Today Alex Thomas of The Oilers Rig announced that the Edmonton Oilers would bring two of their top prospects – defenseman Philip Broberg and goaltender Olivier Rodrigue – to the Phase 3 training camp that will be part of the NHL’s outlined Return to Play schedule. That training cam is scheduled to begin in two weeks – on July 10.
However, that date is tentative and there’s some talk the Oilers would move that date back so that players returning from Europe could be with the team. I had heard a couple of days ago that a number of European players would be charting planes to return to Canada so as not to be with other passengers.
The Plan for Broberg
The Oilers chose Broberg during round one with the team’s eighth overall during the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-3, 203 pound 19-year-old spent this past season playing in Sweden with Skelleftea AIK, In 45 games he scored a goal and seven assists for eight points. Broberg’s plan will be to spend this postseason with the Oilers and then return to Sweden for the entire 2020-21 season.
During his time in North America, the plan is to have the young defenseman engage in the training camp and experience the NHL playoff atmosphere around the club. However, no one expects him to play in any of the postseason games.
In total, the Oilers will carry ten defensemen, and Broberg will likely be taking a seat at the end of the team’s depth chart.
The Plan for Rodrigue
The 19-year-old, 6-foot-1, and 163-pound (he’s slim) Rodrigue was picked during round two (62nd overall) by the Oilers in during the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. He had a huge season – at least in terms of won and lost record – with the Moncton Wildcards of the QMJHL. In 39 games, his record was 31-7-1 record with a .918 save percentage.
After Rodrigue has been added to the playoff roster, the Oilers’ four goaltenders are set. The team will have two veteran NHL goalies with Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen, and they will add two prospects – Rodrigue and Stuart Skinner. There’s no limit on the number of goalies an NHL team can carry during the playoffs.
Enjoy the Experience
Here’s hoping the two youngsters enjoy the experience with the Oilers. A deep playoff run would be great fun. And, although the Oilers would be one of those teams who might – should they lose in the play-in round – be drawing for the number one draft choice in Phase 2 of the Lottery, general manager Ken Holland made it known that no one on his watch would be thinking that way.
The Oilers plan to go a long way into the postseason and will focus completely on winning the Stanley Cup.