to get going. Now that he’s back, it’s going to be mighty interesting to see how his robotic legs will respond after missing the first 58 games of the NHL season.

At the very least, Sekera should improve the Oilers ability to get the puck out of their own end as he is one of the best they have for making a clean first pass out of the zone. Finding more puck-moving defencemen has been on the Oilers’ wishlist for as long as I can remember, and if there’s one thing that Sekera has always done well it’s finding his outlets and connecting with passes on the tape. That said, there is no doubt that his return will be a work in progress. Considering the time he’s missed and the severity of the injury, there are going to be times when the 32-year-old defenceman makes some mistakes and all we can really do is hope that he can get back up to speed as quickly as his surgically enhanced legs will allow. How long will that take? Who can be sure? But for an Oilers team that desperately needs upgrades on the back end, Sekera should provide a boost but what will be interesting is seeing exactly how much.

Another part of the Sekera story is the need to open up a spot on the roster for him. The Oilers already cleared the necessary cap space when they traded Cam Talbot to Philadelphia in exchange for Anthony Stolarz, but they’ll still need a place in the lineup for him to slide into. According to a few reports on Twitter, Jesse Puljujarvi could be sent down to Bakersfield as early as this weekend and I really hope that’s the case. Having Puljujarvi finish the season in Bakersfield’s winning environment and playing big minutes could do wonders for the kid’s confidence at the tail end of this season, and I’ll be eagerly waiting for an update that tells me he’s headed south.

Since signing with Edmonton as a free agent back in 2015, Sekera has played in 197 games with the Oilers and registered 73 points (14G, 59A) while averaging 20:41 worth of ice time in all situations. Sekera still has two years left on his $5.5 million per deal.

SEKERA’S OILERS CAREER SO FAR

Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM +/- PGP G A Pts PIM
2015-16 Edmonton Oilers NHL 81 6 24 30 12 -15
2016-17 Edmonton Oilers NHL 80 8 27 35 18 14 11 1 2 3 2
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 36 0 8 8 6 -15
2018-19 Edmonton Oilers* NHL Statistics Unavailable
2018-19 Bakersfield Condors AHL 5 0 2 2 2 6
NHL Totals 683 45 187 232 172 19 2 2 4 13

Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Twitter Account, 2/17/2019 – 3:00 pm MT

  • TruthHurts98

    Call up the AHL team and send down the NHL one. The results would be better. I really hope Al Bundy doesn’t trade Puljujarvi, he’ll be good eventually when he receives the proper coaching. Finishing the season in a winning environment in Bakersfield would be a no brainer.

  • Clayton

    At this point sending Jesse down to Bakersfield is a big risk. Right now other teams see him as a mismanaged talent that they could develop into a topline talent. If he shows up in Bakersfield and doesn’t develop into a dominating forward his value will plummet.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      Yeah but his agent complaining how Jesse is mismanaged in his development ( which is true to a degree ) isnt going to help and trying to get him a trade just made it look like Jesse is whining and complaining or isnt teachable or thinks he is due better either way it is going to make trading Jesse that much harder, because teams are going to wonder if maybe other teams passed on Jesse purposely because they saw something they didnt like at the draft and that thee is some risk to tying to trade for him if it’s his way or no way.. He ought to go to Bakesfield play a ton get his confidence back and have fun and show teams why they might want him.

    • Natejax97

      This train of thought…why can’t we just develop Jesse to be a forward for the Oilers? Who cares what other teams see in his value? He is our prospect and should be developed properly to be a future roster player for this team.

      • Lowe enuf

        The road to hell is paved with the bones of future NHL talent who just didn’t get it. There is a reason so many guys are drafted every year and are selling insurance 5 years later. Once again the Oilers have squandered a first round pick. Book it. Jesse won’t have an NHL career here or anywhere else.

      • Oilman99

        Makes no sense to trade a top prospect at his lowest trade value,without making sure he is not going to be the player you thought he could be. Two months in the minors with top line ice time to see if he can morph into a contending player is the way to go.

  • OriginalPouzar

    Reggie was really good in Bakersfield and was fantastic last night – so aggressive in neutral zone cutting off rushes, defending the gap at the blueline aggressively, calm with the puck, good passes and increasingly involved in the offensive zone.

    His mobility was a non-issue and seemed just fine to my eye.

    It remains to be seen if he can be as effective when the tempo and speed increases on Tuesday but so far all signs are great.

    They will be cap compliant when they send down (or out) the d-man that Reggie will replace on the roster to get down to 23 – be it Gravel, Manning or Petrovic.I’m really excited to see how he does on Tuesday and over the remaining games.

  • OriginalPouzar

    Reggie was really good in Bakersfield and was fantastic last night – so aggressive in neutral zone cutting off rushes, defending the gap at the blueline aggressively, calm with the puck, good passes and increasingly involved in the offensive zone.

    His mobility was a non-issue and seemed just fine to my eye.

    It remains to be seen if he can be as effective when the tempo and speed increases on Tuesday but so far all signs are great.

    They will be cap compliant when they send down (or out) the d-man that Reggie will replace on the roster to get down to 23 – be it Gravel, Manning or Petrovic.I’m really excited to see how he does on Tuesday and over the remaining games.

  • OriginalPouzar

    Jesse is likely to head down to the Bake when Benning is activated from IR (which could very well be for Tuesday’s game as well), however, for Sekera, they need to send down (or out) a d-man or else I think it might be 9 on the roster and zero extra forwards.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Well it sue wont hurt to have him in the lineup and from what I heard about his time in Bakersfiled he was skating really well because he didnt have to his knee brace like when he was in the line up after his surgery on the knee, all the buzz was positive and lord knows the defenseive system cant be worse with him back, so glad to see him back

  • Oilerz4life

    JP top line minutes in the Bake, that’s what I’m talking about.

    Sekera is on the downward slope, but at least the Oilers own that big veteran contract, Chia-plan, damage control, great.