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Stauffer: Edmonton Oilers expected to sign Oil Kings defenceman Marc Lajoie to amateur tryout

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Photo credit:@EdmOilKings / Twitter
Michael Mazzei
17 days ago
The Oilers will be adding another prospect to their farm system as Bob Stauffer reports that the team is going to sign Marc Lajoie to an ATO for the rest of the season.
He added that Lajoie report to the Bakersfield Condors once the ATO has been signed where he can get acclimated with the AHL team and present management a chance to assess his play before determining whether to give him a permanent contract for next season and beyond.
The undrafted defenceman just wrapped up his overage season in the WHL where he was one of the lone bright spots on an Oil Kings team that finished well outside the playoffs. Lajoie’s 58 points (26 goals and 32 assists) in 68 games had him leading all Oil King defenders in scoring and second on the team overall behind draft-eligible forward Gavin Hodnett.
Not only that, but he was one of the few players on the team with a positive plus/minus rating despite Edmonton having among the worst goal differentials in the WHL. It is not a perfect stat by any means but this type of scenario is quite rare so scouts are bound to turn their heads when they see things like this.
The St. Albert native is a left-shot defender who stands at 6’6″ and weighs 223 pounds. By no means is he a fully fleshed-out prospect at this current juncture, but his gifted size and quality two-way play make him quite the intriguing prospect to invest time in. It makes sense why the Oilers have kept their eyes on Lajoie for a while and are willing to get a head start on integrating him into the fold as it is clear they believe he could be part of their plans.
Besides, the Condors are in the midst of a playoff race and won’t need to rush him into the lineup right away. The AHL affiliate can use some time to get him comfortable before giving him a few games on a trial run in a more competitive environment than he had been in all year.
While Lajoie was never able to get drafted into the NHL, he won’t be complaining about getting his foot in the door of chasing his NHL dream in the way he is commencing his pro career. If nothing else, this is a low-risk-high-reward move for the Oilers that gives them a chance to get a look at the latest addition to their farm system.
Stats from Elite Prospects.

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