The Edmonton Oilers have made two roster moves, recalling veteran defenseman Jason Demers from their AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors, and placing forward Ryan McLeod on long-term injured reserve.
The recall puts Demers in a position to play his 700th career NHL game, and his first since the 2020-21 season. The 34-year-old defenseman last played in the NHL for the Arizona Coyotes, a team he landed on in a 2017 swap of pricey contracts, with Arizona sending Jamie McGinn to the Florida Panthers in return. Demers played four years with the Coyotes before signing in the KHL with Ak-Bars Kazan in the summer of 2022.
Demers played just nine games in the KHL, and his 2021-22 season was most notable for his work representing Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. He scored two points as one of Canada’s most experienced defensemen, and his performance on that major stage helped him earn a PTO with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors in October.
That PTO became a full contract with the Oilers in December, and now the forward momentum Demers has been building in his career has materialized into an NHL call-up. Demers has been playing in a top-four role with the Condors, but will likely play a limited role with the Oilers should head coach Jay Woodcroft dress him for a game.
As for McLeod, his placement on LTIR was needed to facilitate this move since the Oilers do not have the cap space to make a recall otherwise. The 23-year-old 2018 second-round pick has scored 22 points in 55 games this season as a regular bottom-sixer for Edmonton, although he hasn’t played since a March 14th contest against the Ottawa Senators. As we covered last month, reports indicate that McLeod is dealing with a shoulder injury.