Three Oiler prospects have new deals today.
First, an extension.
Defenceman Dmitri Samorukov has been signed to a one year extension. Drafted in the third round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft (and recently ranked #14 in our Top 25 Under 25), the left shot defenceman made his NHL debut earlier this season. Samorukov has eleven points in 36 games this season in Bakersfield (2-9-11). The left shot defenceman who stands 6’3” has a new one year, one-way deal valued at 775K. Samorukov didn’t have a great start to his NHL career in Edmonton, and played just two minutes and change in his only pro game against the Blues. With a new deal under his belt, the physical D man will look to be in the mix to make an impact in 2022-23. The Oilers seem keen on Markus Niemeläinen right now, but it’s anyone’s guess what that blue line will look like in a year.
A couple of first timers signed contracts as well.
Defenceman Vincent Desharnais signed a two year, two-way deal through the 2024 season. Desharnais was selected in the 7th round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, so it’s been a long time coming for an NHL contract. Nearly six years after being drafted, this 6’7” right shot defenceman from Laval has got an NHL deal for the next two years. Desharnais will be 26 this summer, he could make an impact on the right side especially if Tyson Barrie is moved between now and then.
James Hamblin is the third prospect to earn a new deal today. A local prospect, Hamblin is an undrafted forward who spent his junior hockey in Medicine Hat. He put up 92 points in 2019-20 to lead the Tigers in scoring, and signed an AHL deal with the Condors in April of 2020. Hamblin has eighteen points in 42 games with Bakersfield this season, his deal is a two-way deal for two years though the 2023-24 season.
So who gets to Edmonton in 2022-23? I think Vincent Desharnais has the best shot among the three. For me, it’s hard to see Tyson Barrie on this club in 2022-23 for a few reasons, cap hit being the biggest of them all. A solid camp from Desharnais could be exactly what Ken Holland is betting on. A 750K-ish cap hit for an NHL player is an absolute dream for a club that’s looking for cheap deals to power through.
Dmitri Samorukov might be an option for the Oilers in 2022-23, but I think his road is a bit a tougher. The Oilers really like Markus Niemeläinen right now, who I believe could be the 3LD on opening night next year. If the Oilers bring back Kris Russell in a seventh defenceman capacity for whatever reason next year, that would only further cloud the path.
For Hamblin, there’s always a chance he could emerge as a 13th or a 14th forward next season. With Devin Shore in the lineup for another year (and Holland’s resilience to send him to Bakersfield), that road could be an uphill climb. Never say never, I suppose.