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INBOX: Yakimov, Betker, Zharkov

by Bob Stauffer / Edmonton Oilers
Every Monday, Oilers radio colour analyst and Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer answers questions submitted by fans about the team.
  1. The Oilers could use a big talented center. Is there any chance we could see Bogdan Yakimov with the big club next year? If not is there any other big talented centers coming up through the system that could take a spot on the big club or any big centers that you feel the Oilers could make a trade to acquire such a center? Thanks. — Kevin from Coombs, BC     


Personally I think both Bogdan Yakimov and Jujhar Khaira are at least another year away for full-time deployment at the NHL level. I was pleased to see Yakimov score three goals on the weekend. In a perfect world these two see plenty of action in one of the top three center roles in the AHL next season. As a result I do see the Oilers looking to acquire another center through free agency or trade before the start of next season.

  • I saw Ben Betker play the first young stars and liked what I saw. I believe he has improved again this year and his stats look better all the time. Everett list him at 6' 6" and 220 lbs. Is this accurate? I wonder where the Oilers have him slotted as he matures?  — Bruce from Kelowna

    Ben Betker is all of 6’6” and will probably play at about 230 pounds as a pro. He has improved his foot-work and puck-handling ability at the WHL level and has a chance to be a  “project” defenceman down the road. Betker will need some seasoning in the AHL and will probably start there in a third-pairing role.

  • Hey Bob. Any idea if Oilers have had talks/thoughts about bringing Zharkov over from KHL. Isn't really playing many games there as per hockeyDb. Thoughts? — Cole from Edmonton

    The Oilers took a bit of a flyer on Daniil Zharkov selecting him in the 3rd round, 91st overall in the 2012 draft. Zharkov started the year in the KHL and is currently playing in the Russian second division (VHL) with HK Sarov (28 GP, 1 goal, 3 assists, 4 points, -10, 14 PIM). I would suggest he is a longshot at this point to factor into the Oilers long term plans.

  • Bob Stauffer is Colour Analyst on the Oilers Radio Network and Hosts “Oilers Now” each day Noon to 2:00 PM Monday thru Friday on 630 CHED and you can follow him on Twitter at @Bob_Stauffer
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