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Edmonton Oilers vs Pittsburgh Penguins

The phrase from Edmonton Oilers coach Todd McLellan is that Leon Draisaitl and Drake Caggiula would possibly properly be within the staff’s line-up for Tuesday’s recreation in opposition to Pittsburgh.
“Leon and Drake each look good they usually really feel good however they've quite a lot of hurdles they nonetheless must cross earlier than they get cleared to play in tomorrow’s recreation,” McLellan informed reporters at follow on Monday. “We’re anticipating that that would occur, however for me to say they’re in or out, I don’t have sufficient info proper now to let you know that.”
When the Edmonton Oilers have been final staff within the ultimate video games of the Anaheim Geese collection final Could, Caggiula was Edmonton’s high line proper wing and Draisaitl was Edmonton’s second line centre. This summer time Draisaitl signed an eight-year, $eight.5 million per contract, so his worth to the staff is unequivocal.
However even with he and Caggiula coming again quickly, maybe as early as Tuesday, it’s onerous to think about the Edmonton Oilers not sticking with Kailer Yamamoto properly previous the nine-game mark. For one factor, the 19-year-old Yamamoto is incomes the belief of his coach McLellan, who not too long ago mentioned:  “For a younger participant he’s enjoying massive minutes in opposition to some actually good gamers proper now. He’s been examined and he’s passing the take a look at.”
 
The principle level in Yamamoto’s favour is that though he has simply three assists in six video games, and despite the fact that he’s had a number of outright stinkers on defence the place he received misplaced in protection wandering within the Pink Mild Zone — not overlaying anybody and never blocking any passing or taking pictures lanes — the Oilers a) each want a High 6 proper winger to switch Jordan Eberle and b) he’s thus far matched Eberle in terms of creating scoring possibilities on the assault. He’s additionally been no worse than Eberle was on defence.
Eberle was good however not nice on the assault final 12 months. Changing him isn't some not possible order, although Ryan Strome isn’t coming near that mark but. Strome’s play has been far too passive, maybe associated to him settling into a brand new staff. Different candidates to switch Eberle have additionally struggled.
Anton Slepyshev is getting back from an ankle harm and has flashed solely glimpses of the pace and puck safety abilities that elevated his standing throughout the playoffs final 12 months.
Caggiula has been out with an undisclosed harm, however even early in camp he by no means appeared just like the quick, aggressive and expert participant he was within the playoffs final 12 months.
Jesse Puljujarvi was up and down in camp and is now in Bakersfield, the place he belongs, place for him to hone his puck safety, forechecking and backchecking abilities.
With Strome, Slepyshev, Caggiula and Puljujarvi all failing to step up on the precise wing, Yamamoto is in the precise place on the proper time, particularly together with his heady and expert performs on the assault.
Final 12 months Eberle made a serious contribution to 1.72 Grade A scoring possibilities per recreation. This 12 months Yamamoto is at 2.zero per recreation. That stage of contribution signifies a robust offensive participant on the NHL stage.
After all, a winger who has zero objectives in six video games enjoying wholesome minutes with Connor McDavid and on the second energy play unit is not any lock to stay on an NHL roster.
Not like all the opposite proper wing candidates, although, at the least Yamamoto is within the thick of making harmful scoring possibilities. If he can proceed to assault on this method the puck will bounce his approach and he’ll begin scoring. On an Oilers staff averaging simply two objectives per recreation proper now that’s not the type of participant you discard calmly.
Sure, the Oilers will burn a 12 months off Yamamoto’s contract, and that burn 12 months is coming one season too quickly in terms of Edmonton’s cap state of affairs. And, sure, Yamamoto would possibly properly be higher off with one other 12 months in main junior when it comes to his hockey growth, though that’s way more of an unknown.
However as McLellan retains saying, hockey on the NHL is all about successful. If Yam may also help the Oil win — and it seems to be like he would possibly can be ready to take action — he’ll be right here.
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