The Edmonton Oilers have, by way of terrific drafting position these past few years, built an impressive core of young forwards with increasing star potential.
The focus might soon switch to the Oilers’ blue line heading into September.
Led by 23-year-old Justin Schultz, who was the league’s top scoring rookie defenseman with 27 points during the regular season, the Oilers have been busy this summer trying to improve their defense corps.
Not only did they go to the free agent market for help, but they strayed from their methods of the past few years by taking a defenseman high up in the first round of the draft.
They signed free agent veteran defenseman Andrew Ference, who had just wrapped up a Stanley Cup Final with the Boston Bruins, and drafted Darnell Nurse with the seventh overall pick in June’s NHL Draft.
And that has Schultz speaking highly of the Oilers defensive unit, as training camp approaches.
“We’ve got a lot of depth on the back end now. It’s going to provide for a lot of competition. Everyone, including myself, has got to come ready to camp to make this team. It’s going to make us better,” Schultz told NHL.com.
“I’ve been training hard the last couple of months, enjoying my time off. I’m really excited for the season to come here. I’ve had enough of summer. I’m ready to go.”
The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.
Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.
The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.
Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.
Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.
The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.
Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.
Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.
The Red Wings have placed Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko on injured reserve.
Placing these players on I.R. opens up four more roster spots for Detroit.
The Red Wings have suffered an incredibe amount of injuries heading into the season.
Datsyuk (ankle) is expected to be out until November.
DeKeyser (foot) is going to miss three-to-four weeks, while Helm (concussion) and Marchenko (lower-body) are considered day-to-day.
The team also announced that they have reduced their training camp roster to 27 players on Sunday.
Top prospect Dylan Larkin remains in camp for now.
Coach Jeff Blashill told reporters that the 19-year-old has looked good, but a final decision hasn’t been made on where he will play this year.
As for Larkin, he’s just fed up of living in a hotel.
“There’s been so much speculation and so many questions, and no one really knows,” said Larkin. “Maybe the coaches know, but just to find out where I’ll be living or what’s happening — I’m kind of sick of the hotel. It would be nice to know what’s going on.”