The ideal scenario is that the lockout ends soon and Justin Schultz makes his Edmonton Oilers debut within the next month or so. However, if he’s forced to play the entire season in the minors, he will likely break some records.
Oklahoma City Barons teammate Jordan Eberle recently tied Schultz for the AHL-lead in points, but because Eberle has been putting up unreal numbers recently rather than Schultz slowing down.
Schultz has 14 goals and 38 points in just 26 games and has only been held off the scoresheet three times. As CBC pointed out, he needs just seven more goals to surpass John Slaney’s record for an AHL rookie defenseman.
Slaney also holds the record for most goals in a single season by an AHL blueliner at any stage of his career with 30 in 1999-2000. Schultz will shatter that record if he maintains his current pace.
He might even break Chris Snell’s record for most points by an AHL defenseman, but that would mean getting another 59 points in Oklahoma City’s final 50 games.
Either way, Schultz has only added to the hype surrounding him with his performance in the minors. Edmonton Oilers fans are likely to watch him with great interest when this lockout finally ends.
The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.
The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.
The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.
But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.
“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”
Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.
A preseason push by a number of Vancouver Canucks youngsters has left forward Linden Vey and defenseman Frank Corrado on waivers today.
The more surprising name of the two is Corrado, the 22-year-old who entered the season with an excellent chance of making the opening-day roster. However, it seems that rookie d-man Ben Hutton, 22, has been given the nod after finishing an eye-opening preseason with one goal and four assists in seven games. (This despite Hutton being waiver exempt. So it’s a risk for the Canucks, to be sure.)
It was the play of 19-year-old rookie Jared McCann that led, in part, to the waiving of Vey. (For more on that, click here.) Veteran Adam Cracknell remains with the team as well, to some surprise.
Rookie winger Jake Virtanen is also expected to be on Vancouver’s opening-day roster, though that’s no big shock.
Defenseman Alex Biega is also on waivers, as expected.