Mid Summer Report: Edmonton Oilers

download By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com

As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Edmonton Oilers.

Last Season’s Finish:  31-43-8, 70 pts., 7th in the Pacific Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • D Adam Larsson (trade from New Jersey)
  • F Milan Lucic (UFA)
  • G Jonas Gustavsson (UFA)
  • F Jesse Puljujarvi (’16 draft)

Key Departures:

  • F Taylor Hall (New Jersey)
  • D Adam Clendenning (NY Rangers)
  • F Luke Gazdic (New Jersey)
  • D Nikita Nikitin (KHL)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Jesse Puljujarvi
  • F Patrick Maroon
  • D Oscar Klefbom

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 7/28)

  • none

Current Cap Situation as of 7/28/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $64,686,165
  • Current salary cap space: $8,313,835

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Milan Lucic, Benoit Puliot, Nail Yakupov, Patrick Maroon, Matt Hendricks, Mark Letestu, Zack Kassian, Anton Lander, Leon Draisaitl, Jesse Puljujarvi, Connor McDavid, Iiro Pakarinen.
Defensemen
Andrej Sekera, Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson, Mark Fayne, Andrew Ference, Brandon Davidson, Darnell Nurse, Jordan Oesterle.
Goalies
Cam Talbot, Jonas Gustavsson

 

Outlook:
Edmonton is continuing it’s long rebuild, but is showing signs that they are ready to take the next step toward finally returning to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Last season was derailed before it really got going. Their 2015 first overall draft pick, Connor McDavid made the team right away, but then got hurt in his 13th career game, suffering a broken clavicle on November 3, 2015.  He did not return until February 2, and by then, Edmonton was 14 points out of a playoff spot, and in dead last in the Western conference.  They never really recovered after that.  Despite having a top 10 overall draft pick in 9 of the last 10 years, including picking first overall 4 times in that span, they continue to struggle to translate that into wins on the ice.  But this year feels different.  This summer, GM Peter Chiarelli has been active both in the trade and free agent markets, and has made big splashes in both cases.  On June 29, he traded away forward Taylor Hall to New Jersey in exchange for defenseman Adam Larsson.  Two days later, he signed LA Kings’ winger Milan Lucic, who became an unrestricted free agent as a free agent.  Larsson brings some much needed help back on the blue line, while Lucic is a proven NHL veteran who brings lots of playoff experience.  He can pass that experience on to the young kids in the Oilers locker room.  If that isn’t enough excitement, Edmonton opens their brand new arena, Rogers Place, this fall.  All of the changes in Edmonton have the Oilers fans excited for the upcoming season.