The Edmonton Oilers have done a great job of stockpiling prospects in the last five years. The forwards are always the ones that make the headlines, and rightfully so with the group they’re starting to put together. However, the greater organizational depth actually comes on the blue line for Edmonton, and Dmitri Samorukov will be a big part of that conversation.
Next season, Ken Holland will have his pick of defenceman from the Bakersfield Condors, with at least four players pushing for a spot in the NHL. Philip Broberg is the most likely of the bunch to crack the Oilers roster considering he played in the playoffs and is a former first-round pick from 2019. Markus Niemelainen is another player that feels close to being in the NHL reasonably consistently. Combined, Broberg and Niemalainen played 44 games in the NHL last season.
Advertisement
Ad
The other two players on the list of potentials are Vincent Desharnais and Dmitri Samorukov. Desharnais hasn’t played an NHL game yet but is coming off a career season in Bakersfield that saw him register five goals and 27 points in 66 games. Then we get to Samorukov. Yes, he does have a game in the NHL on his career stats sheet, however, he sat on the bench for the entire game.
Samorukov played 2:28 minutes against the St Louis Blues and finished -2 before being stapled to the bench. The blame for the opening two goals was put on the young defenceman by former head coach Dave Tippett, but for a lot of Oilers fans, the way he was handled left a bad taste in their mouths. Yes, he made a couple of mistakes but was that really the best way to help the situation? I’ll let you decide that.
Advertisement
Ad
Since that night in St Louis, the Russian defenceman hasn’t been back in the NHL, and it feels like his name is slowly drifting out of the conversation. He did have a good year with the Condors, scoring a career-high three goals and 18 points, but will that be enough to take the next step? Samorukov isn’t known to be an offensive defenceman, but instead somebody who skates very well and is reliable in all areas of the ice. He’s a prospect that should still have plenty of use for the Oilers, especially since he is only 23 years old.
The 2023 season is going to be a big one for him. He’ll need to establish himself as best, if not one of, the best defenceman on the Condors. Samorukov will have enough opportunity to showcase himself and earn another crack at the NHL. Perhaps this time, he’ll be given more of a chance.
Advertisement
Ad

SAMORUKOV’S CAREER SO FAR

NHL Totals
1
0
0
0
0
SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPtsPIM+/-PGPGAPtsPIM
2016-17
Guelph Storm
OHL
67
4
16
20
41
-24
2017-18
Guelph Storm
OHL
62
11
23
34
29
-10
6
0
2
2
6
2017-18
Bakersfield Condors
AHL
5
0
2
2
2
2
2018-19
Guelph Storm
OHL
59
10
35
45
20
36
24
10
18
28
12
2019-20
Bakersfield Condors
AHL
47
2
8
10
24
-5
2020-21
CSKA Moscow
KHL
48
2
6
8
12
24
2021-22
Edmonton Oilers
NHL
1
0
0
0
0
-2
2021-22
Bakersfield Condors
AHL
51
3
15
18
44
16