Some random hits on the Oil.
On Kristians Pelss
A very unfortunate story out of Latvia yesterday and today. In case you haven't heard, Oilers prospect and former Edmonton Oil Kings forward Kristians Pelss was reported as missing. Some media outlets in Latvia reported he had drowned after falling/jumping off a bridge into a river near Riga, while the official statement from Pelss' family and other authorities were simply that he was missing. Today, a body was recovered from the river, and the family was invited to identify it. While there has yet to be confirmation on the I.D. of the body, the chances are not good, and this whole situation is very tragic. Pelss was a promising prospect for the Oilers, and from what I've read from teammates and media members, he was a great guy. Thoughts and prayers to his family.
Mark Arcobello re-signs with Oilers
It was announced today that minor league center Mark Arcobello to a one-year contract extension. Arcobello had a great year for the OKC Barons, posting 24-46-68 in 74 games and leading the Oilers affiliate to the AHL Western Conference finals. What's puzzling about this signing is that I'm not sure exactly where he fits in from an NHL standpoint. The Oilers lack depth at center, but Arcobello is only 5'9" 165lbs. That puts him in the "small forward with skill" category that Edmonton already has too much of. The only way I see him playing for the big club next year is if he unseats Anton Lander for the 4C position(along with anyone else the Oilers acquire in the offseason for that role). To me, that seems quite unlikely, and I think he'll spend most, if not all, of next season in OKC. Even in that role, he fills a need on the Barons and should continue to produce there.
I've been hearing that the Oil may have interest in acquiring the veteran netminder from the Sabres. I honestly can not see the logic in such a move. While Edmonton desperately needs a capable backup to Devan Dubnyk, Miller is much more of an outright #1 goalie, and they would be better suited getting either a veteran who has experience as a backup (think Emery), or a young-ish, talented 1A type (think Bernier). I doubt Miller has any interest in having to compete with someone else for the starting job.
One Final Thought
I was thinking today about the Florida Panthers. I believe whose name Dale Tallon calls as the 2nd overall pick will depend on how the organization feels about prospect Nick Bjugstad. If they think highly enough of the Universiy of Minnesota center that they believe he will be their future #2 pivot behind Jonathan Huberdeau, then they may choose to draft Jonathan Drouin over Nathan MacKinnon. Drouin had good chemistry with Huberdeau at the World Juniors, and would give the Panthers an elite scoring winger to their arsenal. If They choose MacKinnon, its possible that Bjugstad becomes available at that point, and the Oilers should definately be interested. He's 6'6" 215 and uses it. He also has top-line offensive skill, posting better than a point per game for the gophers last season. He is definitely one of the droids the Oilers are looking for.
As always, thanks for reading. Follow me on twitter @J_Ouellette1808.