The Edmonton Oilers have dipped into the professional try-out (PTO) market the past few years. Last year, the Oilers signed right wing Alex Chiasson and defenceman Jason Garrison after they came to camp on a PTO. Scottie Upshall was also on a PTO, but wasn’t healthy enough to warrant a contract. The year before, Chris Kelly was a PTO signing and stayed past camp, but never given a contract. The year before that, Kris Versteeg and Eric Gryba were PTO guys. Gryba was signed and Versteeg ended up in Calgary.
The Oilers will almost assuredly have a couple of players on PTOs this year as welll.
2018-19: 65gp 16g 20a 36p
Ken Holland is familiar with Thomas Vanek, having signed him twice already, and the Oilers desperately need scoring wingers. Vanek is suspect defensively, but he can score goals and shouldn’t cost more than a million or so. He has at least 16 goals in his past four seasons.
Vanek would add a right shot to a left-heavy lineup.
2018-19: 74gp 10g 18a 28p
Could a return to Edmonton be in the cards for the Big Rig? Patrick Maroon was a fan favourite with the Oilers and now he has a Stanley Cup to his name. The Oilers are thin at left-wing, even with Leon Draisaitl there, but Joakim Nygard, James Neal, and Markus Granlund should round out the top nine on the left side. Maroon had a down year five-on-five and the Oilers need capable players in that discipline. Maroon doesn’t penalty kill and isn’t the fastest skater. He could play with good players in Edmonton and New Jersey, maybe that’s still the case?
2018-19: 73gp 18g 6a 24p
How is a 6’6 centre who scored 18 goals and 24 points still unsigned in mid-August? Brian Boyle is 34 and will be 35 by the new year, but he’s a capable centre and the Oilers need a third-line guy behind Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Boyle might be more of a fourth-line guy at even strength at this point, but the Oilers could use him there too. Boyle is preferable to playing Jujhar Khaira or Granlund at centre and natural centres like Kyle Brodziak and Colby Cave.
Boyle has a lot of miles on him, but he consistently wins faceoffs and kills penalties.
2018-19: 70gp 14g 9a 23p
Derrick Brassard went from being traded for a first-round pick to likely PTO candidate in 18 months. Brassard isn’t the player he used to be, but he’s a year removed from scoring 18 goals and a 38 points in 58 games, a 52-point pace. Brassard might not produce much on the Oilers third line, with some combination of Nygard, Gagner, Chiasson, Neal, and Josh Archibald as his linemates, but maybe there’s a way to get him more minutes on the wing with Nugent-Hopkins or McDavid.
Update: Brassard signed with the New York Islanders for one year at $1.2 million.
2018-19: 55gp 9g 11a 20p
Lindberg can play left wing or centre. Lindberg has solid five-on-five numbers in limited minutes and isn’t a drag on obsession. Lindberg had a bump in production in Ottawa, though he was shooting the lights out. The Oilers need more useful players who can score and Lindberg fits that bill.
2018-19: 82gp 9g 10a 19p
Sheahan is another centre available late into August. Sheahan kills penalties and wins faceoffs. Third line centre might be a bit of an ask, but the Oilers don’t have much better options currently on the roster. Sheahan is an upgrade on Brodziak and Cave.
I’d have time for Vanek and Lindberg. I can’t see a veteran defenceman coming in. There are enough young defencemen on the cusp. Bring in forwards who can score a bit and or play centre.