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The Oilers have missed the playoffs each year since losing to the Carolina Hurricanes in a seven-game Stanley Cup Final series in 2006. Sitting in 14th place and 15 points out of the eighth and final playoff spot, Edmonton looks as if it will again miss out on the postseason.
The Oilers look to have a bright future as they are not short on promising young forwards.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 18, Taylor Hall, 20, and Jordan Eberle, 21, are the future faces of the franchise. Also, Sam Gagner, 22, is a restricted free agent at season’s end but looks to be an important piece of the club’s future.
Like their forwards, Edmonton’s defense is young but is not very deep. General manager Steve Tambellini has to decide if he will look to shore up his defense for next season and beyond.
The biggest trade assets Tambellini has are Ales Hemsky, Nikolai Khabibulin and Ryan Smyth.
Hemsky has been mentioned as being involved in a trade more than any other player in the Oilers organization, but he is inconsistent at times and may re-sign in Edmonton like Smyth will probably do. Devan Dubnyk looks to be the goalie of the future, which makes Khabibulin expendable, especially with a number of teams looking for help in net.