Injuries have hit the Oilers defencemen as of late. Veteran blueliners Andrew Ference (concussion) and Nikita Nikitin are not practicing with the team. With Mark Fayne, 27, skating with the team today at practice, the average age of the seven Oilers defencemen on the ice was 23.4.
Take him out of the lineup, like he was last game with a shoulder injury, and the average age of the remaining six is 22.8.
Youth on the blueline can be an obstacle for NHL clubs. For those players however, it is an opportunity to grow and develop. Trial by fire.
“I think it’s great for those guys, getting experience when they’re that young,” said Fayne. “It’s a tough league for a defenceman to come in right away, every game in the playoff season. I think it’s good that they’re starting to get experience now, playing a lot of different positions and a lot of different match ups. I think, as a team, it might be a little tough of a transition when you have so many but this is the time of year to do it.”
RELATED: Watch as Platzer wins the Longest Drive Competition at Orientation Camp in Jasper
RELATED: Read our Future Watch article on Platzer from November
The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have agreed to terms with centre Kyle Platzer on a three-year entry level contract.
Platzer, 20, has appeared in 68 games with the Ontario Hockey League's Owen Sound Attack this season, posting 81 points (34G, 47A), 46 penalty minutes and a plus 13 rating. He led the team and established career highs in points (81), goals (34), assists (47) and plus/minus (+13). He also played in five playoff games, registering five points (1G, 4A) and four penalty minutes.
The 6’0”, 180-pound centre has accumulated 140 points (61G, 79A) and 87 penalty minutes in 203 career OHL games. He has also appeared in 31 career playoff games, recording 14 points (4G, 10A) and 18 penalty minutes.
Platzer was selected by the Oilers in the 4th round, 96th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Platzer will report to Oklahoma City (AHL) and sign an Amateur Tryout agreement with the Barons.
The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have assigned goaltender Tyler Bunz to the American Hockey League's Oklahoma City Barons.
Bunz, 23, appeared in one game for the Oilers, in relief of starting goaltender Ben Scrivens on April 2nd in the Oilers loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
The Oilers announced that centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will not play tonight against the Flames due to a lower body injury.
The Oilers have taken the ice for morning skate ahead of tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames.
In their first season in the American Hockey League, the Bakersfield Condors will don a new primary logo on their uniforms. At a press conference on Thursday, in California, the Condors unveiled their logo for the upcoming 2015-16 season.
"This is another step in building the excitement for this historic move to the American Hockey League," said Condors Team President Matthew Riley. "The new logo is dynamic, fierce, and incorporates our new blue and orange color scheme. With this logo we are able to further our established brand of the past 17 years, while uniting us in our new chapter with the Edmonton Oilers, a team with great tradition over the past 35 years."
The logo is a modern, updated version of their previous condor logo. The condor now has orange skin, with royal blue colouring in the feathers, helping build association to the Edmonton Oilers brand.
"The new Condors logo is yet another great step in bringing Bakersfield fully into the Oilers family,” said Edmonton Oilers Assistant General Manager Bill Scott. “The iconic blue and orange colours, bold and vivid, will strike a strong chord with Condors fans and be a great symbol of the importance of the team and the City to the long-term success of the Oilers.”
The Condors will serve as the primary development team of the Oilers beginning this upcoming season. Click here to read more about the creation of the AHL Pacific Division and the Oilers affiliation with Bakersfield.
Matt Hendricks and Boyd Gordon are the extras. On the second rush, Hendricks came in to play the middle instead of Klinkhammer on the fourth line.
The Oilers announced this morning that goaltender Richard Bachman has left the team due to a death in the family. The team has recalled goaltender Tyler Bunz from the OKC Barons on an emergency basis.
#Oilers goalie Richard Bachman has left the team due to a death in his family.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) April 1, 2015
Defenceman Joey LaLeggia and the Oilers agreed to terms on Tuesday to a two-year entry level contract. LaLeggia was chosen in the fifth round (123rd overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He has spent four years with the University of Denver Pioneers.
LaLeggia spoke for the first time, since the news broke this morning, on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer.
“I’m extremely excited and honoured to be a part of the organization,” said LaLeggia. “I just can’t thank my teammates and coaches from Denver enough for what they’ve done for me over the last four years. It’s just really great to have an opportunity to come down here to the United States to play hockey when maybe the WHL wasn’t exactly suited for me. I can’t thank my teammates and coaches enough.”
LaLeggia has had a much-decorated career with the Pioneers. He is a Hobey Baker finalist and was named NCHC Player of the Year, Defenceman of the Year and Offensive Defenceman of the Year.
He is clearly offensively inclined, having put up 132 points in 156 games during his collegiate career. Where he has been told to improve, from his freshman year to today, is his defensive game.
“There has always been an emphasis on me to get my defensive game to the level it needs to be in order to be successful in professional hockey and that was something that they did talk to me about in the summers and we did work on, on the ice,” said LaLeggia. “There were a lot of 2-on-1 work and things like that. Just little tips that are going to help you become a better pro.”
Jim Montgomery has spent the past two seasons as University of Denver’s head coach. LaLeggia says he has been a big part of him becoming a better overall player.
“I think Jim Montgomery is key to where I am today in my hockey career, especially with the opportunity I got today with the Oilers,” he said. “When he came in two years ago, he knew that there were holes in my game, especially in the defensive side. He’s a very detail-oriented coach and he did a great job spending time preparing me to get ready at the pro level over the last two years.”
LaLeggia told Stauffer that he will eventually play for the Oklahoma City Barons in the American Hockey League on an ATO to close out this season. His entry level contract kicks in on July 1.
The Oilers have announced they have agreed to terms with defenceman Joey LaLeggia on a two-year entry level contract.
The 22-year-old played in 37 games this season at the University of Denver in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. He recorded 40 points (15-25-40), 56 penalty minutes and a plus 14 rating.
LaLeggia is a top ten finalist for the 2015 Hobey Baker Award. He was named the NCHC Player of the Year, the NCHC Defenceman of the Year, as well as the Offensive Defenceman of the Year. He was the NCHC Defensive Scoring Champion by a margin of 13 points.
He was named the NCHC Player of the Month twice and the NCHC Defenceman of the Weeks five times this season.
Denver Head Coach Jim Montgomery said, “he’s the most dominant player in the best conference in college hockey.”
LaLeggia, a native of Burnaby, B.C., accumulated 132 points (49-83-132) in 156 games, over four seasons with the Pioneers. He helped his team reach the NCAA Regional Finals this season.
It has been a successful career for LaLeggia, who was the WCHA Rookie of the Year in 2011-12, earning numerous accolades as a freshman. He was also the NCHC Defenceman of the Year and Offensive Defenceman of the Year last season, before duplicating the results this year.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound blueliner was selected by the Oilers in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL Draft (123rd overall).