The Edmonton Oilers are finally looking to the take the next step in what seems to be a recurring rebuilding process. Armed with a new head coach in Dallas Eakins, the 2013-14 version of the Oilers should be a team defined by work ethic and fitness levels.
This is also the first year of the rebuild that the Oilers do not have a prospect with a legitimate chance to crack the NHL roster. After spending their seventh overall pick on defenseman Darnell Nurse, the Oilers have managed to add to their organizational depth on the blue line, which, for the first time in a long while, seems to be a position of strength for the club.
Along with Nurse, the Oilers have Martin Marincin, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Gernat and Taylor Fedun, who should all one day make the NHL, but more than likely not this season.
While the club does have some forwards who may help out at the NHL level, the majority of the remaining roster spots will go to AHL veterans.
Expectations are a hard thing to gauge at the NHL level, but here is a look at realistic expectations for the Edmonton Oilers rookies entering the 2013-14 season.