When the Edmonton Oilers' top young stars played in Oklahoma City last year during the NHL lockout, it forced players such as 2011-12 American Hockey League All-Star Philippe Cornet to start the season in Double-A.
“Last year was unique,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “You just don't see work stoppages where three first-round picks and a coveted free agent that all 30 NHL teams wanted come down to play in the AHL. That will never happen again.”
The Barons open training camp Monday morning at the Cox Convention Center. Many of the players at Monday's first practice eventually will be cut or reassigned to Double-A affiliate Bakersfield (Calif.) in the ECHL. Some of the Barons top players will be players cut later this week by the Edmonton Oilers.
“There's been quite a bit of turnover. We'll be very young, but I think we'll have a really good hockey team,” Nelson said. “Competition (for roster spots) will be really good. Watching some of Edmonton's preseason games, a lot of guys are playing well. Some of them eventually will be here.”
Here's what the Barons roster might look like when they open the 2013-14 season at home Oct. 4-5 against Charlotte:
Forwards: If Edmonton cuts Linus Omark, the former Baron would highlight OKC's No. 1 line. Other players in Edmonton's camp that might be cut include Barons veterans Ben Eager, Mark Arcobello, Anton Lander, Tyler Pitlick or Curtis Hamilton.
Others on the Edmonton bubble include 28-year-old NHL veteran Mike Brown; former Toronto Maple Leaf Will Acton and AHL veteran Matt Ford.
The Oilers like Jesse Joensuu, a 25-year-old center from Finland, but he might need some AHL seasoning. Among players currently on the Barons roster, Andrew Miller scored the overtime game-winning goal for Yale in last year's NCAA championship game.
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