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Monday, September 26, 2011

Bubble player projections

Cuts have been made today and its time to try and figure out who will stay and who will go. This is probably harder to do this season than any other season the past many years in Edmonton. I will start byadding the players that there is no doubt about making the team. That list would include Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi, Smyth, Hemsky, Horcoff, Belanger, Eager, Gagner, Jones, Hordichuk, Gilbert, Smid, Whitney, Barker, Sutton and Peckham.

Linus Omark - Omark is better suited for a top 6 position but on this Oilers team he would have to settle for 3rd line duty and pick up his points on the power play. The only reason I put Omark on the outsider list is because of media and fan speculation but for me it is an easy decision - Omark makes the team

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - RNH has proven this pre-season that he can play in the big league but do the Oilers have room for him? With all the centers in the organization right now the easy answer is no but that can change in a hurry. Move Gagner to the 3rd line or make a trade and a spot opens up. RNH will get his 9 games for sure and after that it will depend on him. If you ask me then yes RNH will be on the team. How many number 1 picks have not played in the NHL the year they are drafted?

Gilbert Brule - Brule has shown that he does have skill and has lots of NHL experience but there is just no room for him on the team. Brule will be moved as soon as possible

Teemu Hartikainen - Hartikainen is just what the Oilers need. A big body who has some skill and can play on a top line or a 4th line. In a perfect world he would be on the team to start the season but this is not a perfect world. Hartikainen will have to settle for an early call up and make his impression then.

Anton Lander - Lander just like Hartikainen has proven he can compete at this level of hockey but just like Hartikainen Lander will fall out of the Oilers roster. Again you can expect early call ups for Lander to make his impression.

Jeff Petry - I do not see Petry as a 7th defenseman. Petry should make the team but will need to be a top 4 D-man. If used as anything less then Petry is better off in the AHL where he will get the minutes.

Taylor Chorney - Chorney needs to be a more physical player and I don’t see that happening. I would expect Chorney would be the first call up for a D-man.

Kirill Tulupov - We all know Tulupov will not start the season with the Oilers but he is a big body and good hockey sense. I am putting him on this list only because I do believe he will be a call up.

I could go on and add a few more names to this list but honestly I just do not see the need. In this bloggers opinion no other players have a shot at the big club. Maybe im wrong and time will tell.

You can follow me on twitter @friesennhl

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