Edmonton Oilers’ first three center spots are established, but a big battle unfolds in 4C

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Ryan McLeod

Big, quick and reasonably skilled, McLeod is nonetheless a project that will likely take some time to put the parts together. He made a solid professional debut in the AHL last season, then put on an honorable performance with EV Zug of the Swiss League this fall, scoring 11 points in 15 games.

Expectations for 2021: In the long run, he has the potential to be a solid sixer down the center or on the wing. In the short term he is projecting himself to the taxi team, or more likely Bakersfield for more seasoning once there is an actual season for the season. Don’t be surprised if he makes a good impression at the start of camp, as he did in the fall of 2018..

Cooper Marody

He projected much higher in the scheme of things after a great pro rookie season at Bakersfield (with a cameo in Edmonton) in 2018-19, but a blow knocked him out of the playoffs that year and made some devastation on the following season. He barely played 30 games a year ago with significantly reduced production. He was loaned out to Austrian ICEHL this fall for a head start, but only lasted one game before seemingly disappearing from the face of the earth. He’s on the training camp roster so I hope he’s ready to go.

Expectations for 2021: A skilled right shooter is a great playmaker when he’s right. Just turning 24, time is running out to make an impact in the NHL, but the smart money suggests he will have to take a place in the lineup for a while.

Devin Shore

Ranked last due to being on a PTO, although it realistically sits right behind Khaira and Haas or who knows, maybe just ahead of them. With 285 games in the NHL over the past four seasons, he has serious credentials in the Big League, although he has gradually seen his ice time and point production drop year after year. Listed here as a cross because that’s where the need is, but it’s best viewed as a versatile forward who can also play on the left wing and has previous experience as a penalty killer.

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