Oilers News & Rumors: Keith, Hyman, Puljujarvi, McDavid, Camp Cuts…

In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, Duncan Keith has joined the team in camp. When will he play? Meanwhile. there’s a lot of positive chatter surrounding Jesse Puljujarvi and how much better he can get. One scribe points out that Zach Hyman was brought in for more than just offense and the Oilers made a number of training camp cuts. Finally, what does the roster for Friday’s game against Seattle suggest for a few prospects trying to show well?

Duncan Keith Joins the Oilers at Camp

Reports and photos from Oilers skate on Friday showed that veteran defenseman Duncan Keith had joined the team out of quarantine. He was leading the stretches for Oilers who aren’t traveling to Everett, Washington, for tonight’s game against the Seattle Kraken.

As per Daniel-Nugent Bowman, Keith was taking reps with Cody Ceci and Kris Russell in drills, while Evan Bouchard skated with Darnell Nurse. Reid Wilkins of 630CHED reports that Keith will skate today, tomorrow, and Sunday. He could possibly play Monday when the Oilers take on the Calgary Flames in Edmonton. Head coach Dave Tippett wouldn’t guarantee Keith for Monday’s game and noted Thursday’s game with Russell might be more likely.

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Nugent-Bowman took a look at Keith’s return and if he’ll be able to have a strong season in a more limited role. One person who seems excited about his arrival is Connor McDavid. McDavid said, “I like what he brings to the game,” He added:

“I like his intensity. He skates so well. He’s one of those guys that’s played in every big game there is to play in. He’s obviously got a big, veteran voice — leadership in the room — and he’s very determined. Just getting that sense from him, just talking to him after the trade, he seems like a very motivated guy. I certainly like a motivated Duncan Keith on my team.”

McDavid Also Has High Praise for Puljujarvi

The second player this week to talk about how good Puljujarvi can be, McDavid was singing the praises of his winger. “There’s definitely another gear he can get to,” McDavid said. Calling him a big and powerful man, McDavid believes Puljujarvi could be incredibly effective as he starts to figure out the game and noted he’s starting to see signs of Puljujarvi picking up the smaller details of getting lost behind the defenses. “There’s definitely a thinking side to the game where Jesse can take another step. That will come with time.”

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

By the way, Jesse is a little bit nuts (in as good a way as nuts can be). A picture of him at Elk Island National Park has gone viral among Oilers fans. He was walking his dog and they came across a bison. It’s a great shot, but does anyone else feel like he might be just a bit too close for comfort?

Hyman Being Counted on Defensively

Travis Yost of TSN wrote an interesting piece on how Hyman might help the Oilers defensively this season and noted, “Hyman was brought in for more than just scoring. He’s a forechecking dynamo and an excellent defensive winger, the latter of which should be quite useful for a player like McDavid.”

Yost points out that the Oilers could have targeted more offensive players, but the Oilers chose to heavily invest in someone that could not only up his offensive production alongside McDavid but would help limit how many chances the team gives up with the star center on the ice.

Zach Hyman, Edmonton Oilers
Zach Hyman, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)

Yost points out that McDavid’s goal differential is surprisingly low when compared to other star players who drive offense the way he does. He notes that only three players (Chris Tierney, Pavel Zacha, and Patrik Laine) have seen more goals against than McDavid and his line over the past three seasons.

Oilers Cut Nine Players from Camp

The Oilers made some roster moves this week, sending a number of players back to Bakersfield and one back to the QMJHL. Eight players were assigned to the Bakersfield Condors (AHL):

  • Devin Brosseau (F)
  • Matteo Gennaro (F)
  • Yanni Kaldis (D)
  • Dino Kambeitz (F)
  • Raphael Lavoie (F)
  • Kirill Maksimov (F)
  • Ostap Safin (F)
  • Tim Soderlund (F)

Also, 2021 first-round draft pick Xavier Bourgault (F) was returned to Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL. It was a little surprising to see Borgault not get a chance to play a home game — as oftentimes, first-round picks do — but the focus will be on having a strong year and possibly making team Canada.

Oilers Lineup vs. Kraken Friday

As per Tony Brar of the Oilers organization, the lineup the team will roll with tonight features Zach Hyman with Derek Ryan and Kailer Yamamoto on the top line, while Brendan Perlini, Devin Shore and Seth Griffith will make up the second like. Tyler Benson will play with Ryan McLeod and Colton Sceviour, while James Hamblin will round out the fourth line with Brad Malone and Cooper Marody. On defense, the Oilers will go with Slater Koekkoek and Tyson Barrie, Philip Broberg and Filip Berglund, plus William Lagesson and Philip Kemp.

The lineup features a couple of players from the Washington area, but it’s not heavy on a roster regulars. This could be one of the final looks for players and the Oilers will take a look at two prospects in goal as Stuart Skinner and Oliver Rodrigue get the call.