The Edmonton Oilers reduced their NHL camp size by 8 players today, sending Ethan Bear, Ben Betker, Greg Chase, Braden Christoffer, Joseph Gambardella, Ziyat Paigin, Kyle Platzer, and Shane Starrett to the Bakersfield Condors AHL camp.
I guess the only real surprise here is Ethan Bear, not for anything he’s done in camp so far, but rather the fact that he’s a RHD and it’s a bit of an organizational weak point right now, plus he’s got a bit of pedigree (his are more accomplishments rather than draft position).
In the past the Oilers have tended to keep these types of guys in camp a bit longer, even if they’ve decided they won’t make the NHL roster out of camp.
On the surface, it makes sense given most of us expected a full season in the AHL for Bear and getting him down there and into the swing of things will help his transition from the CHL to the pros.
Another player you might consider a bit of a surprise is Joseph Gambardella. The Oilers signed him as an undrafted free agent out of UMass-Lowell. I expected him to get a bit of a longer look like Drake Caggiula did last season, but in retrospect, he’s a lot like Caggiula so again, it might be a better bet to get him down and in the AHL to acclimatized to his new life as a pro.
So maybe a couple of players sent down earlier than expected, but really no surprises.