The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenceman Dmitri Samorukov to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced Thursday.
Edmonton took Samorukov 84th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The 18-year-old blueliner attended the Oilers’ development camp in Jasper this summer and is currently with the team for rookie camp this coming week.
Samorukov played 67 games with the OHL’s Guelph Storm this past season, posting four goals and 20 points, as well as 41 PIM. He also suited up for Russia in the U18 World Junior Championship, registering a goal and five points in seven international games.
The 6-foot-2, 181-pound defenceman is a big, physical player who doesn’t shy away from physicality by any means. He lines up open-ice hits and plays a hard-hitting game, and he also shows puck-moving potential and offensive ability, thanks to his heavy point shot and ability to move the puck up ice.
Samorukov is also a player who can adapt to the higher levels and evolve his game. He shows a lot of potential to grow and could serve as a huge asset to the Oilers organization, which now has a lot of blueline depth. And, as a left-hand shot, he has a lot of room to grow and learn in Edmonton.
Overall, this is a great move for the Oilers. He possesses a solid frame for the NHL level and has nowhere to go but up. And considering Edmonton’s depth on defence, he adds more stability, especially on the left side.
He will likely start the year in juniors and continue to work on his game. He needs to work on his skating, and also needs to avoid turnovers, which will help him improve his play at both ends of the rink. In the end, he is a physical defender with a little bit of offensive upside who will serve as an asset for years to come.