Season 11 Offseason Review
The Portland Oilers underwent a number of changes this offseason. In addition to a number of signings and a trade, the team most notably will be rebranded as the Portland Marauders.
In the draft, the Marauders selected right winger Anton Franc 10th overall. A dynamic offensive talent, Franc led the Canadian Junior League in points and goals for the last two consecutive seasons, totaling an obscene 364 points during his time in junior despite concerns over his attitude and work ethic. The team's selections overall personified skill over size, with the team's selection of 5'5" Villam Przygodzki in the second round the most patent example. Playing in the Norwegian Junior League, Przygodzki led the league in goal-scoring during each of his 3 seasons in the league and demonstrated both dazzling puck-handling skills and a surprising rocket of a shot. With Franc and Przygodzki, the team loaded up on stellar offensive talent who have an undoutable track record of success at every level.
The team then selected another small but highly skilled player in rearguard Bror Sundgren, who led the Swedish Junior League in scoring despite playing defense. Although concerns persist over his durability given his slight 5'5" frame, it's almost unheard of for a defenseman to average over two points a game and 27 minutes a night. The team selected a pair of wingers in the 3rd (SHL 1st) and 4th (GHL 3rd) rounds, Camron Albert, who scored at a goal per game pace for the last two seasons in Canadian Junior, and Andrej Rais, a smooth puck-handler who has been one of the fastest risers in the draft.
Given 34-year-old winger Dane Clausen's surprise retirement and the departure of captain Čestmir Cibulka, 37, the team had a number of holes to patch in free agency. The team signed versatile 28-year-old centre Aron Welcome to a 3-year, $12-million contract. In addition to having played on both the man advantage and the penalty kill, his presence in the lineup allows the team to now be able to roll three scoring lines.
In addition, centre Dusan Adamec, 24, was also signed and provides the team with a huge 6'6" player who can not only skate exceptionally well, but also possess decent play-making ability. To shore up their depth on the wing, the team signed 21-year-old left winger Teo Jensen to a 4-year, $16 million contract. Although somewhat steep for a player who spent last season in the IHL, Jensen has developed extremely quickly since being drafted in the 2nd round three seasons ago and possess an impressive blend of speed and skill with obvious room to grow.
The Marauders also signed a bevy of players to two-way contracts to populate its AAHL roster. Most notably, the team inked top defensive prospect Bedrich Sepeši. The 20-year-old spent last season in the Russian League, dominating against grown men and playing 27 minutes a night while scoring 33 points in 45 games. After a year adapting to the smaller ice, it is expected that Sepeši will join the main club and take up the mantle of impending free agents Zion Gunther and Richard Fahy. The pair of 34-year-old defencemen have formed the backbone of the team's backed for the last couple seasons, and neither are likely to return in Season 12.
Besides Sepeši, the team focused on signing a number of smaller skilled players, in addition to goalie Alexandr Chlomeyev, 23. With the team lacking any goalies in the system outside of the two on the main roster, the former second round pick provides much-needed organizational depth at a key position. Finally, 21-year-old right winger Bjarne Lunde, who has yet to truly break through with his tantalizing mix of size, speed, and skill since being drafted 3rd overall, was named the third captain in franchise history.