Oilers odds and ends

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Ryan Murray (28) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Edmonton Oilers defenseman Ryan Murray (28) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oilers Dylan Holloway
Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

One big rumbling out of camp this year is how much Dylan Holloway is impressing and how much Jesse Puljujarvi has picked up where he left off last year in terms of his struggles.

If this continues it’s entirely possible that Holloway starts the season on the third line while Puljujarvi starts on the fourth line.  Holloway was drafted 14th overall by the Oilers in 2020, and if indeed he does make the team out of camp there would be a slight financial advantage as his bonuses wouldn’t count against the cap, whereas if they have to send him back to the minors and he inevitably gets called up his bonuses would definitely count against the cap – if he meets them.

Of course the line combos are hardly set it stone at this point.  There’s still lots of camp left and lots can happen between now and then. Right now Zach Hyman is poised to play RW on the second line, but he likes playing the left side better. Puljujarvi may start the season in the top six anyway, who knows?

Other names impressing in camp are Xavier Bourgault, Max Wanner, Dmitri Samorukov, and Marcus Niemelainen.

Wanner is unlikely to be a threat to make the team out of camp, while Samorukov may be one of the last cuts. Bourgault is likely in the same boat – unlikely to make the team out of camp but probably first in line for a callup if the opportunity comes along. Niemelainen is one of the few guys who is legit forcing himself into the conversation. Right D is a bit crowded right now so I don’t know how the Oilers will make that work but who knows? Maybe Ken Holland has had something in his back pocket and was just waiting for training camp to work itself out.

It’ll be interesting to see what the opening night roster looks like.

Next. Are the Edmonton Oilers forwards (already) better than last season?. dark