Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
NHL Notebook: Calgary Flames defenceman Oliver Kylington nearing return, Minnesota Wild prospect Jesper Wallstedt lit up in big league debut, and more
1 month ago
A debut, a return, and the Los Angeles Kings on a slide, what could be better?
This is an NHL Notebook, where we look at other happenings from the league that may or may not be related to the Edmonton Oilers. Let’s dig in.
Oliver Klyington nearing a comeback
The Flames are one team hunting down the Oilers, who hold the final wild card position in the west.
They already have a pretty good defensive core, but on January 4th, the Flames announced that the 26-year-old defenceman would go on a conditioning stint with the AHL’s Calgary Wranglers. The left-shot defenceman is set to make his 2023-24 debut this Thursday as the Wranglers take on the Ontario Reign.
The Flames may move on from two unrestricted defencemen Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin ahead of the trade deadline, so adding Kylington back to their lineup would soften the blow.
Jesper Wallstedt lit up in his first NHL game
The 21-year-old netminder made his NHL debut on Wednesday against the Dallas Stars and allowed seven goals on 34 shots for a .794 save percentage and a 7 goals-against average.
As you can recall, the Oilers had a chance to take the netminder in the 2021 draft with the 20th overall pick but traded down for the 22nd overall and a third-round pick, selected Xaiver Bourgault and Luca Münzenberger, respectively.
Despite the awful performance in his debut, Wallstedt’s potential remains incredibly high, and the Oilers may have made the wrong decision passing on the Swedish goaltender. The good news is that Olivier Rodrgiue’s stock is rising significantly with the Bakersfield Condors, so that may soften the blow.
Corey Perry allowed to sign with a team
On Wednesday, Elliotte Friedman released an article for Sportsnet that reported that the veteran hockey player is allowed to sign with NHL teams after meeting with Gary Bettman.
In late November, the lowly Chicago Blackhawks waived and terminated his contract after Perry “engaged in unacceptable conduct”. In 16 games, the 38-year-old had four goals and nine points, so it came as a bit of a shock.
To this day, it’s still unclear what he did and will likely remain that way for a while. Still, teams are interested in the former Hart Trophy winner, as Carlo Colaiacovo reports there’s mutual interest between Perry and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Perry has a ton of playoff experience and would help any team he signs with. Our very own Zach Laing looked into whether or not the Oilers should look to bring him in.
Kings slipping, Oilers and Kraken surging
On December 27, the Los Angeles Kings had a 20-7-4 record for 44 points, just five behind the leading Canucks and just three behind the Vegas Golden Knights. Moreover, they had nine more points than the Seattle Kraken, 11 more than the Calgary Flames, and 13 more than the Edmonton Oilers.
Fast forward just over two weeks, and the Kings are in the midst of a six-game losing streak, picking up three points in overtime loses. As of January 11, they have 47 points, with the Oilers and Kraken just trailing by four points (the latter has three more games played), and even Calgary is within six points.
This is because Edmonton is now on an eight-game win streak, their second such streak of the season, while Seattle is on a seven-game win streak.
At this rate, who knows how the playoffs will shape out. The Oilers still trail the Canucks by 14 points with four games in hand, so it’s not impossible, but it doesn’t seem likely. The Kraken are within reach, as the Oilers also have four games in hand on them, but trail them by eight points.
It’ll be a fun race to the playoffs.
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