When Derek wrote about the final cuts, he focused on the two rookie forwards who made the team in Anton Lander and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Fair enough, those guys are the future. But one new player who got nary a mention was Lennart Petrell, a man Derek neglected in an effort to dissuade readers from filling his inbox with accusations of an obvious Finnish bias. Still, it seems like someone should give a well-earned congratulations to the feisty Finn!
I've been pulling for Petrell to make this roster basically since the guy signed a contract. When I put him on my version of the team in August, I wasn't particularly hopeful that things would work out that way, but Petrell got a bit of help from Kirill Tulupov in the Joey Moss Cup who successfully opened up a spot on the wing if nothing else (and got the Oilers injury train off to a roaring start). Then Petrell played well. He played well enough to convince the Oilers to part with a one-way contract in Gilbert Brule, and he played well enough on the PK to earn high praise from a coaching staff that was previously unfamiliar with him. Even with Sam Gagner out, the top nine is pretty much set, so in order to keep his job Petrell will need to make an impact on the PK and in the defensive zone (I'd think that the fourth line will start there a lot), likely alongside a rookie (Lander) and a sinkhole (Ryan Jones). Here's hoping he plays well enough that another one-way contract is on its way to the minors when Ben Eager is ready to return.