Troy Stecher and Adam Henrique at Oilers practice.
Photo credit: TSN

New Oilers player earning his way into regular position in the lineup

Published March 22, 2024 at 6:59 PM

The Edmonton Oilers didn't go big game hunting at the trade deadline, but their acquisitions are fitting in well, and specifically Troy Stecher is turning heads with his play.

With an injury to Vincent Desharnais and the illness to Mattias Ekholm, Stecher has been able to get regular reps in the lineup since the trade, and he's impressed many with his game. Originally planned to be the team's seventh defenceman for the playoff stretch, he's excelled on a pairing with Darnell Nurse - arguably looking like an upgrade on Cody Ceci.

The Oilers' bottom-six forward group has become a rotation of a number of forwards with someone regularly sitting as a healthy scratch. To keep Stecher in the lineup and to capitalize on his good play, maybe Knoblauch will consider a rotation on defence as well.

Knoblauch even seems quite comfortable with Stecher in the lineup as it is now. Playing him in the top four with Nurse is much more significant minutes and responsibilities than the third pairing with Kulak, and Stecher responded to the challenge well. Seeing Ceci bumped down to the third pairing indicated that he may actually be the one to draw out of the lineup if the coaching staff wants to ice the best possible lineup - which will be the case in the playoffs.

So far, even though the Oilers didn't go big-game hunting at the deadline, their acquisitions are fitting the holes of this roster effectively. Now it just needs to hold up in the playoffs.
March 22   |   439 answers
New Oilers player earning his way into regular position in the lineup

Which Oilers defenceman sits when everyone is healthy in the playoffs?

Stecher sits17539.9 %
Ceci sits21949.9 %
Other4510.3 %
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