Connect with us

NHL News

No Oilers Farm Team in Edmonton Means Opportunity for Bouchard

With news the Oilers won’t bring Bakersfield to Edmonton, this is actually an opportunity for defenseman Evan Bouchard.

Evan Bouchard Oilers prospect
Featured Video Play Icon

There was talk that Canadian teams who had their AHL clubs located inside the United States might bring those teams closer to home and north of the border. Such will not be the case this coming season. Instead of the Oilers moving Bakersfield into Edmonton or the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks bringing in Stockton and Utica respectively, the NHL is looking at taxi squads that will allow provide these Canadian teams with some flexibility.

Related: Oilers Will Likely Lose Strong Forward in Seattle Expansion Draft

In the case of the Oilers, general manager Ken Holland is already strategizing. “Certainly, with the border situation and health concerns in the provinces with regards to quarantining, a taxi squad would be beneficial,” he said. He admitted that having teams in the U.S. benefit the Oilers for reasons he didn’t get into but he said the key to was to have players playing. So, while he waits for the official guidelines of these black aces players to come down the communication pipeline, Holland prepares to potentially get a much closer look at names like Patrick Russell, Alan Quine, Anton Forsberg, Stuart Skinner, Tyler Benson, and a player on defense who will get a lot of attention in Evan Bouchard.

A Big Opportunity for Bouchard

Already in the conversation when it came to making the Oilers roster, Bouchard is playing in Sweden on loan. He’s doing quite well there and adjusting to the change in game style that comes with a bigger ice surface and a different focus on offense. Holland is looking forward to seeing what Bouchard can bring.

Evan Bouchard Edmonton Oilers
Evan Bouchard Edmonton Oilers

“At some point, we have to see what he can do,” said Holland. That means giving him every opportunity to make the NHL club. And, if the Oilers were to start him in Bakersfield, they know the chances of bringing him in for a cup of coffee are slim. If you’re in Bakersfield, you could be there for the long haul. “…recalling somebody from Bakersfield could be tough with the quarantine,” Holland added.

Not only does this mean Bouchard will likely start with the Oilers, but Holland hinted he will play. Holland stressed that there will be a number of games in a condensed time period and he doesn’t want players just sitting around. Again, great news for Bouchard since every opportunity as an Oilers defenseman keeps him one step closer to full-time NHL employment.

Next: Predicting the Maple Leafs First Call-Ups During the 2020-21 NHL Season

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

More News

More in NHL News