There is a reason behind this. Because of Drake Caggiula’s success, he will start at third-line centre, meaning Leon Draisaitl becomes the second-line right wing. With Jordan Eberle and Draisaitl filling out the top six, Versteeg moves down to the bottom-six of the lineup. Edmonton will likely give Jesse Puljujarvi a trial run on the third line, and with that, Versteeg moves further down.
Even if Draisaitl returns to the third line, Puljujarvi could work toward a top-six spot, and Versteeg would remain a bottom-six guy.
Because of likely demotions, Versteeg will not earn a top spot or the minutes he deserves, despite proving himself at training camp.
In Calgary, he only needs to worry about Troy Brouwer and Michael Frolik. Though Brouwer likely ranks above him, Versteeg can beat out Frolik for the spot on the second line. Not only does he get more ice time, but a chance to be used to his full potential.
The Oilers and Versteeg were reportedly close to a deal Monday, but given the circumstances presented as they ready the opening night roster, it likely fell through. In the end, the Oilers will be fine without his services; however, it is tough to see a good player go. Especially after all the work he put in to make the team over the course of the preseason.