I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but I’m okay with the Oilers signing Eric Gryba to a Professional Tryout (PTO) agreement. The 28 year old, right shooting defencemen is expected at training camp, with a pretty good shot at making the team. It’s a low risk move that creates competition for one of the depth spots on the roster. And it should, in my opinion, make it harder for both Darnell Nurse and Griffin Reinhart to make the opening night lineup I have no hesitation in saying that both Nurse and Reinhart, who I think are good prospects, need extended time to develop at in the AHL. There is no harm in having these two play top pairing minutes, in all situations, against AHL-level competition in Bakersfield, until they’re ready to contribute on a consistent basis.
Back to Gryba, the things that he has going in his favor are his performance numbers from last season playing with young Brandon Davidson. They were one another’s most common defence partner, having played a total 279 minutes together at even-strength, predominantly as the third pairing on most nights, but did move up into the top four on occasion. Their 53.48 CF% at even-strength was second best among all Oiler defence pairings that played more than 50 minutes together (18 defence pairs in total). Source: Corsica Hockey.
Full article is at The Copper & Blue.