Oilers News & Rumors: Benson, Bouchard, Turris, Archibald, McDavid…

In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, Tyler Benson is impressing at training camp and there’s talk he might earn himself a spot on the Oilers opening night roster. Meanwhile, Evan Bouchard is also showing well and the Oilers plan to try using him in an interesting way. Kyle Turris has focused on getting stronger and more explosive, and the fans wait for a decision from the Oilers when it comes to plans for Josh Archibald.

Tyler Benson Impressing Early

Early reports out of training camp is that forward Tyler Benson looks good. He seems quicker and more comfortable and he noted, “I feel like this is where I belong.” He has no intention of losing a spot he believes he’s ready to earn and keep throughout the season.

Benson came into camp in great shape and physical testing gave him some early confidence, while on-ice sessions seem to show that he’s lighter and faster on his skates — which was a knock on him in the past. Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now wrote on Twitter, “In the first couple of days of training camp Tyler Benson looks noticeably quicker. Was terrific today in scrimmage. Benson has 34-104-138 in 151 regular-season games in the AHL over the last 3 seasons.”

Bouchard Also Looking Good

Bouchard isn’t technically eligible to win the Calder Trophy this season (he’s had two NHL seasons of six or more games), but if he were, it sounds like he’d have been a dark horse candidate to make some noise based on how the Oilers view him, how much they plan to get him involved and how prepared he seems to be to make some noise in his first full season of NHL action.

During camp, the Oilers have been impressed with Bouchard who has mostly lined up against the top line. It was an assignment he and Slater Koekkoek asked for as they wanted to test themselves against left-winger Zach Hyman and center Connor McDavid.

While he’s known as an offensive defenseman with good vision, a strong shot and hockey smarts, he’s not just going to play third-pair minutes and power-play duty. The Oilers plan on integrating Bouchard into their penalty kill.

Turris Ready to Make an Impact

The talk is that Kyle Turris might be a player to watch early. It’s said that he’s come into camp much strong and in tremendous shape and he’s been told he’s going to play the wing, which is something he’s been practicing all summer. He noted that he’s really enjoyed it and he’s ready.

Turris admitted that he needs to play better and that it’s frustrating sitting out and knowing you can do more. He said the game has changed and it’s so much faster than it ever was. He’s been working on his speed and adapting to the new direction the league has gone.

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As Mark Spector writes, “This is it for Turris. Either he proves last year was an aberration, that there is something left and he’s really not that player. Or the rest of the NHL sees him in the press box for another season, and deduces that his time has passed.”

Oilers Ask How Many Points McDavid and Pulujuarvi Combine For

The Oilers organization tweeted a photo of Connor McDavid and Jesse Puljuarvi and asked what the two players would combine for in points this season. It’s an interesting question if the pair remains together most of the season. I predicted 172, but I then got to thinking about McDavid’s 2020-21 season and just how impressive it was.

Jesse Puljujarvi Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers
Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

He scored 105 points in 56 games, which equates to an 82-game pace of 153 points. That means, Puljujarvi would only need to score 19 points to meet my prediction, which he could probably do in his sleep if he stays healthy and is on that line. Can McDavid score 153 points? It would be quite the feat if he could, but who is going to bet against him?

Josh Archibald Vaccination Update

There’s been a ton of talk about the status of Archibald now that it’s been confirmed he’s the player on the Oilers’ roster that has not gotten vaccinated. The question now is whether or not the Oilers stay open to the idea that he can join the team and play in games where the team remains in Canada, or if the organization simply says he’s not worth the hassle.

As many are pointing out, Archibald is a nice option to have as a fourth-line penalty killer. He’s also got speed and decent enough hands to pot a few goals during the year. At the same time, many are arguing he’s not a needle mover and it’s not worth bending over backward to accommodate him if he’s not ready to do what 99% of the rest of the league has done.

Colton Sceviour is a player the fans will watch closely. He might be at camp and get a long look to see if he’s able to come in and effectively replace the minutes Archibald would have given the Oilers.

As for why Duncan Keith is quarantining, it’s because he received his second shot while in the United States, which required him to do the 14-day isolation after returning back to Canada.