Holloway and Price are among 11 people included in the COVID Protocol

The Edmonton Oilers have had a difficult week. There have been more losses than usual, COVID protocol additions and trade concerns. Coaching questions are also common.

While it may seem like the sky is falling fast, it’s actually moving forward Zack Kassian, “There will be highs and lows in a year. We started with a high and are now at the bottom. I’m confident we will get out of it. It has taken longer than we’d like… we just need to find a way to win the first one and go from there.”

11 Placed in COVID Protocol

Oilers website says that the team has placed 11 people under COVID protocol. That includes five players and six support staff. Although names such as Connor McDavid (Derek Ryan) and Tyson Barrie are already on the list.

  • Kailer Yamamoto
  • Evan Bouchard
  • Slater Koekkoek
  • Brendan Perlini
  • Ilya Konovalov

Time will reveal what this means for Monday’s game against Ottawa Senators. Because of COVID, there would be at most eight players missing from the lineup. If there are any other players added between Saturday & Sunday, it would be a sign that the league will need to reconsider postponing this game.

Dylan Holloway skating with the team

If there’s one shining bright light on the Oilers this week, it’s that highly-touted prospect Dylan Holloway was skating with the club at practice and the Oilers say he looks good, only needing to be cleared by medical staff before likely being sent down to the AHL to work with Jay Woodcroft in Bakersfield.

“He was a very excited child out there today.”
2020 14th-overall pick & highly-touted #Oilers prospect Dylan Holloway looks to be inching closer to game action after skating in today’s practice as he works back from wrist surgery.

“He was an excited kid out there today,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said. With the roster news, it’s hard to rule out the idea that Holloway could get a look if he’s getting closer to a return. After missing months with a hand/wrist injury, Tippett added, “Hopefully, he gets up and going and gets an opportunity, whether it’s in Bakersfield or here.”

Kassian said of watching Holloway’s work this season, “He’s always in the gym, he’s working extremely hard with our skating coach David Pelletier, so it’s nice to see him finally be able to take in a practice.” He added that the hard work seems to be paying off and believes Holloway has a bright future with the team.

Oilers Radar – Carey Price

Eric Engels, Sportsnet recently reported that he could see both the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche as potential landing spots for veteran netminder Carey Price. There’s no guarantee Price is traded and no guarantee he’ll even return to the NHL this season, but if he does, many believe it could be to showcase himself for a potential trade.

Related: Oilers’ Trade Targets on the Seattle Kraken

The Oilers would have trouble making this trade work but Engels believes it could be an option if Montreal retains half of Price’s salary and takes a contract with money back.

Koskinen could go down, Stuart Skinner may come up

Jason Gregor and I recently spokeFrank Seravalli discussed the Oilers’ goaltending plans with him during a Daily Faceoff Podcast. He suggested that Mikko Koskinen will be sent down to Bakersfield, and Stuart Skinner will be brought up. Although the team may make other roster moves, this would be the biggest and most likely a permanent solution unless there is an injury or illness that requires it.

Stuart Skinner Edmonton Oilers
Stuart Skinner, Edmonton Oilers (Photo: Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportwire via Getty Images

While the Oilers may have seen Koskinen play well, Skinner has performed amazingly in the AHL ever since he returned to Edmonton. There’s an internal belief that Skinner’s numbers in the NHL to start the season were not reflective of how good he was and that he’s earned a longer look.

Has Markus Niemeläinen Earned The Last Left-Shot Spot?

Gregor also noted that defenseman Markus Niemeläinen is potentially the guy the Oilers are looking at fill the final left-shot spot in the team’s defense corps. They really liked the different and physical element Niemeläinen brought to the lineup and his injury was just poor timing.

Niemeläinen was on the ice today for the Oilers optional practice. He’s trying to work himself back up to speed and recover. Once he’s ready, it is believed he’ll be a priority over players like Phillip Broberg, Dmitri Samorukov and William Lagesson.