HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WAIVER WIRE, 10/4/2016 EDITION

The waiver wire list generally only gets better and better as training camps approach their end dates, and this year is no exception. Tuesday’s list features some extremely interesting players.

James Mirtle has the full list posted above; the following are the players I think are worth looking at in a bit of detail. 

  • C Chris Brown. Brown’s had a tough few years. He’s a 6’2”, 215-pound right-shooting centre, and one who doesn’t mind playing a physical game. As a rookie pro he had 47 points in 68 games at the AHL level and even earned a five-game call-up; he looked like a real prospect. His scoring has fallen off in the minors, though, and he no longer looks like the kind of player worthy of a waiver claim.
  • RD Darren Dietz. Now we’re getting somewhere. Dietz is 23 years old, a 6’1”, 213-pound right-shooting defenceman who played all situations in the minors. He was a point and penalty minute-producing rearguard in the WHL, though he’s become both more disciplined and less offensive as a pro. He had five points during a 13-game NHL recall last year and earned good reviews for his work.
  • LW Quinton Howden. Howden was a first-round pick of the Panthers in the 2010 draft, combining a 6’2” frame with mobility and offensive skills. The offence, however, fell off in his final year of junior and has yet to be seen at the pro level. He had 11 points in 58 games for Florida a year ago, though he did mostly play in a fourth-line role.
  • LD Brenden Kichton. A point-producing defenceman, Kichton was a late pick of the Islanders in 2011 and then a later pick of the Jets in 2013 after he didn’t sign with New York. He had 85 points in his final year of junior, and put up 41 points (along with a minus-23 rating) for the woeful Manitoba Moose last year. He actually ended up leading Manitoba in scoring. The trouble is that he isn’t big and he isn’t fast; despite his scoring Jets Nation ranked him as its 18th-best prospect this past summer.
  • RW JC Lipon. THN described him as “a little rat with a lot of will” in their most recent edition of Future Watch, and the description fits his boxcars. The 23-year-old right winger had 30 points and 87 penalty minutes in 45 minor-league games a year ago, and picked up an assist in a nine-game NHL stint.
  • RW Colin McDonald. McDonald is an exceptional AHL player. The 2003 second-round pick of the Oilers plays a rugged, defensively responsible game while also being capable of chipping in offensively. He’s averaged 25 points/82 games over a 145-game NHL career, which really isn’t bad for a big fourth-liner who can also kill penalties. His age works against him here.
  • RD Zach Trotman. The 26-year-old Trotman lacks a standout skill, but as an end-of-roster option he has appeal because he brings a bit of everything. He’s 6’3” and 216 pounds and spent most of his last NHL stint playing tough minutes next to Zdeno Chara. He doesn’t bring a lot of offence at the major-league level, but is a reasonable point-producer in the AHL and previously in college hockey. He has real appeal in a No. 6/7 role, and his right shot doesn’t hurt him any.

This is a better list of players than any we’ve seen yet, though as always this is a tough time of year to make a claim. Every team is virtually guaranteed to have some in-house training camp standout; it’s difficult to axe that guy in favour of a bubble player from some other club.

The exception is when the newcomer brings some specific skillset that is perceived to be lacking. In Howden’s case, untapped potential. In Lipon’s case, aggressiveness. Dietz and Trotman are probably the most interesting names on this list, because both are right-shooting defenceman who proved last year they could play in the NHL if given an opportunity. 

Again, I don’t really expect teams still trying to make their own final cuts to put a claim in, but the available options are becoming more tempting. 

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

  • Morgo_82

    If they want a little more depth in the bottom six on the farm, one of MacDonald, Lipon or Howden would work. If not, then take a pass on all of these guys, they’re on waivers for a reason.

    • Spydyr

      They sure are and two of the reason are:

      1)Most teams draft better than the Oilers.

      2)Most teams develop better than the Oilers.

      Picking up a RHD than can help the team only makes sense to me.

        • Spydyr

          Well I would wait until the final cuts ,you know the guys that almost made teams with much better defenses than the Oilers have. Unless some crafty GM tried to sneak a guy through early but that is what you have pro scouts for. Even though the Oilers pro scouts have perhaps the worst record in the NHL the last decade. Hopefully the changes made recently will remedy that.

    • supra steve

      If you pick up one of these players, you need to keep them in the NHL. If you just want to make a claim then send them to the AHL, they need to clear waivers again. That’s the reason most clubs are passing on all the “free stuff”. If you have a real need for one of these players on the big club, make a claim, otherwise don’t bother.

  • Spydyr

    @ Morgo_82

    I agree other than perhaps:

    RD Darren Dietz. Now we’re getting somewhere. Dietz is 23 years old, a 6’1”, 213-pound right-shooting defenceman who played all situations in the minors. He was a point and penalty minute-producing rearguard in the WHL, though he’s become both more disciplined and less offensive as a pro. He had five points during a 13-game NHL recall last year and earned good reviews for his work.

    He sounds interesting but to be honest I have never heard of him before. In the pro scouts we trust,kinda , somewhat, heck not very much.

  • wojohowitz

    Florida used the Canucks first rounds pick on Howden. Maybe the Ballard deal or the Booth deal. Glad to see that did not bite us in the acc.

    In comparison in the Neely deal Boston took Wesley with the Canucks first pick and that turned into players that went on and on for years.

  • Larionov18

    Howden was the pick given up in the disastrous Ballard trade. A fine salary dump by the Panthers on the Canucks. Just like the Booth trade.Legend has it in Van that a second round pick combined with Raymond and Ballard could have brought in return any number of star players. Gillis held firm though.

    • Oiler fan in Dallas

      What a bull$hit attempt at humor this is. I watched Chris grow up here in Dallas, I coached his younger brother and coached with his dad. I remember watching the draft when he went 33rd overall and how exciting it was to see a Dallas kid do well. Chris is as nice of young man you will ever meet. I struggle trying to figure out why his game has never made it to the next level. I hope that before he ages out that he gets it together whether for us or any team.

      Sign me “a big Chris Brown fan”.

      RIck