It was a very eventful week of training camp for the Edmonton Oilers, from competitive games to players getting cut from the roster. We will take a look at how the team performed and who played well enough to be kept around until the crunch time of training camp. Then we’ll catch you up on any news and updates you may have missed, followed by a look forward to this coming week.
Oilers Preseason Games
After starting the preseason with a win over the Calgary Flames last Sunday, the Oilers had a solid week, splitting games with the Seattle Kraken and Winnipeg Jets. They improved to a 3-2 record in the preseason after a 2-2 week.
On Tuesday against the Kraken, most of the Oilers’ NHL roster saw their first action of the preseason. We got a glimpse of line combinations that head coach Dave Tippett might run with. This game was a 6-0 blowout for Edmonton, but keep in mind that the Kraken iced a young lineup. Connor McDavid’s line with Zach Hyman on the left side looked like they had been playing together for a while already. Each member of the top line potted a goal, Jesse Puljujarvi included. The power play had no rust and should pick up exactly where it left off last season, at No. 1 in the league.
Oilers goalies Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen split the shutout to make it two games in a row without allowing a goal. Brendan Perlini, who’s fighting for a job on the team this season, scored two goals and built chemistry with Devin Shore on the fourth line, where we will likely see him during the regular season.
Edmonton dopped the next two games to the Jets and Kraken, who filled their squads with NHL players to get them some reps. The Oilers filled their lineup with more prospects, allowing them to see a very limited amount of big-league players dress. After a close and hard-fought game against the Kraken, which ended in an overtime loss, Edmonton bounced back the next night. Leon Draisaitl’s line started to contribute after he fed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the game-winner.
Players Cut from Oilers Roster
The most recent cuts from training camp include Filip Berglund, Philip Broberg, and Ilya Konovalov. Bob Stauffer noted that “(Philip) Broberg and (Filip) Berglund performed well in their preseason games and will form Jay Woodcroft’s top pairing with the Condors.”
The hope is that Cooper Marody will clear waivers. He has been a productive player for the Bakersfield Condors and helped the development of linemates Ryan McLeod and Tyler Benson.
Related: Edmonton Oilers 2021-22 Season Preview Section
The preseason roster now looks like this:
There are 17 forwards remaining, and the Oilers will look to cut the list down by one or two more while keeping Josh Archibald and Dylan Holloway on injured reserve for now. It’s a dogfight out there, as Perlini, Shore, Colton Sceviour, Kyle Turris, Benson, and McLeod are competing for the last available spots on the roster.
Though the team also has players out for an extended time, they’ve cut down the roster to eight defensemen and three goalies among their blueliners and goaltenders originally in camp.
I expect William Lagesson and Stuart Skinner to be the odd men out from the group that remains. They are younger and could do with a little more development outside of the NHL. But watch for them to be the first call-ups made if any Oiler misses some time. The roster depends on how the coaching staff structures their extras for each game, as they could go with two forwards and one defence or the reverse. It wouldn’t make sense to keep three goalies because they won’t get the necessary reps to be able to perform up to par when needed.
Oilers News You May Have Missed
Some news you might have missed. Josh Archibald was supposed to be the third or fourth line right-winger after a strong performance since his debut with the Oilers in 2019-20. However, he will be out indefinitely after being diagnosed with myocarditis, a heart condition. Archibald was the only unvaccinated Oiler and was expected to miss games during the regular season. However, COVID-related complications have turned out to be much more serious than anticipated.
Duncan Keith was finally vaccinated, but it took some time and effort. It seemed like he didn’t want to take the vaccine, but in the end, he did what was best for his career and the team. He missed the start of training camp, which puts him a step behind. But he is here now and will hope to get into his first preseason action on Monday in the Battle of Alberta.
What’s in Store for the Oilers this Week
The Oilers have their final three preseason games this week, starting with the Flames. Their roster looks close to regular-season ready, with only a few cuts left to make. The Perlini, Shore, and Turris line is back together for possibly one final good look.
The Oilers play the Vancouver Canucks in their final two games on Thursday and Saturday. By that time, the roster should be set, and we’ll have a good picture of the line combinations.