The Edmonton Oilers have recalled Anton Slepyshev from the Bakersfield Condors, the team announced Sunday.
Slepyshev suffered an ankle injury late in the offseason, which held him out for a majority of training camp and the preseason. While on the sidelines, players like Jujhar Khaira, Iiro Pakarinen and Kailer Yamamoto stepped up to replace him; all three of them earned a spot on the opening night roster.
Prior to the start of the 2017-18 campaign, the Russian winger was assigned to Bakersfield for a conditioning stint. He played one game with the Condors, putting up two penalty minutes and a plus-1 rating. Edmonton expects him to make his regular-season debut with Edmonton Monday against the Winnipeg Jets.
In 41 games with the Oilers last season, the 23-year-old winger had four goals and 10 points. He also shined in the playoffs and was a key contributor for Edmonton, scoring three goals in 12 postseason games.
Coming into this season, Slepyshev is not only looking to prove his worth as a full-time NHLer, but he will also be looking for a bigger role with the team. He has spent a majority of his time in the NHL on the bottom-six, but given his speed, skill and development, and the Oilers needing more depth on the right side, he should be able to make the top-six jump this year.
The former third-round pick skated on the second-line at Sunday’s practice alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Milan Lucic. He will likely get the chance to prove his worth in that position, primarily battling with the likes of Zack Kassian for that spot. In addition, Yamamoto and Pakarinen could make a case to try to earn that increased ice time as well.
While Slepyshev has seen some bumps in the road when it comes to injuries and development, it seems he is ready to take a big step forward with the team this season.