The Edmonton Oilers’ potential rookies for the 2014-15 season have been getting an overwhelming amount of buzz lately – there’s something in the rookie water.
Edmonton has a history of going with the young, fresh blood over the past few years. Starting in the 2010-11 season, they’ve gotten a lot of rookies that turned out to be incredibly solid additions. The young core forwards, discussed ad nauseum by everyone, of course – Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov. Even players like Martin Marincin, Mark Arcobello, Luke Gazdic, ended up doing far beyond what a lot of people had projected.
So who are some of the potential rookies to root for next season? A few of them most hockey fans will have heard about, but there are some that are a little more under the radar.
He had to come first, obviously. He fills a desperate need at center, and he’s bulked up to 215 pounds since reports on him only a few months back. He was an A++ rookie that many teams wanted. There’s a fairly good chance he’ll be in training camp with the Oilers, and he’s probably the top pick to make it on the ice out of all the rookies.
He’s had a few setbacks with injuries and offensive difficulties which held up his entry-level deal a bit, but he’s been spoken of well and managed to catch s fair bit of attention last season. If he manages to stay injury free, he could very well get some ice time in Edmonton.
With highly desired, super talented prospects like Klefbom, it’s really only a waiting game. His skill is in point and there’s a fairly good chance that he’ll get some ice time.
Like Klefbom, Nurse is a defensive prospect for an organization that desperately needs some help on defense. Edmonton will likely still be trying to nurse him, but there’s potential for him to get some minimal ice time over the season, perhaps play a few games. If he manages to dazzle in any small opportunity he’s given, he might have a shot at a bigger role.
Those four are the big names that all eyes are trained on, but there are a couple great ones that have received far less attention.
On the right wing are Iiro Pakarinen and Steve Pinizzotto. Unfortunately, the chances are they probably won’t get to shine much if Pitlick ends up performing well on the right. He’s edged ahead of them a little bit, but they do still have a strong chance.
In the centre, which is on everyone’s radar right now due to the situation in Edmonton, are Bogdan Yakimov and Jujhar Khaira. Both will need some time in the minors, but since Edmonton is fairly desperate to beef up the center, they might get looked at later in the season if they manage to excel in Oklahoma.
Finally, on defense is Brandon Davidson. New addition to the coaching staff Rocky Thompson singled Davidson out. After Marincin and Klefbom, Thompson said, Davidson was the next on his radar. Some stellar play in the minors might lead to good things for Davidson, if Thompson already has an eye on him.