The Oilers announced this afternoon that four more players have been assigned to teams elsewhere. From the Oilers Twitter account:
Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 18, 2013
Davidson saw as much pre-season action as any player could have playing in Winnipeg last night and in Edmonton Saturday night. I only saw the game last night, but to my eye it looked like he struggled a fair bit in his own end last night. Not an unexpected result from a player who 's played 38 games as a pro, and none in the NHL. Davidson landed at #21 in our most recent edition of the Top 25 Under 25, and given all that he has overcome is a guy you can't help but pull for. This wasn't going to be his season to make the NHL, but it's not time to count him out just yet.
On the opposite end of the Oilers player continuum we find Abney, who I would like to forget even exists. I don't know why he was at camp for so long. I don't know why he has a pro contract. I don't know why he was drafted. Aside from the equally hilarious and sad moments when he miraculously wins a race to the puck only to have no idea what to do next, he has zero value to any hockey club. With his assignment to Oklahoma City and this being the final year of his ELC, I can only hope that I don't see him playing in an Oilers jersey ever again.
Kessey and Moroz, players we ranked 41st and 37th in the Top 25, will be back next season to try again. Both are more Coke machine than player at this point of their careers, and if they're ever going to play in the NHL they are going to have to move the dial a little closer to player. Moroz, who was coming off knee surgery, didn't play at all during the rookie tournament, but was dressed last night and scored a goal, getting the Oilers on the board in the third period. One game playing alongside Abney isn't much of a chance to prove himself, but that's better than Kessey who didn't dress in any of the Oilers three pre-season games before being sent down.
These cuts bring the number of players at camp down to 41 players: 4 goalies, 14 defencemen and 23 forwards. That's still a pretty big number with the season less than two weeks away. I wouldn't be surprised to see some (or perhaps all) of Ryan Martindale, Andrew Miller, Brad Hunt, Tyler Pitlick, and Tyler Rimmer follow these four out the door as early as tomorrow. A couple of those guys have played well in camp so far but it's a numbers game, and this isn't the year their number is going to be called.