This will be a recurring and changing list as the summer progresses. The Oilers have some key areas they need to address. Some of these changes will be addressed internally while others will have to be acquired via trade or free agency.
Without taking into mind cap hits or chemistry. Here is how I personally believe how the Oilers current depth chart stands and where I believe players belong in the lineup.
RNH - McDavid - ______
______ - Draisaitl - Puljujarvi
Lucic - Strome - Rattie
Caggiula - Khaira - Kassian
Klefbom - Larsson
Nurse - _______
Sekera - Benning
A few things will obviously jump out at people.
First off is the huge lack of proven talent on the right side. Puljujarvi, Rattie, Kassian, and Aberg do not exactly instill fear into the opposition. A proven top 6 right winger is a crucial need.
Some of you may be surprised to see where I have Rattie placed. Rattie performed well in the Maroon role; a depth player who provided complimentary offense to a line with two skill players. The team should not be writing his name into the top 6 in pen but I believe he will have an opportunity to crack the opening night roster.
Lucic being the 6 million dollar man on the third line will make some wrinkle their noses. It should, the contract is awful. The team cannot afford to have this player being an anchor on their skill lines for even one more game.
My assumption is the team will aim to acquire a veteran player who can bounce between the second and third line. I have all the time in the world to look at Brandon Pirri.
Lastly we have the unicorn. A right shot puck moving PP quarterback... the missing link as some have called it. The team has no internal solution for this spot right now.
We can also note that the team has 9.5 million dollars delegated to their third pairing and lower. Sekera struggled with injury for the entire year and it is difficult to find fault for that. It nonetheless remains a problem.
Ethan Bear, Kailer Yamamoto, and to a lesser degree Tyler Benson. These are players which may be fighting for roster spots in September. Having that competition is good for young players. None of these players should be thought of right now as a solution to any of the above holes.
Thanks for reading!
TLDR: Oilers need a top 6 right winger, left winger, and a right shot D-man.