Vincent Desharnais might soon be making his NHL debut.
The Edmonton Oilers announced on Monday afternoon that the 6’7″ defender has been recalled from the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL…
Desharnais has had an incredible journey to reach Edmonton’s blueline.
The Oilers selected him in the seventh round of the 2016 NHL Draft following his freshman season with Providence College. He spent four seasons playing with Providence and then joined the Wichita Thunder of the ECHL on a minor-league contract for the 2019-20 season. That season, Desharnais played 31 games in the ECHL and six with the Condors in the AHL.
The 2021-22 season was Desharnais’ breakout campaign as a prospect. He scored five goals and 27 points over the course of 66 games while posting a plus-36 rating while playing largely on Bakersfield’s top defensive pairing. That performance earned Desharnais a two-year, entry-level contract with the Oilers back in March of 2022.
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This season, Desharnais has appeared in just 13 games for the Condors because of a wrist injury that he suffered back before the start of training camp. Desharnais had surgery to repair the damage in his wrist and didn’t make his season debut with the Condors until November.
Desharnais is a big, strong, and tough defender who uses his 6’7″ frame to make life difficult for his opponents in the defensive zone. Here are some notes on him from Bruce Curlock, our Bakersfield expert…
“Vinny Desharnais is a defence first shut down defender. He’s adapt at playing both sides at the AHL level despite being a right shot. His size, reach, and willingness to block shots without regard for his body makes him a great penalty killer. He’s a very physical player who can shut down the cycle using body. He also isn’t afraid to throw ‘em although the injury to his hand/wrist has prevented him from doing so.
The issue for Desharnais at the NHL level will be his lateral mobility. East-west attacks give him challenges and players who put the puck into the triangle between his feet and stick do as well.His passing skills will be challenged as well at this level. Can he outlet the puck to skill players in tight windows?
He played a lot with Philip Broberg in a 1D pairing with the Condors. I’ll be curious when he plays, how he’s deployed.”