Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson spoke after practice on Monday, hours after the team traded Jeff Petry to Montreal for a second and conditional fifth-round pick in 2015. In response to a question of how the Oilers will move on without Petry on the blueline, Nelson said it’s opportunity for some players to step up.
“We have seven healthy defencemen right now so we have options,” Nelson said. “Obviously, losing a guy like Petey that ate a lot of minutes and was playing some really good hockey for us, that’s a whole that we have to fill. It will give guys opportunities to step up for the rest of the year.”
The Oilers have returned Jordan Oesterle, Martin Marincin, Richard Bachman and Ryan Hamilton on loan to the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League. The transfer makes them eligible to participate in the AHL playoffs.
Here is an update on where the Oilers stand in the 2015 NHL Draft after the Jeff Petry trade.
The Oilers have two first-round picks in the 2015 draft. They have their own pick and the one acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins, in exchange for David Perron.
The Oilers also have two picks in the second round. They have their own second and the one acquired in the Petry trade this morning.
In the third, the Oilers own Ottawa’s pick from the Ales Hemsky trade last season. They also own the St. Louis Blues third-round selection from the original Perron trade in 2013. Their own was sent to Anaheim in the Viktor Fasth trade last season.
They do not own a fourth-round pick, having sent that to St. Louis in the original Perron trade.
Following the Petry trade, the Oilers have the Montreal Canadiens fifth-round pick in 2015, although it is conditional. They also have their own selection in that round.
The Oilers have their own picks in the sixth and seventh round.
BY THE NUMBERS
ROUND 1 - 2 picks
ROUND 2 - 2 picks
ROUND 3 - 2 picks
ROUND 4 - 0 picks
ROUND 5 - 2 picks (1 is conditional)
ROUND 6 - 1 pick
ROUND 7 - 1 pick
The Oilers executed a trade early Monday morning, on deadline day, to move one of their pending free agents. The Oilers acquired a second-round pick, as well as a conditional fifth-round pick in 2015 from the Montreal Canadiens, in exchange for defenceman Jeff Petry.
Petry, 27, has played in 295 NHL games, all for the Oilers, since being drafted in the second round of the 206 NHL Draft. He has 17 goals and 57 assists in his career.
Montreal is currently the top team in the Eastern Conference with 87 points in the standings.
Stay tuned for more trade deadline coverage on edmontonoilers.com.
The Oilers have placed defenceman Keith Aulie on waivers.
#Oilers have placed defenceman Keith Aulie on waivers.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 1, 2015
The 25-year-old defenceman has played 18 games this season for the Oilers, going -1 with 53 penalty minutes.
Jordan Oesterle played just his second NHL game on Saturday night but in the small sample size the defenceman has earned praise. The 22-year-old played 16:43 in his return to NHL action.
Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson was asked how close Oesterle is to becoming a full-time NHL player.
“He’s pretty close,” Nelson said. “He can definitely skate well up here and he moves the puck fine. Once again tonight, he kind of falls in the same category as (Martin Marincin) where they have to mature and get stronger. But I think Jordan is knocking on the door.”
Oesterle, a free agent signing, played three years at Western Michigan University under former NHL bench boss Andy Murray.
St. Louis Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock expected a competitive battle against the Oilers tonight. This morning after the Blues skate, Hitchcock said he sees a different Edmonton team.
After the Blues skated away with a 2-1 victory at Rexall Place, Hitchcock was not surprised by the game they got from the Oilers, who have improved their play over recent weeks despite injuries to the lineup.
“You get no inside ice now,” Hitchcock said. “You get no inside ice. They don’t chase tired. You get them in their zone and you keep possession, but they don’t chase. They leave you on the outside and it’s hard to get second and third chances. The chances we got were original chances, but if you look at the game I don’t think we had three second chances. It’s because they step on you. They keep you to the outside, they don’t overcommit and they don’t get caught with chasing contact so you might have possession but you’re not really accomplishing very much.”
The Oilers have taken the ice for practice at Clareview Recreation Centre.
The lines by jersey colour are as follows:
(Gazdic & Fraser)-Gordon-Klinkhammer
Pitlick and Nikitin are in non-contact yellow
There are 20 games remaining in the 2014-15 NHL season. Without playoffs on the radar, the Oilers look to other goals to close out the year.
“I think we can play the role of spoiler moving forward,” Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson said. “If teams are on the bubble, we’re not going to be in the playoffs so maybe we can go out there and spoil some teams’ chances. I think that’s the way we have to approach it. I think we have to come every day in practices and games to work hard to get better and the guys understand that.”
But overall, the goal is the same it has been every day, and that’s to continue to improve individually as players while coming together as a team. Those were Nelson’s goals coming in as an interim coach and he hopes they see them out.
“Just like we’ve always talked about, trying to get better every day as individuals but also as a team,” Nelson said. “Today I liked what I saw on the ice. The guys were applying the things that we’re teaching and now that has to translate to the game. Based on today, from what I saw, it looks like we’re getting better little by little every day and that has to continue. I think as a staff we have to keep on stressing that let’s come to the rink, let’s improve, let’s try to make ourselves better so we become better hockey players and a better hockey team.”
Nail Yakupov took to the ice at Clareview Recreation Centre today and once again participated in all of the drills. It looks as though the Oilers winger will be ready to return to game action tomorrow night against St. Louis, after nursing a groin injury.
Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson all but confirmed it.
“It looks like it,” Nelson said. “He skated good today, worked hard and it looks like he’s back to normal.”
As for who Yakupov would replace in the lineup, Nelson says he hasn’t discussed that with General Manager Craig MacTavish yet.
“Craig and I haven’t had discussions with that. We’ll discuss it later on today,” Nelson said.