The Oilers closed out the season last night with a 3 – 2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in a shootout. Normally that would be a good thing but in this case the win moved the Oilers past the Blackhawks and the Rangers to finish the season in 23rd place overall or more importantly 9th last. If they had lost the game in regulation last night not only would the Sedins have left on a more positive note but the Oilers would have finished 7th last and had a better chance for a higher draft pick.
When the season started I really didn’t expect to be thinking about who the Oilers would be picking at the draft come april but here we are. The Oilers will be picking somewhere in the top 10 so I’ve done some research and have come up with the first ever Oilerhockey top 10 draft rankings.
The NHL will hold an expansion draft on June 21st of this year in which the Vegas Golden Knights will pick one player from each team to build its roster for the 2017/18 season. Each team will have the ability to protect a list of players from the expansion draft but are required to expose a minimum number of players who meet certain criteria.
On April 13th, 2006 the Edmonton Oilers beat the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 at home to clinch a playoff spot. It was their 81st game of the season and it was a great day.
This is a great day too.
The Edmonton Oilers beat the LA Kings 2-1 at home to clinch a playoff spot!!!!
Anybody remember what they did back in the that 2006 season?
— UMass Lowell Hockey (@RiverHawkHockey) March 28, 2017
Peter Chiarelli won the jackpot last season with the signings of Matt Benning and Drake Caggiula and he’s at it again. Today the Oilers have signed Joe Gambardella to a two-year deal and have added some much needed depth to the center position in the organization. Gambardella is coming off a big season where he scored 52 points in 41 games centering the top line for UMass Lowell in the NCAA.
The 23 year old Gambardella isn’t huge at 5’10 and 201lbs but seems like a suitable replacement in the organization for Anton Lander who appears to jetting off to play in the KHL next season.
This is a big signing imo, this kid is probably on par with what Drake Caggiula was a year ago when he signed with the Oilers and Caggiula was able to make the team out of training camp and stick with the big club all season. I don’t expect Gambardella to make the Oilers out of camp next season but I think he’ll be in the conversation and could be an early call up if a center is injured on the big club.
The Oilers have traded Nail! Sad days.
Nail Yakupov to the Blues for Zach Pochiro and a conditional pick.
There has been all kinds of speculation that Yakupov had asked for a trade and that the Oilers were close to trading him last season but honestly we’ll never know for certain how much truth there is to this stuff. What we do know is that Peter Chiarelli has now traded two of the wonder kids from the previous administration and in both cases cap space was a large part of the decision.
The Edmonton Oilers continued their recent history of drafting highly touted offensive prospects in the first round. With the fourth overall pick in the 2016 draft, the Oilers drafted 18-year old Swedish right winger Jesse Puljujarvi. This marks the fourth time in five years the Oilers drafted an offensive player with a top five pick: 2012 #1 Nail Yakupov, 2014 #3 Leon Draisaitl, 2015 #1 Connor McDavid and now Puljujarvi.
Puljujarvi comes to the NHL with high expectations. The 6’3” right-winger recorded four goals and four assists in 16 games as a 17-year old in Finland’s top professional league. NHL’s Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb had high praise for Puljujarvi saying, “He’s a powerful skater with good speed and balance. He has outstanding hockey sense and reads the play well. He’s a good playmaker with strong puck-handling skills. He can take advantage of 1- on-1 situations with his long reach.”
There has been so much talk this season of the Oilers making a trade in the off-season to bring in a true top pairing D-man. Much of the talk has Jordan Eberle or Ryan Nugent Hopkins being sent out to acquire Travis Hamonic or Kevin Shattenkirk, both of whom would likely improve this team a great deal. I don’t want to get into the pros and cons of dealing Ebs or the Nuge but we all know that you need to trade value to get value and for the first time in a while I trust the GM to make the right deal.
So the question remain: Should the Oilers trade for Hamonic or Shattenkirk? I’ll admit that before doing research for this article I would have picked Shattenkirk, I’m just more familiar with the player so I have less doubt that he can come in and help the team win. I put together a player usage chart over at hockeyabstract.com to compare both of these guys to defensemen already on the Oilers and I’m actually a bit surpised:
Not long ago Zack Kassian was likely the most hated NHL’r by Edmonton Oiler fans and now he’s an Edmonton Oiler. I look forward to seeing the crowds reaction to Zacks first game at Rexall place.
Oilers take on the project that is Zack Kassian, send Ben Scrivens to MTL. Habs move on, EDM with nothing to lose.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) December 28, 2015