Some news broke on Twitter this morning as The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman announced on his account that the Oilers will be bringing right-handed defender Jason Demers into camp on a professional tryout.
Not for certain, but it appears the Oilers are out on RW Jake Virtanen.
D Jason Demers, 34, will be coming to camp on a PTO. He played 5 KHL games and w/ Canada's Olympic team last season.
EDM is also discussing the idea of extending a PTO to former Flames RW Brett Ritchie.
— Daniel Nugent-Bowman (@DNBsports) September 15, 2022
If you remember back to the summer of 2016, the Oilers paraded both Milan Lucic and Jason Demers around the city and yet-to-be-opened Rogers Place in an attempt to lure the free agents to town on a long-term deal. While both guys had plenty of nice things to say about the city and arena at the time, only Milan Lucic ended up signing with the Oilers while Demers ended up with the Florida Panthers instead. Now, after six years, a few new homes, an AHL conditioning stint, and a trip to the KHL that saw him play only five regular season games with Kazan Ak-Bars, Jason Demers will be coming to Edmonton on a PTO as he looks to crack an NHL lineup for the first time in a couple of years. Put another way, it took longer than expected but we finally got him.
As for whether or not the 34-year-old Demers can do enough to land himself an NHL contract remains to be seen, but what I do like about this move is that it brings in an experienced puck-moving defenceman that can challenge for a job and create a little bit of competition on a right side that can use a little urgency. While I absolutely assume that the team will start with Ceci, Bouchard, and Barrie on the starboard side, I could see Demers fighting with Ryan Murray and Philip Broberg for that seventh position. Obviously, I have no idea how Woodcroft sees his defensive group or what will happen during camp, but I can’t find any downsides to having a guy that’s hungry coming into town and fighting for his career.
In 699 NHL games played between the Sharks, Stars, Panthers, and Coyotes, Demers has registered 45 goals and 214 points to go along with 407 PIMs, a 51.7 CF%, and a +31 rating. In 61 career playoff games, Demers amassed three goals and 13 assists for 16 points.
JASON DEMERS CAREER SO FAR
|2009-10||San Jose Sharks||NHL||51||4||17||21||21||5||15||1||4||5||8|
|2010-11||San Jose Sharks||NHL||75||2||22||24||28||19||13||2||1||3||8|
|2011-12||San Jose Sharks||NHL||57||4||9||13||22||-8||3||0||0||0||2|
|2012-13||San Jose Sharks||NHL||22||1||2||3||10||-4||1||0||0||0||2|
|2013-14||San Jose Sharks||NHL||75||5||29||34||30||14||7||0||1||1||12|
|2014-15||San Jose Sharks||NHL||20||0||3||3||8||-6||—||—||—||—||—|