With the 2019-20 NHL season on hold we are going to take a look at where each NHL team stands at this moment with a series of posts examining their season. Have they met expectations? Exceeded expectations? Who has been the surprise? All of that and more. Today we look at the Edmonton Oilers.
Record: 37-25-9 (71 games), second in the Pacific Division
Leading Scorer: Leon Draisaitl 110 points (43 goals and 67 assists)
In-Season Roster Moves:
• Acquired Angus Redmond and a 2022 conditional seventh-round pick from Anaheim for Joel Persson.
• Traded a 2021 fifth-round pick to the Ottawa Senators for Tyler Ennis.
• Acquired Mike Green from the Detroit Red Wings for Kyle Brodziak and a 2020 conditional fourth-round pick.
• Traded Sam Gagner, a 2020 second-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick to the Detroit Red Wings for Andreas Athanasiou and Ryan Kuffner.
The Oilers are as top heavy as any team in the NHL. How top heavy? Well, the top two scorers in the league are on Edmonton’s roster. Draisaitl and Connor McDavid have combined to score over 200 points this season.
The Oilers have been rolling with these two guys for a while, but the new combination of general manager Ken Holland and head coach Dave Tippett have helped take the team to another level.
There aren’t many teams that got off to a better start than Edmonton did this year. They won their first five games and seven of their first eight. Obviously, they couldn’t keep that pace up, but they managed to stay within striking distance of top spot in the division thanks to their offensive capabilities.
Not only do they have those two top threats, they’ve also received solid contributions from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Oscar Klefbom, Zack Kassian and James Neal. Also, calling Kailer Yamamoto up from the minors was a game-changer for them.
The 21-year-old had 26 games of NHL experience before this season (he had one goal and four assists during that stretch). He’s suited up in 27 games this year and he’s found a way to collect an impressive 26 points. This youngster has given the Oilers another dangerous weapon in their arsenal. Even though they’re ranked 18th in goals against in 2019-20, they can make up for their with the attack.
Did Edmonton have enough to go all the way? Probably not. But when you have multiple superstars like McDavid and Draisaitl on your roster and you find some interesting supporting pieces you just never know.
Highlight of the Season:
Ironically enough, the most memorable moment of the season for Edmonton probably wasn’t a spectacular goal or an incredible offensive outburst.
The highlight everyone will remember most was the battles between Kassian and Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk.
If the playoffs were to start today, the Oilers and Flames would go head-to-head in the first round. A seven-game series between these provincial rivals would’ve been must-see TV.
Hopefully we get to see that. For now, we’ll have to settle for this:
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