Not long ago, defensive depth was a big concern for the Edmonton Oilers.
In a way, it started to become a force. Even if Ethan Bell and Caleb Jones are not on the court, Evan Bouchard, Philip Broberg, and William Ragson have shown promising potential as young defensive players.
If all goes well, Dmitri Samorukov (Dmitri Samorukov) may become the next important part of the puzzle and may force him into the NHL conversation as soon as possible.
Samorukov, who is currently participating in the team’s rookie training camp-the team’s third-round rookie in 2017-is competing for the NHL spot in October. Samorukov is no stranger to North American games. He spent his junior year with the Guelph Storms in the OHL and has more than 50 games experience in the AHL games with the Bakersfield Condors. However, after an extra year of development in KHL, Samorukov’s current goal is to show off, and he is ready to show that he is now capable of becoming a full-time NHLer.
“When I first came to AHL two years ago, it was really good for me to learn how to be a player, and then I established myself as a professional player in KHL this season,” said Samorukov. “Now I’m knocking on the door hard and doing my best.”
So far, Samorkukov has shown good signs since turning into a professional player. Although he did achieve good results in OHL, Samorukov has been working hard to consolidate his suspension and has made great progress, as he proved in the KHL game against CSKA Moscow last year. A shoulder injury slowed his season in January, but general manager Ken Holland said that Samorukov had been allowed to play.
“When you came from a junior year, you had a lot of points, and you thought you might be special,” Samorukov said. “But when you realize that you have some people who can actually score, you will know what kind of game you have to play. I know who I am now.”
However, making oilers can be a bit tricky. Darnell Nurse and Tyson Barrie were the two pillars of last year. Duncan Keith and Cody Ceci will be the second pair of veterans. Chris Russell will team up with Evan Bouchard in the third quarter, then Rajson and Slater Cookcock. So Samorukov is far from being a member of this team, but like any young rookie, he wants to prove that he deserves long-term attention.
“You come in and you want to show yourself. This is what every child is doing. So we just try to be our best and try to win every game.”
The expected plan is for Samorukov to return to Bakersfield and play one or two called minutes there. But the performance of a strong prospect camp can allow him to get more attention in the main camp, and it may be a real opportunity to enter the first day list.
“I don’t think he will be ready immediately, but his development last year took a big step forward,” said a Russian scout. “It won’t be long.”
The Oilers have high expectations, and you would expect Connor McDavid and Leon Dresetel to lead the team. In recent years, defense and goalkeeping have been obstacles for the team, but at least, in the long run, the blue line option seems promising in the oil countries.
Will Samorukov be a key part of the future? The signs indicate yes, but now everything is in his hands. In the next few years, the team’s competition will be very fierce, but Samorukov is full of confidence in his abilities and is very impressive.
This is all the Oilers fans want from him now.