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Oilers Make Number of Roster Changes Ahead of Game vs. Blues

The Edmonton Oilers have shuffled their goaltenders, among other changes ahead of Wednesday’s contest against the St. Louis Blues.

The Edmonton Oilers will be without Darnell Nurse and Zack Kassian when the team takes on the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday. Still, they are getting some key pieces of their roster back and the combination of absences and returns have equated to a number of roster changes ahead of Wednesday’s matchup.

Related: Oilers’ Mike Smith on Playing vs. Blues on Wednesday: “I’m Available”

The biggest names returning are goaltender Mike Smith, who head coach Dave Tippett confirmed would be back and starting in goal. The Oilers will also get defenseman Duncan Keith again to patrol the left side of their blue line and forward Zach Hyman is back after suffering a minor shoulder injury that kept him out of a couple of games before the NHL pause. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will also return and as a result, the organization made the following roster changes.

Smith was activated off of LTIR and goaltender Stuart Skinner was loaned to Bakersfield of the AHL. Netminder Ilya Konovalov was loaned to the taxi squad from the AHL, as was defenseman Philip Broberg who will be playing the role of the seventh defenseman while Dmitri Samorukov will also make his NHL debut tonight, playing in a pairing with Evan Bouchard.

Mike Smith Edmonton Oilers
Mike Smith Edmonton Oilers

Tippett said of Smith getting the start: “He’s good to go tonight. He’s an outstanding goaltender but he’s also one of our leaders in that room.” Leon Draisaitl commented too and said, “If he’s ready to go, he’ll be a big boost for us.”

The Oilers won a few games heading into the break and snapped a six-game losing streak to keep them just inside the playoff picture. They’ll need to go on a run here of wins to get back into the top spot in the Pacific Division and give the team, its management and the fans little doubt that they truly are a contender this season.

As for Skinner’s future with the club, much of what gets determined this season will depend on the health of Mikko Koskinen and Smith moving forward. As for long-term, Skinner is certainly a big part of the team’s future.

Next: If the Maple Leafs Had to Play Now: Line Combinations Would Be?

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