James Wisniewski, Dave Bolland

Columbus’ Wisniewski returns to practice

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It’s not all bad news in Columbus lately. After suffering an injury in an ugly end-board collision a week ago, defenseman James Wisniewski is back practicing with the team.

As Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch shares, Wisniewski is counting his lucky stars to not be more seriously injured.

“I watched the replay, and it was surreal,” Wisniewski said yesterday after returning to practice. “For one thing, I had no idea I was down on the ice that long. When I walked in (the dressing room), I didn’t really recognize the place.”

Wisniewski suffered the third (known) concussion of his career on the play and having him back practicing is important for the Jackets given the other injuries they’re dealing with on defense. Adrian Aucoin and John Moore are out of action and while it’s nice to have Jack Johnson playing more than 30 minutes a game to make up for the losses, that’s not optimal for keeping him fresh.

Wisniewski’s progress is going well, however, as he shed the “no contact” jersey for this morning’s practice.

Slepyshev earns final Oilers roster spot; Draisaitl to AHL

Anton Slepyshev, Anton Lander
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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.

Canucks roll the dice on rookies, waive Vey and Corrado

Jared McCann, Connor McDavid, Ben Hutton

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.