The Oilers have lots of young talent, but it hasn’t materialized on Bodog's NHL odds yet. With 75/1 Stanley Cup odds this season, oddsmakers obviously aren’t expecting it to happen any time soon, either. This is your Edmonton Oilers 2010-11 preview.
After finishing dead last in the Western Conference, Edmonton jettisoned some familiar veteran faces. Fernando Pisani, one of the key components of Edmonton’s Cup run a few years ago, is off to Chicago. Mike Comrie signed with Pittsburgh, while Patrick O’Sullivan was shipped to Phoenix. For now, it seems like each player moved up in the hockey world.
None of those players were front liners for the Oilers anymore, however. Edmonton has built a pretty intriguing young core of speedy youngsters; they just haven’t put things together yet. Edmonton was 27th in goal scoring, so there’s going to be increased pressure on the kids. Edmonton’s top nine forwards include six first-round draft picks from 2005 or later: Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Andrew Cogliano, Magnus Paajarvi, Sam Gagner and Gilbert Brule. Gagner was the group’s highest scorer with 41 points, while three of them — Hall, Eberle and Paajarvi — will be making their NHL debuts.
Alex Hemsky, Dustin Penner and Shawn Horcoff will add veteran presence up front. Hemsky is a former 70-point player who disappointed because of injuries last year; he was limited to 22 points in 22 games. Penner rebounded from a horrendous first two years with the Oilers by scoring 32 goals and 63 points last season, finally (almost) living up to his bloated contract.
The Oilers allowed more goals than anyone last year, and it could be more of the same in 2010-11. Veteran Nikolai Khabibulin is penciled in as the starting goaltender, but management would probably prefer it if youngster Jeff Deslauriers could steal the job.
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