Photo by Steven Christy
When Anton Lander wins, we all win really. The captain of the recent incarnation of the Oklahoma City Barons has signed a one-year, one-way contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers. With nearly 40+ games still away from the waiver wire, Lander will have some wiggle room to start the season, but ultimately will need to prove he’s a valuable asset to “stick” with the club.
After a stellar minor league season where he had 52 points in 46 games, Lander remains lost in the “tweener” zone despite amassing nearly 100 NHL games. But the good news is that he’s the swiss army knife the Edmonton Oilers need in the bottom of their lineup. He kills penalties, plays the power play, gives you some offensive upside near the bottom – he’s a good catch. He played the Todd Nelson / Dallas Eakins system very well over the 13-14 games played, and perhaps that bodes well for his future.
If you’re Anton you don’t want to cost the NHL club too many moments or else. Thus he has a one-year knife sharpening period to again catch the eye of the powers that be in Edmonton (similar to the centerman path that Chris VandeVelde travelled; BUT Lander > VandeVelde).
In other “asset” news, Roman Horak has apparently signed a one-year contract with Vityaz Moscow Oblast for the upcoming season (h/t to Patrick C.). The fine prospect, originally with the confines of the Calgary Flames camp, was a bit of revelation for the Oilers / Barons when he moved to wing out of pure necessity. At 22, and coming off his best minor league season to date, the kid has earned what probably becomes a big paycheck to play outside of N. America. I’d assume that the Oilers will retain his rights for a rainy day that never comes, and that is probably the right thing to do (Although SEE Hartikainen).
Horak was a huge part of the Barons humble success down the stretch. Anxious to see him lace it up elsewhere, and in another league. I think he is one overseas prospect worth keeping an eye on.
More summertime news to come, stay on the line.