The Oilers have found themselves in a difficult spot with injuries as both Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Alex Chiasson will be unavailable for this weekend’s home-and-home with the Vancouver Canucks.
Nugent-Hopkins has missed the last two games due to a hand injury and he also won’t be available this weekend after undergoing a procedure on the injury. Chiasson took a huge hit from Ryan Graves in Thursday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche and is currently under concussion protocol. It’s safe to assume he’ll miss both games this weekend.
That’s two-thirds of Edmonton’s second line out of action for two key games this weekend. Sam Gagner has been filling in for Nugent-Hopkins on the second line and Chiasson’s injury opens up yet another hole in the lineup.
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Here is this weeks @SherwoodFord GIANT Question of the week!
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That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday FRIDAY EDITION question. How should the Oilers fill Nugent-Hopkins and Chiasson’s spots in the lineup? Is it time to call up some prospects from Bakersfield, like Tyler Benson or Kailer Yamamoto? Or should the Oilers plug the lineup holes with veterans?
Neither Nugent-Hopkins or Chiasson are on the Injured Reserve as of right now. If the Oilers do decide to put Nugent-Hopkins on the IR, they can do it retroactively to last week when he missed his first game with the hand injury, meaning they’ll be able to activate him sooner. The decision with Chiasson ultimately comes down to how severe his possible concussion is.
Benson, Edmonton’s second-round pick from the 2016 draft, is putting up another strong season in Bakersfield. He had an excellent rookie campaign last year, posting 66 points in 68 games, and he currently leads the Condors in scoring this year with 16 points in 19 games. Yamamoto hasn’t had as strong of a showing, as he has just nine points in 15 games, but he has experience at the NHL level already.
If the Oilers don’t call anybody up, they can just slide Joakim Nygard back into the lineup in place of Chiasson. But bringing up Benson could give the team a spark offensively on the second line. It would also give him a good short-term taste of what play is like at the NHL level. It’s always good to give prospects a cup of coffee, even if the plan is to bring them along slowly in the AHL.
What say you, Nation? IsIn the midst of these injuries, is it time to call up a prospect from the AHL? Is Tyler Benson ready for an opportunity? What about Kailer Yamamoto?