Corey Potter was one of the feature defenseman on the Edmonton Oilers last season, finishing 4th on the team in time on ice, with an average of 19:56. Potter was often paired with Ryan Whitney for most of the season. While they held up well early on, their play slowly deteriorated to the point where they both finished with a plus/minus of -16 for the season. It was a pairing that lacked mobility and ultimately were a big reason for the demise of the Oilers in the dog days of the hockey season.
So where does Corey Potter fit into this seasons Oilers’ defense? Its tough to say since we are not entirely sure whats to become of the likes of Taylor Fedun and Justin Schultz. We know what Corey Potter is. He is a facsimile of the player Kurtis Foster was in his time with the Oilers. A less mobile, cannon from the point, gives you as many minutes as he can type player. Essentially, a station to station player that is going to have issues once he has to start chasing the puck. Potter can stand to become more reliable defensively but I’m not sure if that is in his game.
If I Could Grant One Wish – Awareness: One of the bigger things Potter has issues with is identifying the problem areas on the ice. When dealing with 2 on 1 situations, Potter often freezes up, effectively taking himself out of the play. Potter needs to make better use of his stick and anticipating plays, otherwise he becomes a pylon on the ice. Becoming better defensively aware with positioning and thinking one step ahead may put him in the mix to become a full time Oiler this upcoming season.
Prediction For 2013 – Will Be Placed On Waivers At Least Once During The 2013 Season: While the Oilers search for mobility on the back end, I believe Taylor Fedun and Justin Schultz will be given every opportunity to succeed this season. That means Corey Potter may be without a chair in the game of hockey musical chairs. Potter is going to have to outplay Fedun or Schultz in order to stay with the club, but since he doesn’t have the wheels the other two have, he’ll be starting from the back row. Potter does have experience, as well as a one way contract in his back pocket, so he does have that going for him, but I feel Potter will be placed on waivers at some point if every defenseman is healthy.