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Oilers Recall Markus Niemeläinen

Third round selection from 2016 Entry Draft could make NHL debut tomorrow vs. Pittsburgh

Seattle Kraken v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

The Oilers have recalled defenceman Markus Niemeläinen from Bakersfield, while defenceman Cody Ceci enters Covid-19 protocol.

Niemeläinen was selected in the third round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, and was ranked 21st in our most recent Top 25 under 25. A Finnish left shot defenceman, the 6’5” Niemeläinen has a really good chance at playing in his first NHL game tomorrow night.

Where does this leave the defence for tomorrow night? Shuffled.

Here’s what I project:

Broberg - Barrie

Lagesson - Bouchard

Niemelainen - Russell

The big changes I see would be Lagesson getting a boost to the second pair allowing Niemeläinen to slide in on the third. I’ve got Kris Russell playing on the right side of Niemeläinen for Niemeläinen’s first game of the season. Lagesson gets the bump in this scenario and plays with Bouchard, while that leaves Philip Broberg and Tyson Barrie on the top pair. It’s not an ideal situation, but this sort of thing happens when four of your regulars are out.

Duncan Keith was placed on IR, likely retroactive to last Wednesday.