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Every Oilers fan was ecstatic when MacTavish announced the Shawn Horcoff trade. It was an absolute steal for the Oilers as they were able to get rid of Horcoff without having to bring back a bad contract, and were able to acquire a young up and coming defenseman in Philip Larsen. But the question I'm asking is, does Philip Larsen have a future in Edmonton?
Larsen is a 23 year old, 5'11.5", 185 lb defenseman who has played for Dallas the past 2 seasons. He racked up 3 goals and 11 points in 55 games in 2011-12 and 2 goals and 5 points in 32 games in 2013-14. These aren't obviously terrific numbers but Larsen is more known for his 2 way game and his skating. He was thought to of had a chance to break into the top 4 in Dallas last year but injuries and poor play derailed his season and had him looking from the press box.
But Larsen seems to be on a rebound and is all hyped up for camp and is determined to steal a roster spot on the Oilers. His age and speed could work in his favor as he's in the same age range as the core of the team and he could be part of the future core of the team. But with the log jam of defensemen on the Oilers back end now he would have to impress at camp and hope 1 or 2 guys get moved if he wants a roster spot.
With J. Schultz, Petry, Ference, Smid and N. Schultz ahead of him on the depth charts, with unproven but skilled Belov there is at least 6 guys ahead of him on the depth charts. And then there's Grebeshkov and Potter who are competing with him and not to mention the prospects ready to make the jump like Klefbom and possibly Fedun. So this means there's around 5 guys fighting for the 7th spot. Who get's it?
Klefbom and Fedun would stay in the AHL as there's no good in having them sitting in the press box and not developing. So that leaves 3 guys. Potter will must likely be waived and sent down if he's not picked up so that leaves Grebeshkov competing with Larsen for the #7 job. Who get's it?
My guess is Grebeshkov get's the job. He has history with the team and has more NHL experience than Larsen and is just more proven. So where does Larsen go? My guess is he either stays up as the 8th defenseman or he gets sent down to OKC. I would choose OKC because he's still young and could use the top minutes in the AHL to develop more instead of sitting in the press box and doing nothing.
But Larsen could still have a future in Edmonton as next year Grebeshkov's, N. Schultz's and Belov's contracts expire and open up 2 roster spots and the #7 spot. One of those spots would be filled by Klefbom but that leaves a spot open that Larsen could take. So Larsen could have a future in Edmonton, just not this year.
So what do you think? Will Larsen play in Oil country this year?