NHL: Edmonton Oilers: 2017 Season Preview
The Edmonton Oilers came within one game of winning the Western Conference Finals thanks to the efforts of 20-year old center Connor McDavid, Leon Draisatl, and Cam Talbot to name a few.
With the effort put in by these players, and throughout the whole roster, it’s a safe bet that expectations are higher this season.
The Who’s Who Of Edmonton
Leon Draisatl finished the season eighth in the NHL with 77 points (29 goals, 48 assists). Draisatl also led the Oilers with 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists), through 13 games. Connor McDavid himself had 100 points (30 goals, 70 assists), and was NHL MVP last year while also winning the Art Ross Trophy. The Art Ross Trophy, by the way, goes the NHL’s leading scorer.
These two players, along with workhorse goalie Cam Talbot, represent the foundation of this team. Talbot was also an important cog in the Oilers machine. Out of a whopping 73 games started, Talbot won 42. To top it off, this win total tied with Braden Holtby for League lead.
The End Result
The Oilers finished eighth in the National Hockey League in scoring, with 243 goals for, and goals against (207). Connor McDavid would go on and sign a contract extension shortly after. The contract extension for McDavid would be for eight years, and $100 million. After signing McDavid, the Oilers also signed Kris Russell to a four-year, four million dollar (average) contract. In addition, the Oilers signed Zack Kassian for three years, and an average annual value of $1.95 million.
In addition to the extensions above, the Oilers also signed and traded some key pieces to success.
Key Signings And Departures
Benoit Pouliot: Final Two years of contract bought out.
Jussi Jokinen: Bought out by Florida Panthers, signed with Oilers for one-year.
Jordan Eberle: Traded to New York Islanders for Ryan Strome.
The trade sending Eberle to New York will save the Oilers $3.5 million. But one question remains: Will Ryan Strome serve as a decent enough replacement for Eberle? Eberle had 51 points last season (20 goals, 31 assists). Ryan Strome on the other hand, finished with 13 goals, 17 assists, and a total of 30 points. Will the production of Eberle be missed? Will Strome come in and make an immediate impact? We will soon find out.