The Edmonton Oilers had a strong start to their preseason with two wins over the Calgary Flames featuring a split-squad Monday. They will see their second bout of preseason action Wednesday in a match-up with the Winnipeg Jets.
The Oilers will be testing a lot of their prospects in many different places, and a few of the lines offer a bit to read into. Here are the projected lines for Wednesday’s game.
Jussi Jokinen-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Kailer Yamamoto
Jujhar Khaira-Mark Letestu-Zack Kassian
Joey Laleggia-Chris Kelly-Mitch Callahan
Mitch Callahan-Brad Malone-Ty Rattie
Kris Russell-Matthew Benning
Ryan Stanton-Eric Gryba
Yohann Auvitu-Ryan Mantha
Laurent Brossoit will start between the pipes for the Oilers. Nick Ellis will serve as the team’s backup against Winnipeg.
What to Know
Perhaps the most anticipated combination in Wednesday’s matchup is the top trio. Yamamoto, who has had a strong camp so far, will get the chance to show his worth on a potential top-six line, and can also test his chemistry with Nugent-Hopkins. Though the 18-year-old may benefit from more development at the junior levels, he has been solid so far.
Not only does he show skill and speed, but he is able to keep up with the play and serves as an asset playing with potential NHL linemates. If he keeps up the solid performance, he may just earn a nine-game trial in Edmonton to start the year.
Khaira is also on what looks like a projected fourth line to start the year. He has been showing that he deserves a permanent spot on the NHL roster, and with Anton Slepyshev injured to start the year, it is likely that he will start the year with the big club.
Other players to watch on the forward lines include Rattie and Malone, as well as Laleggia, who is switching from defence to forward.
On the blue line, Mantha gets to jump into action, and Benning will see time on the top-pairing, which may be a preface to him starting the year on the top four. Also, AHLers Stanton and Auvitu will get some action.