Coming off a surprising season that found the Edmonton Oilers place second in the Pacific division, and have them make it to the second round of the playoffs, the young Oilers squad is ready to make a run again in the upcoming season. With the likes of elite talent such as Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and Cam Talbot between the pipes, expectations are high for this team. With the roster pretty much set, there are a few positions free. With the injury to Andrej Sekera there is an opening on the backend. There is also a chance that a rookie could steal a bottom six role.
For the upcoming season, not many spots are available on the young Edmonton Oilers roster. There is an opening on defence that one of Ethan Bear or Caleb Jones could make a push for. But, with the signings of Yohann Auvitu and Ryan Stanton, that spot will be tough to get. There will even be a battle for the seventh spot on the blue line. With the signing of Jussi Jokinen, the forward depth for the Oilers gets a little deeper, which means that’s one less spot for a forward. This signing ultimately affects the likes of Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto. But, the young Finnish winger could also learn from his fellow countrymen, not only on ice but off ice as well with his English.
Prospect Depth Chart:
Jesse Puljujarvi- After a difficult start to the season last year, the fourth overall pick of the 2016 draft got sent down to the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL. Where he found his game. After adjusting to North American ice, Puljujarvi started to dominate. He has the potential to breakout next season and be a force in the NHL.
Ethan Bear- Last season was a breakout season for the young defenseman. After putting up 70 points in only 67 games, Bear was named the WHL’s top defenseman. Next season he will most likely start in the AHL. The defensive depth in Bakersfield isn’t deep so Bear will get a good opportunity to prove himself both at even-strength and on the powerplay.
Caleb Jones- The mobile two-way defenseman had an unreal season. While putting up 62 points in 63 games, Jones managed to make the American World Junior squad where he played top minutes. The young defensemen is expected to start in Bakersfield, where he can play in all situations and even make a push for a spot in the NHL.
Dylan Wells- Wells had yet another good season in Peterborough. The confident netminder took his team all the way to the conference finals. Entering his fourth OHL season, Wells is expected to carry his team once again to another outstanding season. He has a strong chance of being the standout goalie in the CHL this year.
Tyler Benson- The young captain of the Vancouver Giants has the skillset to be a top nine forward in the future. But, Benson can’t find a way to stay healthy. While being able to put up points he only managed to play in 33 games last season. While healthy, Benson can be a very dangerous player.
Markus Niemelainen- The Finnish defenseman was never really an offensive threat but he always had a bit of an offensive touch. This past season, Niemelainen only managed to put up nine points in 59 games. He’s now moved onto Finland to develop his game.
- Jesse Puljujarvi
- Kailer Yamamoto
- Ostap Safin
- Caleb Jones
- Ethan Bear
- Dylan Wells
- Tyler Benson
- Stuart Skinner
- Ryan Mantha
- Kiril Maksimov
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