Oilers Expansion Draft Analysis
Expansion Protected ListWith the expansion draft quickly approaching the Oilers are going to protect 9 forwards, 5 defenseman and Tommy Salo, which will give a few players in Hamilton a great chance at a permanent roster spot. This is the list most likely to happen due to players age and salaries and to allow space for younger players to showcase their abilities.Forwards:1. (C) Doug Weight2. (C) Todd Marchant 3. (LW) Dan Cleary4. (LW) Ryan Symth5. (LW) Ethan Moreau6. (LW) Boyd Devereaux7. (RW) Bill Guerin8. (RW) Mike Grier9. (RW) Georges LaraqueDEFENSE:1. Roman Hamrlik2. Janni Niinimaa3. Tom Poti4. Jason Smith5. Sean BrownGOALIE:1. Tommy SaloLeft unprotected are forwards (RW) Alexander Selivanov, (LW) German
Titov, (C) Chad Kilger, (C)Jim Dowd and Defensemen Igor Ulanov and Bert Robertsson.Salary and inconsistency are the main reasons for not protecting Selivanov especially due to the fact he is a trigger man with very little playmaking ability and with out an exceptional playmaking center he scores very little. Advancing age of Titov and the fact that younger, faster players are available to replace him because the front office does not want to stunt their growth by keeping them down in the minors one more year. Now with expansion Chad Kilger could be on his fourth team in five seasons, it’s not because of lack of skill, but sometimes it takes a little longer for a big man to start producing on a consistent basis such as Keith Primeau did with the Red Wings.The Oilers just can not afford to take the chance of keeping him and letting a player that produces more regularly leave even though Chad could one day turn into a force in the middle.With Jimmy Dowd it’s a different story because he centered a very effective fourth line with Devereaux and Laraque and he has Stanley Cup experience, so i would think that Glen Sather might make a deal with the expansion teams to not take him and they could be compensated at a latter date.Defenseman Igor Ulanov and Bert Robertsson are both replaceable parts with Ulanov showing he trouble play Edmonton’s style of play and he took too many bad penalties for a veteran. Bert is an agitator but it is not enough to stick around for a long time or be worth protecting.Now this gives (LW) Dan Cleary the opportunity to take Titov’s spot on the second scoring line and pick up some time on the power play, he did not look out of place on the line with Weight and Guerin on the first scoring line which is a possibility if he has a good training camp. One more player that might get a great chance to play on a regular basis is (RW)Michel Riesen because he showed outstanding scoring ability last season in Hamilton especially on the power play.
He could possibly replace Selivanov because of his playmaking ability and more competent defensive awareness and he would be an upgrade for Edmonton next season. The defense could see as many as two new faces from Hamilton in Chris Hajt and Alex Henry but Chris has an edge going into training camp and could be the 6th defenseman in Edmonton this year with Alex who may come up on occasion to fill the seventh spot. This would give the Oilers one of the youngest defensive corps in the league. Rem Murray might be left unprotected but most likely will be protected through deals made by management of the Oilers with the Blue Jackets and the Wild. In return for not selecting Murray each team would receive either future considerations or a designated player.So both teams would have exclusive rights to take the player of their choice during the expansion draft. Alexander Selivanov is another player that might be protected by a deal with both expansion teams. Then he will most likely be traded or he could be traded to an expansion team for future considerations, or for not taking certain players atthe expansion draft. Chad Kilger and Bert Robertsson are the two most likely players that will be taken off the roster because they will cause the least amount of damage if taken and neither have large contracts with Kilger at 847,000US and Bert bringing in 400,000 CAN. Kilger has potential to contribute if given ice time and Robertsson could be a serviceable number four of five defenseman that adds gritty play.Other players that are eligible but not listed were left out due to the fact that the most valuable players are the one’s who have spent considerable time with the Oilers this season or last and are not likely to be taken by either expansion team.