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Yamamoto’s Return Set To Shuffle The Deck

Oilers shuffled their top six in practice today in anticipation of Kailer Yamamoto’s return versus Flames

Vancouver Canucks v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Lawrence Scott/Getty Images

After giving up the first three goals in Wednesday’s season debut, the Oilers rang up five goals to overtake the Canucks in game 1 of the 2022-23 season. Missing from the lineup due to injury were forwards Kailer Yamamoto and Warren Foegele. For an extra twist, the Oilers had to ice just seventeen skaters due to cap constraints.

Both Yamamoto and Foegele could return for tomorrow night’s Battle of Alberta. The Oilers shuffled their lines in practice today, giving an idea of what that could look like for tomorrow’s game versus Calgary.

A few thoughts:

  • If it looks familiar, it’s because it happened quite a bit last year. Kailer Yamamoto practiced on a line with Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane today. Yamamoto was held out of game one (undisclosed) and would be a welcome addition back to the top six should he be eligible to return tomorrow night. Should these lines hold, Zach Hyman could see significant time on the top line with Connor McDavid and Jesse Puljujärvi.
  • Warren Foegele practiced on a line with Dylan Holloway and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins today, he could make his season debut tomorrow as well. The only Oiler to play in all 82 games last season, Foegele finished with 26 points (12-14-26) last season. I’d have Foegle on the fourth line to start, though I doubt the Oilers are enthusiastic about that prognosis so early in the season.
  • I don’t know about Ryan McLeod on the fourth line, though I think I’d rather see Dylan Holloway right where he’s at. Holloway had a taste of top six action in Edmonton’s win over Vancouver, he might be what the doctor ordered on line three tomorrow night. McLeod and Ryan could be OK with Brad Malone, though I’d rather see James Hamblin get a jump start sometime soon.

The Oilers look to make it 2-0 tomorrow night as the Flames come to Edmonton for their only visit this regular season. It’ll be the first time the Oilers and Flames have met for a game that’s counted for anything since Edmonton steamrolled Calgary in five games in the second round of last year’s playoffs.

That was fun.