After Andrej Sekera went down with a knee injury in the offseason further concerns surrounding the Oilers blueline arose, especially considering that one of the only reasons the defence was so good last season was an absence of injury.
To shore up the blueline, the Oilers signed journeyman defenceman Ryan Stanton to a two-year, two-way contract worth $1.4m total; he’ll make $700K in the NHL and $300K in the AHL.
Stanton, a St Albert native, has an outside shot to make the Oilers roster out of camp given the absence of Sekera but it’s hard to imagine that he’ll stay in Edmonton for the entire season. In 4 NHL seasons, he’s played 120 games and scored 27 points. His longest stint with a team was in Vancouver; over the two season there he amassed 194 shot blocks (which are very important on the Oilers roster) and 190 hits.
His possession numbers aren’t great (but they’re not terrible), and he will be at best a bottom-pair player. Over his 120 NHL games, he’s scored 0.91 P/60 at 5v5, and has 53.5 GF% and 49.5 CF%. Stanton is basically Eric Gryba with fewer games played.
According to Elite Prospects
Stanton has all-around ability, but focuses on defense first. He likes to play a rough game, but can also put up some points on offense.
One of the things the Oilers have been lacking over the last number of years (last season notwithstanding) is someone who is comfortable as a legitimate stay-at-home defenceman who can play the body as well as take the puck away without taking a penalty. Stanton’s biggest strength is probably his toughness; he’s willing to do the dirty work necessary to keep the puck out of the net. Depending on the situation with Kris Russell and Darnell Nurse, it’s possible, if not likely, that Stanton could see sustained time on the bottom pair, at least until Andrej Sekera returns from injury. Beyond that, it’s hard to say where he’ll end up, or if he’ll spend the bulk of the year in Bakersfield.