Big lineup changes in Los Angeles tonight as the Oilers look for their first win of the season against the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Jeff Petry are all sidelined with injuries, paving the way for two of Edmonton’s top picks from the 2013 draft — Darnell Nurse (seventh overall) and Bogdan Yakimov (83rd) — to make their NHL debuts.
Nurse, the nephew of former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb, has been with the Oilers since training camp but has yet to play a regular-season game. Yakimov was called up from AHL Oklahoma City after Edmonton’s rough-and-tumble shootout loss to the Canucks on Saturday.
It’s unclear exactly what’s ailing Eberle, Petry and Nugent-Hopkins. “Multiple bang ups,” is how head coach Dallas Eakins described their conditions, per the Edmonton Sun; there was some speculation that Nugent-Hopkins injured himself in his first-ever NHL fight against Vancouver’s Dan Hamhuis, but Eakins shot that down.
As you’d expect from such a significant roster shuffle, the ins and outs have altered Edmonton’s lines. Here’s what the Oilers rushed at this morning’s skate:
Taylor Hall-Mark Arcobello-Teddy Purcell
David Perron-Yakimov-Jesse Joensuu
Benoit Pouliot-Leon Draisaitl-Nail Yakupov
Matt Hendricks-Boyd Gordon-Will Acton
Nurse, meanwhile, is likely to be paired with Justin Schultz on defense.
UPDATE: Well, this is interesting — per TSN, Petry, who last year finished second among all Edmonton d-men in TOI per game, is a healthy scratch for tonight’s game.