With their last game of the season at the NHL All-Star Game, the Edmonton Oilers will head to KHL play to start their playoff run.
But before the team heads to the KHL, the team will take a few steps back from their quest to be the highest scoring team in the league and make a few changes to their roster.
First up, they will be adding defenseman Mark Fayne.
The 23-year-old has been the club’s best defenseman for the last two seasons, but it’s not his only option for a spot in the lineup.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound defender will be looking to play on the wing with rookie Taylor Hall and rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
He’s a big body with a high-end offensive skill set, but he’ll need to be more effective in his own end of the ice.
Second, the Oilers will also be looking for a third defenseman to pair with Taylor Hall.
The team’s top two defensemen in the game, Ryan Nugens and Ryan Miller, have struggled this season.
The duo was tied for the second-most penalties and allowed the most shots per game last season.
However, both of those players will be competing for a top four spot in this season’s All-Stars lineup.
“Mark Fayne is a player that can contribute on the power play and in the offensive zone,” head coach Todd McLellan said in a press release.
“He can skate the puck well, and he’s got great size, so we’re really excited to get him to Klimenta and play with him.”
The team’s other new addition is defenseman Jordan Eberle.
The 24-year old native of Switzerland will be joining Hall and Nugens as the Oilers’ top pairing defenseman in the Klimentia.
The two are both big, strong, physical defenseman who will be expected to provide offense and a physical presence on the ice for the Oilers.
McLellan says the team has high hopes for the young defenseman.
“I think Jordan is going to be a big part of our team,” he said.
“There’s a lot of young players who are going to have to step up and be really good in the defensive zone, and Jordan will be an important part of that.”
While Eberles arrival to Edmonton should be welcomed by many, he will have to prove his worth to the team and to the Oilers coaching staff.
Eberley was a second round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
He had a decent career in the NHL, but struggled in his first year with the Oilers organization.
Ebers performance dipped after the season, but still led the Oilers defensemen with 20 points in 68 games.
With his first game as a member of the Oilers, Eberly made a strong showing in the team’s first game at the All-American Classic.
The Oilers ended up winning the game 3-2 and the game featured some memorable moments including a power play goal from Eberl.
In a move that is sure to come as a surprise to many, the club is also making changes to the roster.
It will be interesting to see how the team responds to these changes.
The roster will still consist of six defensemen.
The club will have three goalies, one goalie-coach, one defenseman and a goalie-defenceman.
Eberle will join Hall, Nugens, Miller and Hall-Nugens on the team.
While Hall and Miller are playing with Hall, the third and fourth defenseman spots are being filled by rookie Taylor Leier and rookie Taylor Raddysh.
The fourth and fifth defenseman spots will be filled by defensemen Jordan Oesterle and Michael Grabner.
The Oilers will open the season on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday.
The game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network at 9:30 p.m.
The final game of their season will be on March 2 against the Boston Bruins.
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