The Edmonton Oilers recently restocked the cupboards in Oklahoma City. The Edmonton Oilers farm team has also been hit by the injury bug as of late, so the team went quickly to plug the holes left open.
Most notably was the addition of Greg Chase. Chosen in the seventh round of last year’s entry draft, critics were looking at the pick as a major shot in the dark. Most fellows who are selected that late in the draft tend to be forgotten, and once in a blue (and copper) moon, one of them rises above. Chase appears to be one of these types of cases. At 19, Chase likely needs a year or two in the AHL to fill out and learn the game at a more professional level. But, the numbers don’t lie in terms of his growth season to season. This year’s 85 points with the Calgary Hitmen is encouraging to say the least.
With signings like Arcobello, and the strong defensive depth on the farm it seems the Oilers are hoping some of the talent they have drafted and signed in OKC will plug the holes still left gaping wide by the failed players of this middling rebuild. They may not be wrong. There are many indications that the talent there is good enough to make the leap. But will it prevent proper NHL deals?
One quality Oilers management have shown time and again is to bank on potential before its realized while leveraging that risk by gutting players who are starting to reach those destined heights. Sure, Chase, Klefbom, Fedun, Lander–they could be the answer. Let’s hope, however, that it doesn’t draw down Craig Mactavish’s well publicized “boldness”. This off season is a critical one, where a couple astute moves need to be made to ensure continued growth. Will it come from OKC?
Don’t bet the farm on it.