Photo by Steven Christy
Oiler lines appear to be Hall-Arcobello-Purcell, Perron-Yakimov Joensuu, Pouliot-Draisaitl-Yakupov, Hendricks-Gordon-Acton.
— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) October 14, 2014
Recently (yesterday to be precise, Watson) the Edmonton Oilers called upon the services of Bogdan Yakimov while also sending defender Oscar Klefbom to the Oklahoma City Barons. Both moves are rather interesting, but neither are surprising.
First up, Yakimov. We here in Oklahoma City haven’t had a chance to see him play gameday minutes. The the loss at San Antonio on Saturday, where he centered a third line with Moroz and Pinizzotto his wingers, was an exceptional debut. He had the game’s first penalty for holding a stick, but it neither cost his team nor felt overtly awful. It very well could have been a non-call, but why make something of nothing or nothing of something or something, maybe nothing. Regardless, Yakimov looked impressive in the minutes he played which weren’t entirely low.
I mentioned the play of Moroz being “very sturdy” in the recent game recap, and I think that is in some part a product of Yakimov being such a confident skater down the center. He sees the ice very well, has a bit of a testy side, but has a high skill level that still surprises me from time to time. In game one of the season he beat out Jujhar Khaira for third line minutes, and essentially pushed Travis Ewanyk off the roster momentarily. That’s good for the Russian born, N. American rookie who has a good amount of potential.
The Oilers have hinted (at the time I write this) that perhaps Nuge is injured. Sweet mother let’s hope not, but as they travel it might be nice to have Bogdan ready to go when necessary. His absence from the OKC lineup isn’t all that problematic, after all they still have Ewanyk and a host of other players willing to be centermen.
Then there’s the demotion of Klefbom which doesn’t feel entirely like a demotion. As he watched the first two games of the Oilers season from the press box, we all wondered collectively why he was there in the first place. Experience? The good popcorn? Not sure. But he, like so many other defensive prospects, needs to hit the ice regularly to iron out the fluffy edges. This is a good move as he will face high strength competition in Texas and San Antonio for much of the month of October. He will probably slot in well with the already “processing” defensive pairs, and perhaps he gets a bit of a minutes nudge in his return. This, of course, gives the Barons an extra defender. What to do with CJ Ludwig, the Barons only right-shooting defender? Time will tell.
The Barons play at home on Friday, and we will get a good look at Klefbom as well as the new center lineup. Don’t think for a moment that the forward lines won’t change a bit too. I fully expect a different roster in the six days between games. That’s how the cookie crumbles.