How to fill the Oilers roster holes (which are mostly filled already)

Editor's Note: this post was begun on June 21st and then later abandoned. In the proceeding weeks, the Oilers head office began filling some of the holes in the roster. In the wake of the recent Down Goes Brown article for Grantland which discusses how the Oilers filled a couple of these holes, we at Third Edge of the Sword World Headquarters in Bojnice, Slovakia thought it was as good a time as any to post the article which got all the way up to Hole D. Feynman and Coulter's Love Child will followup the remaining two holes in the comments section.

With the Oilers winning the Connor McDavid sweepstakes, it's time to look ahead to what the Oilers roster will look like in October.

There, that's your projected opening day roster. Thanks for visiting, everybody!

Oh, okay, so you noticed the letters in red did you? Damn, I was hoping you weren't going to catch that one. So anyways, with the conclusion of #LoseAllHonourForConnor there are still a couple moderately sized holes in the roster.

Hole A: A second line left-winger.
After Taylor Hall fills his usual spot on the first line, the question of the second line left-winger comes into play. A lot of Oilers fans have pencilled in Benoit Pouliot for this position, and while he has had flashes of brilliance and was scoring at roughly 0.58 points-per-game last season, he's still not what you want on your second line if you dream of making the playoffs. He's roughly comparable (on his amazing career-best year) to Milan Lucic's disappointing performance this past season. So the Oilers should be looking for a left-winger in that position who routinely puts up the numbers Pouliot put up last season. A Mike Cammalleri or a Justin Abdelkader sort of player.

Hole B: A third line right-winger.
There's no doubt now that, at least barring a great trade or free agent signing, Jordan Eberle will be the Oilers' top right-winger. Likewise, Yakupov is your second line winger which leaves the third line's position open. I will accept here the voices that still like Pouliot and Yakupov together, but again if you want them together it bumps Yakupov to the third line rather than elevates Pouliot to the second, and I believe a big two-way forward is a better fit with Yakupov anyways. It doesn't hurt to have a defensive-minded guy to balance out Yak's...shall we say...deficiencies in the defensive aspects of his game. [to wit, once the opposing team has the puck Yakupov is a slight upgrade over Joey Moss... -ed]. Ryan O'Reilly is too expensive to try to offer sheet away (just ask the Flames!), and James Neal is highly overrated, but a Gustav Nyquist or Troy Brouwer would be excellent in that spot.

Hole C: A top-tier left defenseman:
The Oilers need two top-pairing defensemen at minium coming into the next season, and while we can forgive handedness for some of the young up-and-comers when it comes time for a big name eating up minutes at the top of the pecking order I think it's pretty crucial that the Oilers grab a top defenseman who shoots left-handed. At bare minimum we're talking Cam Fowler level of skill here: Keith Yandle is the name I keep gravitating towards. Jake Muzzin and Niklas Hjalmarsson are on-the-fence names and I keep thinking that they aren't that big of an upgrade, though Hjalmarsson for Martin Marincin could be a decent trade for a Blackhawks team looking to shed cap.

Hole D: A top-tier right defenseman:
This position is actually more important than Hole C. Again, the Oilers need a top defenceman who can shoot right and shut down opposing left-wingers in the corners. They need size, they need skill, and they need experience. Fortunately, there's a team in need of shedding salary that has an asset that they're basically going to have to surrender due to...okay, Brent Seabrook, fine, everybody knew who I was talking about halfway through that run-on sentence. The Oilers need Brent Seabrook. Okay so I suppose a backup plan should be considered, and since Jeff Petry signed big with the Canadiens it's clear that this isn't going to be an easy position to fill.