What it means for the Ads
Edmonton’s training camp is in full swing, with the Oil playing their first preseason games Monday against the Flames. A few players will not be taking part in the split-squad action. While a number of players were reassigned to their junior teams, five players were assigned to AHL Bakersfield. Those players are defenseman Ben Betker, forward Alexis Loiseau, forward Connor Rankin, forward Marco Roy, and goalie Ty Rimmer. All of those players are currently on AHL contracts except for Betker, who was a 2013 6th round draft choice.
Not all of the AHL contracts were eliminated as Matt Ford and Josh Winquist remain in camp. Being cut this early may signal that Edmonton has these players are on the AHL/ECHL brink. Rimmer is the only veteran of the group, and will likely be in Norfolk based on pure numbers at the goalie position. Marco Roy, a former 2nd round pick, has a lot to prove as he was not signed to a standard entry-level contract. Roy is a prime candidate to stay at the AHL level, at least at first. Loiseau and Rankin have plenty of promise, they’re simply a bit green when it comes to the professional game. Ben Betker’s case is flummoxing. Draft picks on entry-level contracts should not be cut this early. As he is a sixth-rounder, Edmonton may think there is less to lose by letting him develop in the ECHL. Bakersfield training camp starts soon.