Developing and Deploying Youth on Defence

There’s a good chance that the Oilers will have a lot of youth on defence next season. Both Oscar Klefbom (22) and Justin Schultz (25) will definitely be on the opening night roster. Darnell Nurse (20) and Griffin Reinhart (21) will be in the mix, while prospects like Jordan Oesterle (23), David Musil (22) and Brandon Davidson (24) hope to leave an impression as well. That’s a lot of youth pushing for roster spots on defence, something that Todd McLellan didn’t really have to deal with during his seven seasons as head coach of the San Jose Sharks.

Now this isn’t to say that McLellan has no experience with developing defenceman. Three players, in fact, were young and inexperienced during McLellan’s tenure in San Jose, and have since established themselves as regular defenceman: Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Braun and Jason Demers.  To get a sense of what McLellan might do with the Oilers defence this coming season, I thought it’d be interesting to dig into these three players to see how they were brought along and how well they performed under McLellan’s tutelage.

Full article is at The Copper & Blue.

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