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BLOG: Simpson thinks Condors makeover will be beneficial

Defenceman Dillon Simpson likes how the Bakersfield Condors roster looks heading into the 2017-18 season

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

The Bakersfield Condors' roster will be different going into the 2017-18 season.

On July 1, the Edmonton Oilers signed forward Mitch Callahan and defenceman Ryan Stanton to two-year contracts. They also inked forwards Grayson Downing, Brian Ferlin and Ty Rattie, as well as defenceman Keegan Lowe and goaltender Edward Pasquale to one-year contracts.

Some prospects could also make the jump from junior to pro, including defencemen Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, Ryan Mantha and Ziyat Paigin, leaving the team made of a good mix of rookies and veterans.

"It seems like a complete makeover and I think a lot of those additions will have great effects for everyone," said defenceman Dillon Simpson on Oilers Now Monday. 

"When you have that kind of base around you on a minor league team, it makes a difference."

Simpson commented on two of the defensive additions the team could see.

"Mantha is a guy with a lot of size and can move well for a big guy," Simpson said.

Russian defender Paigin is the other. 

"For Ziyat, he's a great guy," Simpson said. "He's here with us now training. He can jump up offensively, can get up in the rush and has a big shot."

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BLOG: Simpson intends to be more demanding on the ice

Defenceman Dillon Simpson wants to incorporate more urgency in his game next season

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

After inking a one-year contract with the Oilers on Sunday, defender Dillon Simpson knows what he wants to implement in his game for the upcoming 2017-18 season.

"Just to play more of an aggressive game," the Edmonton product said Monday on Oilers Now. "In years past, I was a bit more passive."

There are certain facets Simpson will manufacture on the ice in his effort to be more aggressive.

"Just be more demanding," he said. "Demand the puck, be more of a presence out on the ice, maybe find my opportunities to jump in the play."

Simpson plans to play that way in either Edmonton or Bakersfield with the Condors.

"In Bakersfield, try to assert myself as a guy who can help out offensively when the situation is there."

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BLOG: Simpson ready to return

Defenceman Dillon Simpson spoke on Oilers Now a day after signing a one-year contract with the Oilers

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

The Oilers signed defenceman Dillon Simpson to a one-year contract on Sunday.

Simpson spoke on Oilers Now a day later to talk about the signing and returning to Edmonton.

"I definitely wanted to come back and with the McDavid thing, we had to wait a little bit," Simpson said. 

"It was great to get done on the weekend."

The Oilers drafted Simpson in the fourth round (92nd-overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft. The blueliner has spent the bulk of his time with the organization in the American Hockey League with the Oklahoma City Barons and Bakersfield Condors. 

The Edmonton native is aware of the steps he needs to make in his next season.

"I think for me, coming in knowing what they expect of me and how they want me to improve this coming year is big," Simpson said. "Last year getting in a few games was a step in the right direction.

"At the end of the day, it's a place I wanted to be back in and it's on me to play well."

Simpson played three games with the Oilers last season.

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Oilers Off-Season Movement Tracker

Follow along for the Oilers additions and subtractions throughout the summer

by Staff / EdmontonOilers.com

Here are the updates on all the Oilers moves this offseason, including additions and subtractions.

Oilers Group 2 Free Agents: Leon Draisaitl, Joey Laleggia (signed), Dillon Simpson (signed), Bogdan Yakimov (signed in KHL; Oilers retain rights)

Oilers Group 3 Free Agents: David Desharnais (to NYR), Andrew Ference, Justin Fontaine, Mark Fraser, Jonas Gustavsson (to Sweden), Matt Hendricks

Group 6 Free Agents: Jordan Oesterle (to CHI), Tyler Pitlick (to DAL)

Other UFAs: Benoit Pouliot (to BUF), Anton Lander (to KHL), Eetu Laurikainen (to Finland), David Musil, Zach Pochiro, Jere Sallinen (to Sweden), Henrik Samuelsson

ADDITIONS:

  • Oilers signed D Dillon Simpson to a one-year deal on July 16 >> READ

  • Oilers signed D/F Joey Laleggia to a one-year deal on July 13 >> READ

  • Oilers signed D Yohann Auvitu to a one-year contract on July 10. >> READ

  • Oilers signed F Jussi Jokinen to a one-year contract on July 7. >> READ

  • Oilers signed Connor McDavid to an eight-year contract extension on July 5. >> READ

  • Oilers signed F Brad Malone to a two-year contract on July 3. >> READ

  • On July 1, the Edmonton Oilers signed forward Mitch Callahan and defenceman Ryan Stanton to two-year contracts. They also signed forwards Grayson Downing, Brian Ferlin and Ty Rattie, as well as defenceman Keegan Lowe and goaltender Edward Pasquale to one-year contracts. >> READ

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Oilers sign Simpson

The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenceman Dillon Simpson to a one-year contract

by Edmonton Oilers Press Release / EdmontonOilers.com

The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenceman Dillon Simpson to a one-year contract.

Simpson, 24, appeared in 53 games with the American Hockey League's (AHL) Bakersfield Condors last season, recording 11 points (3G, 8A) and 26 penalty minutes.

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BLOG: Oilers sign Laleggia

The Edmonton Oilers have signed Joey Laleggia to a one-year contract

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

The Oilers have signed Joey Laleggia to a one-year contract.

The University of Denver alumnus has spent the past three seasons in the American Hockey League.

Last season with the Bakersfield Condors, Laleggia posted AHL career highs in games played (67), goals (20) and points (38) serving as both a defenceman and left winger.

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BLOG: Auvitu adds depth

Recent Oilers signing Yohann Auvitu brings depth to the Oilers blueline

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

Recent Oilers signing Yohann Auvitu adds depth to the organization's back end, and with Andrej Sekera still rehabbing an injury early into the 2017-18, the 27-year-old could provide the team the support they need to start the season.

"When you have the depth that we start to have now, guys are pushing other guys and it's healthy for the organization," Oilers Assistant General Manager Keith Gretzky said Wednesday on Oilers Now. "The other thing is the depth is there. You're going to have guys that exceed expectations and guys that go the other way."

Gretzky mentioned a similar scenario arose last season with rookies Drake Caggiula and Matt Benning. 

"You look at last year with Benning and Caggiula," said Gretzky. "They were probably penciled down to go to American League."

As for Auvitu, there are plenty of attributes the Oilers brass like about his game.

"He's unbelievable at handling the puck," Gretzky said. "He skates with the puck, moves it around. He's not overly physical but for a defenceman, he handles and moves the puck. In today's game, you have to be able to do that. He's a guy you add that makes a team better and we feel we've done that."

Auvitu has two goals, two assists and four points in 25 career NHL games - all with the New Jersey Devils.

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Oilers sign Auvitu

The Oilers have signed defenceman Yohann Auvitu

by Edmonton Oilers Press Release / EdmontonOilers.com

The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenceman Yohann Auvitu to a one-year contract.

Auvitu, 27, appeared in 25 games with the New Jersey Devils last season, recording four points (2G, 2A) and two penalty minutes.

The 5'11", 191-pound blueliner also played in 29 games with the American Hockey League's (AHL) Albany Devils in 2016-17, posting 13 points (5G, 8A) and two penalty minutes.

A native of Ivry-sur-Seine, France, Auvitu spent six seasons in the Finnish Elite Leauge (SM-liiga) prior to 2016-17, appearing in 216 games and registering 57 points (19G, 38A).

Auvitu has also represented his country several times internationally, most recently at the 2017 World Hockey Championship. He has represented France in eight World Hockey Championships (2010-2017), as well as three times at the World Junior Hockey Championships (2007, 2008 and 2009).

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BLOG: Keith Gretzky on Jokinen signing

by Chris Wescott / EdmontonOilers.com Head Writer

Oilers Assistant GM Keith Gretzky joined Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now Friday, to talk about the signing of Jussi Jokinen, the NHL Draft and the Oilers Development Camp in Jasper.

Gretzky said the Jokinen signing filled a need for the Oil. The veteran comes in with lots of experience and a good all-around game, the ability to play the wing and win faceoffs and he can bury the puck in the shootout.

"It's a little piece of a puzzle, and when you get a guy like that who had a good year, we did some background on him and things were really good so we're lucky to have him," said Gretzky.

Jokinen said after signing that he is willing to help the Oilers develop their young Finn Jesse Puljujarvi, who is entering his second year in North America. Gretzky says that mentorship is just a bonus.

"Hopefully, Jesse can learn from him and it's easier to grow and be a good hockey player and understand what's expected," said Gretzky. "It's a little easier when you have someone else there to help you out."

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BLOG: Keith Gretzky impressed with Paigin

by Chris Wescott / EdmontonOilers.com Head Writer

Oilers Assistant General Manager Keith Gretzky likes what he sees in Ziyat Paigin, the club's seventh-round pick in 2015. Gretzky scouted Paigin while with the Boston Bruins organization and liked him then, and he had the chance to see the prospect at Development Camp last week.

"Very impressive," Gretzky told Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now last Friday.

"For a big man, he moves well and I think it's like Jesse coming over here. He's got to learn the language. He's a happy, happy kid and there's lots to like in his game. Give him some time and some development time. It's good to see when those guys come over here and they know they have to go to Bakersfield, they want to go there, we have great coaching down there so it gives him some time and hopefully he develops and can be in Edmonton because he's a big man and it'll be good to see."

The first thing you notice with Paigin is how big he is, as the 22-year-old defenceman stands at 6-foot-6. He had a big year in the KHL in 2015-16, when he scored nine goals and tallied 27 points in 37 games from the back end.

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