14F. 7D. 3G. The Barons Roster Is Ready (Almost)

Today the Oklahoma City Barons assigned a handful of players to the Bakersfield Condors, released one from his tryout contract, and thus anxiously await the beginning of the season in under a week’s time. The player under contract who have been sent to Bakersfield of the ECHL are Connor Jones, Kellen Jones, Josh Winquist, Mitch Holmberg, and Graeme Craig. Released from his tryout contract is Brendon Nash.

This brings the total number of forwards to fourteen, defenders to seven, and goaltenders to three. Guys, this is a roster.

Here are your remaining players:

RW

Tyler Pitlick, Matt Ford, Steve Pinizzotto, Iiro Pakarinen

LW

Ryan Hamilton, Curtis Hamilton, Mitch Moroz, Kale Kessy

C

Jujhar Khaira, Anton Lander, Andrew Miller, Jason Williams, Travis Ewanyk, Bogdan Yakimov

LD

Keith Aulie, David Musil, Jordan Oesterle, Dillon Simpson, Martin Marincin, Martin Gernat

RD

CJ Ludwig

G

Tyler Bunz, Laurent Brossoit, Richard Bachman

A couple of thoughts, and you probably can guess what those thoughts might be. If you said “Center Depth & Lack Of Right Defense” you win a prize (to be attained at a much later time).

The center depth is a welcome sight for many Oklahoma City Barons fans, and most definitely for Edmonton Oilers fans. This has been a long time in the making, and although it may not regurgitate an NHLer this season, there is indeed promise. How can coach Nelson squeeze them all in? Simply put, he won’t and can’t. At last night’s radio show he hinted that a player like Jason Williams could play wing. Miller and Ewanyk are in the same boat, so there’s actually some depth on the wing as well. I like Lander and Williams going 1/2 down the center, and then Yakimov and Khaira duking it out for the third. That will be an entertaining battle that comes highly touted.

The heavy left defense prescence is not uncommon for the Barons nor is it uncommon for the minors in general. It is, however, something that the Oilers will take a long hard look at during the season. You get the sense that Marincin and Musil will no doubt stay on the left, but don’t completely rule out a swap to the off side at some point. Gernat, Aulie, Oesterle, Simpson will be asked to switch sides from time to time until a true and fully congealed lineup develops.

Don’t forget that Brandon Davidson is injured, and thus still with the Edmonton Oilers (officially I believe). Also Darnell Nurse might be good for nine games of NHL time, and then the Oil will have decisions to make – both in the minors and majors. Assume that Marincin slides into the vacant spot left by Nurse, and the healthy Davidson assumes the spot left by Marincin. It all works! In theory.

Three goaltenders is a tad strange, even for the Barons. Bunz is probably the third man in the rotation which means he will need to get minutes elsewhere. Some have hinted at a loan while still others insist that Rimmer/Tuohimaa are the ones on the chopping, er, uh, loaning block. Decisions, decisions.