Jason Brough

Arizona Coyotes v Edmonton Oilers

Oilers recall Draisaitl, place Eberle on LTIR

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The Edmonton Oilers have called up forward Leon Draisaitl from AHL Bakersfield and sent down forward Tyler Pitlick and defenseman Joey LaLeggia.

Draisaitl has one goal and one assist in six games for the Condors this season. Where the 20-year-old will fit in the Oilers’ lineup will be interesting to see. Draisaitl is a natural center, but he played some wing in the preseason.

Draisaitl’s recall may have been necessitated by an injury to winger Rob Klinkhammer.

Edmonton (3-7-0) hosts Montreal (9-1-0) tonight.

The Oilers have also placed forward Jordan Eberle on long-term injured reserve.

Canucks call up two after injuries to Prust and Hamhuis

Troy Grosenick, Brendan Gaunce
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Injuries to winger Brandon Prust and defenseman Dan Hamhuis have caused the Vancouver Canucks to call up forward Brendan Gaunce and defenseman Alex Biega from AHL Utica.

Prust rolled his ankle last night against Montreal. Hamhuis was a late scratch due to a lower-body injury. It’s not known when either will be ready to return.

The Canucks play tomorrow in Dallas and Friday in Arizona.

Of the two call-ups, Gaunce may be the most likely to play, as Vancouver’s only other extra forward is Adam Cracknell, a center. The Canucks may also want to see what they’ve got in Gaunce, 21, before they decide whether to keep Jared McCann and/or Jake Virtanen.

Biega, 27, is likely just insurance against another injury. Matt Bartkowski replaced Hamhuis last night.

Five individual stats you may find interesting

Marc-Andre Fleury; Joffrey Lupul

27:00 — The average ice time for Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang. No NHL defenseman has averaged more. Not Ryan Suter. Not Drew Doughty. Second among Penguins blue-liners is Letang’s partner, Ian Cole, at 21:32. Then there’s another big drop-off to Ben Lovejoy at 17:55, while Olli Maatta is averaging just 16:39.

21:25Sidney Crosby‘s average ice time. No NHL forward has averaged more. So the Penguins have the defenseman who’s playing the most and the forward who’s playing the most. Crosby and Letang are, of course, very good players; they should play a lot. But there’s a reason people wonder about the Penguins’ depth. Or, if not that, they wonder if coach Mike Johnston is deploying his players properly.

549 — Ryan Miller‘s minutes played. No goalie has played more. Ben Bishop is second at 541. The common denominator there? Injured backups. Jacob Markstrom is hurt for the Canucks; Andrei Vasilevskiy for the Lightning. Miller (.930 SV%) has been excellent so far, but Richard Bachman could see his first action Thursday or Friday when the Canucks play back-to-back in Dallas and Arizona, respectively. Kristers Gudlevskis was outstanding the other night in Chicago while giving Bishop a rest, but the Lightning lost 1-0 in overtime.

36 — Shots for Kings winger Dustin Brown. That’s the most of any player who’s yet to score. Jakub Voracek is next at 34, followed by three players — Tyler Johnson, Jason Pominville, and Torey Krug — who have 24.

10 — Assists for underrated Arizona center Martin Hanzal. That’s the most in the NHL. Hanzal missed last night’s 6-0 loss in Boston with a lower-body injury. Before that, he’d skated mostly with youngsters Anthony Duclair and Tobias Rieder. “To have a guy like Marty on your team makes a huge difference,” captain Shane Doan told ESPN. “We lost him last year, and that was probably the beginning of the end for us. He’s probably out most important forward.”

Lecavalier will make season debut Thursday versus Devils

Vincent Lecavalier

A healthy scratch in the first eight games of the season, Vincent Lecavalier will make his 2015-16 debut tomorrow when his Flyers host New Jersey.

Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol confirmed the lineup change today, after Lecavalier skated at practice on the fourth line with Ryan White and Chris VandeVelde.

“I’m happy for him that he’s gonna get an opportunity to play,” White told the Courier-Post, “and you know what, I’m happy that I’m going to be on his line (Thursday) night. I’m sure he’s gonna have a lot of jump and he can definitely put the puck in the net so hopefully we can get a couple.”

Lecavalier, 35, is signed through 2017-18 for a cap hit of $4.5 million.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare suffered a “lower-body injury” last night versus Buffalo and is expected to miss at least two weeks, opening a spot for Lecavalier.

Related: It’s status quo between Flyers, Lecavalier

Desjardins shares his ‘biggest worry’ about keeping Jared McCann


For now, everything is going pretty darn great for 19-year-old Jared McCann.

The worry is that it won’t last.

McCann scored twice for the Canucks in last night’s 5-1 win over previously unbeaten Montreal. The young center with the wicked shot leads the team with four goals in seven games.

Yet with the nine-game threshold looming, the club still hasn’t publicly committed to keeping McCann. The alternative is returning him to junior.

Last night, Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins was asked to share his “biggest worry” about keeping McCann.

“The biggest worry is that down the road he gets worn down and the league gets hard for him and he loses his confidence,” said Desjardins. “He’s too good of a player that we don’t want him to lose his confidence and just feel that he’s got to dump the puck. We want him to feel he can handle the puck and make plays.”

The answer was not surprising to hear. McCann is not a particularly big player — he still has some filling out to do — and playing center in the Western Conference can be a grueling job.

Still, it’s hard to ignore those four goals. And despite not being the biggest guy, McCann has not looked out of place centering the fourth line, the same role Bo Horvat played last year.

The Canucks still have a couple of games left to evaluate McCann. They have three before they have to make a decision on winger Jake Virtanen, also 19.