In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, there is news on Zack Kassian’s extension talks, Caleb Jones gets a new deal but a ribbing from his brother and one of the Bakersfield Condors makes the AHL All-Star team. Plus, are the Oilers looking at the Toronto Maple Leafs for top-six forward help?
Benson Makes AHL All-Star Team
One of the forwards a few fans are surprised they haven’t seen yet in the NHL is Tyler Benson. A crafty scorer, there is a lot of talk he’s got the chops to be an NHL player. The recent news reaffirms that it might not be long before Oilers fans get to see him in action.
Benson is heading to the American Hockey League all-star game, replacing 21-year-old forward Kailer Yamamoto who is up in Edmonton currently with the big club.
Benson is having an excellent season for the Condors with eight goals and 24 assists for 32 points in 32 games. He led the team in scoring last season and may do so again this season, assuming the Oilers don’t give him a look. This will be his first AHL All-Star appearance.
Caleb Jones Signs, Gets Ribbed by Brother
The Edmonton Oilers made a wise decision when they locked up one of their young defensive prospects in Caleb Jones to a two-year contract extension this week. The deal will see him make $825K per season over the next two seasons starting in 2020.
Along with Ethan Bear, Evan Bouchard and Philip Broberg, Jones is one of a handful of young d-men the Oilers believe have a bright future in the NHL. He was called up earlier this season and seems to be adjusting to the game and speed of the NHL just fine.
One of the questions being asked in Edmonton now… ‘Is Kris Russell a bit more expendable now that the Oilers have signed Jones?’
Kassian Close on an Extension With the Oilers?
Apparently, a two-game suspension gives a player time to talk with his agents. Mark Spector reported on Friday that the Oilers are Zack Kassian are quickly making ground on a new deal that will keep the forward with the Oilers for the foreseeable future.
Oilers GM Ken Holland and Rick Curran, the agent for UFA RW Zack Kassian, have spoken several times and appear to be finding common ground. My sense: They will announce a multi-year deal prior to the trade deadline, and Kassian will not go to market on July 1.
Kassian is on pace to have a career year with the Oilers and has provided a lot of what GM Ken Holland likes in a player he sees as a long-term fit. Holland said, “I’ve had a number of conversations with his agent, Rick Curran. The hope is that we can keep him in an Oilers uniform.”
And really, what’s not to like about Kassian’s game this season? He’s scoring, he can play anywhere in the lineup and he’s been a popular guy around the NHL these days after his run-ins with Matthew Tkachuck, widely considered the NHL’s biggest pest.
Oilers Looking For Top-Six Foward
As mentioned in the NHL rumor rundown, the Oilers are looking for a top-six foward at this year’s NHL Trade Deadline, according to Darren Dreger of TSN. Dreger reports he believes one team the Oilers are watching are the Toronto Maple Leafs where there are rumblings around the “likes of Kapanen, Johnsson, maybe Alex Kerfoot.”