Could any of these players be Ads?
The offseason has already arrived for the Edmonton organization, which has been ritual for about a decade now. Norfolk is aware of their schedule going into next year, but there has been no news of ECHL-only contracts. Many players are on AHL contracts, which leaves the decision up to those clubs. However, there were some players on NHL contracts with the Ads this year. Those players were center Greg Chase, defenseman Ben Betker, winger Braden Christoffer, defenseman Mathieu Brisebois, defender Samuel Noreau, and goalie Niklas Lundstrom. Brisebois and Noreau were with Chicago and the Rangers, respectively, in a weird bit of a twist. Lundstrom was traded from the St. Louis Blues organization to Edmonton but has signed in Sweden for the next year.
Betker and Chase were 6th and 7th round draft picks in 2013, with the AHL-CHL agreement impacting their pro debuts until this past season. Christoffer was an undrafted free agent who made quite a splash at Young Stars, which he turned into a rookie contract. Players from the 2014 draft will likely make their debuts this Fall in either the AHL or ECHL with Edmonton.
Edmonton’s first pick in 2014, Leon Draisaital, has already cemented himself as part of the Oilers. The draft choices get interesting from there. Fourth-rounder William Lagesson is a Swedish defender who spent a year in the USHL before heading to play for UMass-Amherts. Lagesson isn’t on the verge of signing. Fellow fourth-rounder Zachary Nagelvoort has spent the past three seasons at the University of Michigan. He did not have a good 2015-16. He could become a free agent next year, if there’s interest.
Liam Coughlin is the Oilers’ lone 5th round selection. The forward played two years in the BCHL before joining the University of Vermont this past season. He’s not going to be pro anytime soon.
Tyler Vesel is the Oilers’ sixth-round pick, and he’s currently at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Not going anywhere.
Keven Bouchard is the Oilers’ 2014 seventh-round pick, and the only one outside of Draisaitl to play junior hockey. Bouchard plays goalie for the Moncton Wildcats, who lost in the QMJHL semifinals to Rouyn-Noranda in a 7-game series. Bouchard’s numbers are uninspiring, to be honest. He did play in one game for Val D’Or in their championship season in 2013-14. The opponent? Eric Veilleux’s Baie-Comeau. I would not be surprised to see Bouchard at least invited to camp.