After learning defenseman Oscar Klefbom would be out of action for a couple of weeks, the Edmonton Oilers have made somewhat of a controversial decision by calling up prospect defenseman Evan Bouchard from Bakersfield.
Not everyone will agree with this move but for now, the Oilers have few choices as Bouchard is arguably the best option to fill in some top-four minutes in the short-term and as the Oilers try to maintain their winning record heading into a possible playoff spot.
So too, Bouchard is likely not to slot in tonight against the Boston Bruins but will be one seven d-men for the Oilers in the event of illness/injury. He makes less, thus he saves the Oilers a little money ahead of the deadline in the event Edmonton would like to add someone in trade. Markus Granlund was sent down as part of the decision to call Bouchard up.
Dave Tippett said he will play Bouchard and is expecting him to contribute but the call-up probably won’t be lengthy. Bouchard can play nine games this season before his contract slides.
This is the latest in a recent batch of call-ups from the Oilers and many of them are making the most of their opportunities. Ethan Bear started the year in Edmonton and hasn’t looked back. Kailer Yamamoto was called up and been an offensive star for the Oilers over his close to 20 games. Caleb Jones, Tyler Benson and others have seized their opportunities as well. Can Bouchard be next?
There’s an argument that with his offensive ability, passing skill and hockey sense, this could be a smart move by Edmonton, even if not everyone is on board with potentially rushing him in and having so many young guys on the blue line at such an important juncture for the Oilers.
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