The Edmonton Oilers added another defenseman on Monday by signing free agent Yohann Auvitu to a one-year contract.
Financial terms of the deal were not released by the team.
After spending eight years playing professionally in Europe, Auvitu signed with the New Jersey Devils before the 2016-17 season and spent the season split between the NHL and the Devils’ American Hockey League team in Albany. He appeared in 27 games with the Devils, logging close to 16 minutes of ice-time per game, and recording four points (two goals, two assists). He 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 29 games with Albany.
Among Devils defenders that appeared in at least 20 games a year ago Auvitu’s possession numbers (better than 50 percent Corsi) were the best on the team. Overall, the Devils’ defensive performance was better with him on the ice than it was without him, at least as it relates to the number of shots and goals the team allowed. The Devils allowed just 1.63 goals per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time with Auvitu on the ice and only an average 51.1 total shot attempts. All were among the best numbers on the team (all numbers via HockeyAnalysis.com). Still, he never seemed to get much of an increased role.
He joins an Oilers defense that is a little crowded at the moment (they already had eight defensemen under contract for the 2017-18 season before Auvitu signed), but it is not an especially deep group.
If nothing else it is a nice low-cost roll of the dice for the Oilers to take on a player that seems to have something to contribute.