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Oilers Issue Significant Cuts

13 players were cut from training camp on Friday morning, including Tyler Benson and Caleb Jones

The Edmonton Oilers have cut 13 players from their training camp this morning, reducing the total roster size to 33 players.

9 of the players will be sent directly to Bakersfield, while the remaining 4 will be put on waivers for the purpose of assignment to the Condors.

Among the group sent down include notable players like Cooper Marody, Tyler Benson, and Caleb Jones. all of whom were expected to last late into camp.

Marody was perhaps the most interesting cut, as he has been one of the more impressive Oilers at camp this year. Considering he was one of Edmonton’s only shining lights in Thursday’s 6-1 loss to the Canucks, it is very interesting to see him be sent down.

Another player who was expected to grab an opening night spot, Tyler Benson, was also sent down. Benson came into camp with hefty expectations to seize a top-6 spot on Edmonton’s roster. While he played decently, he failed to really stand-out in any of the games he played in.

On the defensive side of things, Caleb Jones had a fairly disappointing showing in the preseason. Coming off a brilliant season in both Edmonton and Bakersfield, there was the expectation that he would push hard for an NHL spot this year. He hasn’t showed well in his preseason appearances which could signal that some more time in the AHL is needed before he makes the jump.

Apart from those three players there weren’t any surprises with today’s cuts. Hebig, Maksimov, McLeod, and Samorukov were all young players expected to spend the season in the AHL, while Wells, Peluso, Currie, Gambardella, Lowe and Malone fit the bill as AHL veterans that should help Bakersfield build on their best season last year.

If you take a look at the remaining players at training camp, there a few interesting names that stand out. The most alarming of these is Brandon Manning, whose awful contract was expected to be buried long ago. The Oilers are already right up against the cap with Manning in the AHL, so keeping him on any longer is a puzzling move for sure.

Standout Patrick Russell has lived to fight another day, and rightfully so. Russell has been among the best players for the Oilers all preseason long. The same can be said for the likes of Tomas Jurco and Evan Bouchard. Joel Persson will remain with the club, even after a rough game against Vancouver yesterday.

I think it is safe to say that the endgame is approaching.