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Oilers Have Internal Competition For NHL Blue Line Job Heating Up

There’s an interesting competition already potentially brewing for the seventh spot on the Edmonton Oilers blue line this upcoming season.

Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland certainly would have liked to have added another top tier defenseman this offseason. Essentially replacing an injured Oscar Klefbom with Tyson Barrie on the power play, if the Oilers had the cap space, Edmonton would have looked to add another piece. Since that’s not possible, the team will have to hope that some of their young defensive prospects are able to step up.

Related: Edmonton Oilers Sign RFA Defenseman William Lagesson

The good news is, it appears that might happen. According to some reports regarding prospects like William Lagesson and Evan Bouchard, they are ripping it up in international play and there might be some friendly and helpful competition for that seventh spot on the Oilers blue line.

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal took a look at Lagesson’s play so far in Allsvenskan, the league below the top-drawer Swedish Hockey League. He’s tearing it up offensively and has nine points in 11 games for Vita Hasten in Norrkoping. Holland has taken notice. “I’ve been following Lagesson … he’s certainly getting a lot of points,” said Holland.

The GM also has his eyes on Evan Bouchard. He too has played well and while he’s being outscored by Lagesson at this time — Bouchard has seven points in 14 games in Sodertalje, — there are high hopes for the prospect. “I’m watching how Evan’s playing in Europe. He’ll be back for our training camp,” said Holland.

The question might be, which one of these players gets that final spot?

What About Philip Broberg?

While the Oilers like what they have in a third defenseman in Philip Broberg and the defenseman got a look prior to the postseason starting this past season, he’s probably not quite ready to make the NHL jump. Holland noted that he’s going to keep watching, but is leaning towards leaving Broberg where he is.

Holland noted, “As for Philip Broberg, my thought is he’ll stay in Skelleftea until their Swedish season is over. Our NHL season will go way beyond that (so he can come to Edmonton). We’ve got some young defencemen.”

Next: Oilers Signing Dominik Kahun Mostly About McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins

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