Dreger: Scout sees Oilers still lacking transition game

The Edmonton Oilers got in the win column Saturday against the New York Rangers, but aren’t out of the woods yet with a tough schedule ahead.

The Oilers have started the season 1-2-0 and their list of opponents isn’t getting any easier on the horizon.

“I’ve watched a couple of Oilers games this season,” noted Darren Dreger during a Monday afternoon radio hit on Edmonton’s TSN 1260. “It’s funny. I was just going back and forth with an NHL scout mere minutes before you called. This guy, who works for an Eastern Conference team, has been scouting the Oilers. And not to suggest that there’s anything going on from a trade perspective - that’s just the due diligence and the tour, if you will, of pro scouts.

“He said the Oilers still look like they’re lacking transition, where they look like they need that puck-moving defenseman to get the puck up to Connor McDavid and the Oilers’ forwards. Haven’t we talked about that for the last couple of years?

“And it’s funny, as he said that to me I thought kind of the same thing. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt because it’s so early in the regular season. And I do know that the Edmonton Oilers are still in the market for a defenseman. It’s not like Pete Chiarelli is actively kicking down doors with some of his general manager colleagues and shaking the bushes, if you will, looking for that player - it’s just been consistent. It’s been an annual basis for Chiarell and co., that they’re looking for a specific type of defenseman.

“But I get it now. The last couple of games I’ve watched, that transition game - or lack thereof - still seems to plague this team.”

Darnell Nurse, who has two assists through the first three games, is the only Oilers defenseman with a point thus far this season.

Then again, only four Edmonton forwards not named Connor McDavid have managed a point to date as well.