Oilers place Raphael Lavoie, Lane Pederson and Ben Gleason on waivers

Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
6 months ago
The Edmonton Oilers have placed three players on waivers Sunday morning as one final wave of roster cuts are made.
The three the club is hoping will slide through waivers are forwards Raphael Lavoie and Lane Pederson, as well as defenceman Ben Gleason.
For the Oilers, it means the club opted to go with veterans in Mattias Janmark and Adam Erne — who arrived in camp on a professional tryout and has appeared to win a job with the big club — instead of keeping a much younger Lavoie, who carries much higher upside now and into the future.
As noted by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the Oilers are “trying to sort through the health status of defensemen (sic) for Game 1” of the regular season and some of the waived players, should they clear, could be in the lineup for Wednesday’s season opener. Forward Ryan McLeod is still working his way back from injury, while two defenceman Mattias Ekholm and Markus Niemelainen are working their way back from injury.
Ekholm didn’t appear in any pre-season contests, but Niemelainen appeared in three. An injury to the latter is something that could’ve kept him from hitting the wire Sunday.
Pederson arrived in Edmonton as a free agent signing this past off-season inking a two-year deal with a $775,000 cap hit. He showed well in the pre-season, but the Oilers have opted to go a different route. He’s a likely quick recall when needed. He’s played some NHL games in the past, but at 26 years old, has spent the majority of his playing career at the AHL level.
Another player like that is defenceman Ben Gleason — who signed with the team last offseason much like Pederson. The 25-year-old has only played four NHL games in his six-year pro career, but showed very well this pre-season notching two assists in six games. He’s a player who is likely right at the top of the recall list for the rearguard.
The Oilers are clearly taking a risk losing Lavoie and it’s now up to 31 other teams to determine whether they feel he’s worthy of a bottom-six spot in the NHL. The 23-year-old 2019 2nd-round pick is coming off his best season in the AHL having scored 25 goals and 45 points in 61 games, and now could find himself with a new organization.
Lavoie was named the Edmonton Oilers’ No. 1 prospect by our own Bruce Curlock. In his write up, he noted he feels Lavoie has the tools to play in the NHL in a middle-six role.
“If he keeps his feet moving and plays responsibly, it is this one gift that could make the difference on a team that needs bottom-six scoring,” he wrote.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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