Per a team release, the Edmonton Oilers have added some depth to their playoff roster. With their AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors, eliminated from the Calder Cup Playoffs, the Oilers are free to call up as many extras as they wish. They have chosen to recall defenseman Markus Niemelainen, defenseman Cam Dineen and forward Brad Malone to join the NHL club as depth options for the Oilers as they continue their playoff quest.
Niemelainen is a big, physical, defensive defenseman at 6-foot-6 who played 23 NHL games this season. He was a third-round pick of the Oilers in 2016 and has 43 career NHL games of experience. He played 30 AHL games with Bakersfield this season, scoring seven points while filling a shutdown defensive role for the team.
Dineen was a third-round pick of the Arizona Coyotes in the 2016 NHL Draft and was acquired by the Oilers with Nick Bjugstad at the trade deadline. More of an offensive defenseman, the 24 year old scored six goals and 47 points in 69 AHL games this season, but did not appear in any NHL contests in 2022-23. He did suit up for 34 games with the Coyotes in 2021-22, chipping in seven points but showing some defensive deficiencies as well.
Malone is a 33-year-old veteran forward who has 217 games of NHL experience. He played ten games with the Oilers this season and had 21 points in 41 AHL games with the Condors. Malone is a big winger at 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds and plays a phsyical style that could come in handy on a fourth line if a few injuries occur down the line for the Oilers.
Chances are this trio of players make up the infamous “black aces” group for the Oilers as they skate and practice with the team during the postseason but are unlikely to play any games. You never know what can happen with injuries and illness in a long playoff run so teams keep a handful of extra players around just in case, and Niemelainen, Dineed and Malone are that insurance policy for the Oilers.