Ever feel like you’re forgetting something?
The Oilers are a month away from the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, they’ve got plenty to prepare for there. They’ve got a handful of unrestricted free agents, some of which will certainly be brought back with new deals. The Oilers will probably be interested in signing a free agent or two when free agent frenzy begins in late July. They’re busy.
The Oilers lost their rights to Matej Blümel on June 1st. If Blümel is not yet a household name, he was the Oilers’ fourth round selection in the 2019 entry draft. Blümel was pulled in at 100th overall from the USHL, where he averaged over a point a game. A winger who could play either side, the pick was a good bet at the first triple digit selection.
In 2021, Blümel finished his second season as a member of Dynamo Pardubice of the Czech league with 32 points (17-15-32) with only six penalty minutes in 49 games. These are impressive numbers for a player that turned 20 less than a month ago. Blümel was shaping up to be a savvy fourth round selection.
Blümel had signed a four year deal in the Czech league this past season, but like most draft picks playing in Europe, it was his goal to play for the big club. Maybe he would have made it to the AHL this year, maybe in another year or two. Arrows pointing up.
After a highly productive season with HC Dynamo of the Czech Extraliga where he put up 32 points in 49 regular season games, #Oilers 2019 pick Matej Blumel is making an impact in his #IIHFWorlds debut. https://t.co/TiKTTnLC52— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) June 1, 2021
Awfully strange to tweet out highlights of a player you lost the rights to that day.
Anyways, the Oilers lost the rights to Blümel just two years after he was drafted. This situation was a little bit different, as Blümel’s rights were only good for two years because he was drafted out of the USHL. Even though Blümel had spent the next two years playing in the Czech League, he was a USHL product at the draft. Two years, no contract? No dice.
Maybe the club was just going to let him walk anyway. I’m not sure that was their intent. Had he been offered an ELC and signed it, his first two years could have done the entry-level slide. It’s all for naught at this point.
WAS THIS THE PLAN?
Guess we’ll never know, though I’ve got a hunch. There’s no way the Oilers could have forgotten about Blümel’s contract status, is there? Or, maybe they thought they had a bit more time, not realizing the short window of time in which they had to operate? Seems more than a little bit odd for the team to be tweeting out an article about a player they lost their rights to that day.
Either way, Blümel’s time as an Oiler is over, even if it never really got started.