The shuffling season is here.
The Edmonton Oilers, who had a roster spot open after sending rookie Kailer Yamamoto to the Western Hockey League on Monday, recalled center Brad Malone from the Condors.
On Tuesday, the Condors recalled center Kyle Platzer from the Wichita Thunder of the ECHL where he led the team in points with 14 (five goals, nine assists) in nine games.
This is Malone’s second recall to the Oilers. He played three games as a fourth-line center in October before being send back to the Condors on Oct. 24. Malone started at left win on Edmonton’s fourth line on Tuesday night against the New York Islanders as the Oilers started a stretch of four game sin six days.
The player shuffling was set off when the Oilers sent Yamamoto, the 22nd overall pick in the 2107 NHL Entry Draft, to the WHL after Yamamoto played in his ninth NHL game on Sunday night. Had The Oilers kept Yamamoto it would have burned a year of his cap-friendly three year Entry Level Contract.
The Oilers have a pressing need for a productive right winger and sooner or later, they will tap the Condors to test players in that position.
Ty Rattie has the hot hand in that position right now for the Condors as he leads the team with nine points (6g, 3a) in 10 games. The Oilers signed Rattie, who has 35 games of NHL experience over four years, to a one-year deal in July.
Of course, Edmonton fans remain hopeful that Jesse Puljujarvi, the fourth overall pick by Edmonton in 2016, will work his way into the Oilers lineup and be productive at right wing. Puljujarvi has five points (1g, 4 a) in 10 games with Bakersfield.
Those fans may be waiting for a while.
“Jesse is improving. He’s improving his game without the puck,” Edmonton GM Peter Chiarelli told the Edmonton Sun. “He might have played his best game as a pro when I was down there (Oct. 27a and 28). That was four games ago. He hasn’t played as well as when I saw him.
“But his game is cleaner. We asked him to go clean up his game. He’s not there yet. But he’s improving. I was very happy with what I saw when I was down there. It’s not there yet, but it’s coming.”
The shuffling season is here and Condors and need to remember that injuries, trades or just trying to find the right pieces in Edmonton will have have a ripple effect down on the farm.
Tis the season.