Amid a CBA-mandated off-day for the Edmonton Oilers, two newcomers hit the ice at Rogers Place.
Both Derick Brassard and Brett Kulak, who arrived in Edmonton Tuesday, joined the ice Wednesday alongside assistant coach Dave Manson.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 23, 2022
While unconfirmed, I would expect both players to draw into the lineup Thursday night when the San Jose Sharks come to town.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is expected to re-join the Oilers on Thursday as well, meaning there are two forwards who will likely draw out of the Oilers’ lineup. Nugent-Hopkins will likely return to his 3C spot, while Brassard is a likely fit in the Oilers’ 4C spot.
Personally, I think the two most likely to draw out of the lineup is Josh Archibald and Zack Kassian. Shore can play on the wing, and could do so on the fourth line. This clears up a spot for Nuge at 3C.
On the fourth line, McLeod could slide over to the other wing and provide some added speed either there, or on the 3LW spot.
Kulak, meanwhile, will likely draw in on the Oilers’ third pairing alongside Tyson Barrie bumping Kris Russell out of the lineup. Russell’s a serviceable player, but like Kassian, struggled Tuesday against the Stars.
Nonetheless, we’ll likely get a look at the new lines Thursday morning during the morning skate.
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 [email protected]