Let’s get going with another edition of Odds and Ends:
—The Oilers signed Leon Draisaitl to an entry-level contract this week. You can take it to the bank that the team will be starting him in the NHL right away, unless he blows it in training camp. He will get the nine game audition, but if he doesn’t perform the team will definitely take him out of the line up and save that first year on his ELC. If the Oilers don’t find a centre by October, he is in like Flynn for the year. Do YOU want Lander and Arcobello on the 2nd and 3rd lines? I thought so.
—Justin Schultz contract talks are quiet as a mouse, so that tells me that there is likely little tension between the two parties. Schultz could’ve signed with any team in the NHL, and he knows what is expected of him. P.K. Subban has become a bellwether for defensemen in the league and the salaries that define guys like Subban, who are core defenders with long term upside. While some are speculating that Schultz is not growing fast enough, it is good to recall that he is only a season and a half into his time here and that he is still very young. So long as he progresses, he will be here for a long time. Expect a contract of 2 years at 4 million per year.
—Ben Eager is gone from the Oilers organization for good now. I always thought he would pan out for some reason, but like a lot of players over the years, he didn’t have the endurance. He has signed in the KHL. Man, that league is becoming a haven for NHL castoffs. I, for one, couldn’t be happier. The more that league dilutes itself by turning into a home for Cam Barker-types, the less attractive pulling an Ilya will be.
Stay Tuned for tomorrow’s blog when I assess the comments made by Coach Dallas Eakins in recent media statements. And, oh, please do sign up to blog for Oil on Whyte! We want your talent and ideas!