Edmonton Oilers Team Report
By Neil Becker
Edmonton Oilers management definitely made a statement with their off-season moves.
The Edmonton Oilers, who all hockey fans know is led by star forwards Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, got a big lift when on the first day of Free Agency, signed former Toronto Maple Leafs winger Zach Hyman to a seven-year deal worth $38.5 million.
Hyman, who played in Toronto for six years, is coming off a solid campaign that saw him score 15 goals and 33 points in 43 games played. He will provide secondary scoring behind McDavid who had 33 goals and 105 points along with Draisaitl who scored 84 points.
In another key move to acquire more scoring, the Edmonton Oilers pulled the trigger on a July deal that sent hard-hitting defenceman Ethan Bear to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for winger Warren Foegele.
Foegele, who is only 25 years old, scored 10 goals and 20 points last year in 53 games played. In his career, he has played 200 games with Carolina where he produced 35 goals and 68 points.
Two other forwards who signed with Edmonton Oilers was free agent left winger Brendan Perlini and center Derek Ryan.
Perlini, who was drafted 12th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the Arizona Coyotes, played 21 games last season in the Swiss-A league, where he scored 9 goals and 16 points in 21 games for the Ambri-Piotta. In his career, Perlini has played 239 NHL games with the Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks, and Detroit Red Wings.
Meanwhile, Ryan who last season scored 2 goals and 13 points with the Calgary Flames, signed a two-year 2.5 million dollar contract.
Other offseason moves at forward include buying out the contract of veteran left-winger James Neal and getting centerman Tim Soderlund from the Chicago Blackhawks in the Duncan Keith deal.
Following a solid season, the Edmonton Oilers decided in late July to re-sign veteran goalie Mike Smith to a two-year $4.4 million dollar contract. Last year, Smith put together a 21-6-2 record with a .923 save percentage and 2.31 GAA.
On August 1st, the Oilers made big news when they locked up their number one defenceman Darnell Nurse to an eight-year $74 million dollar extension. Nurse is coming off a solid campaign which saw him score 16 goals and 36 points.
Another big addition Edmonton Oilers made came in a blockbuster trade with the Chicago Blackhawks which landed them 38 year old defenceman Duncan Keith. Keith brings experience to the Oilers blueline and he is a three-time Stanley Cup winner. During his career with Chicago, he played 1,192 games and produced 105 goals along with 625 points.
Also re-signing with the Oilers was veteran offensive defenceman Tyson Barrie who in late July agreed to a three-year deal worth $13.5 million. This power-play specialist last year led the Oilers blueline with 48 points.
The Oilers lost three physical hard-hitting shock-blocking defenceman in Bear who was traded to Carolina and Adam Larson who went to the expansion Seattle Kraken and Caleb Jones who went to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Also in late July, Edmonton improved their blueline by signing former Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Cody Ceci to a four-year $13 million dollar contract.
Edmonton should be an improved team this year but are still not a Stanley Cup contender.
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