Jesse Puljujarvi’s 15 goals led Edmonton’s right-wingers in 2020-21, including six in his final 14 regular-season games. The team’s other young RW, Kailer Yamamoto, scored only 8 goals all year, with a solitary goal in his final 25 regular season games.
Zack Kassian, the big money RW on the team, scored two goals in 27 games and never came close to resembling the man who scored back to back 15-goal campaigns with Edmonton in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
Alex Chiasson, who averaged 19 goals per 82 games over three seasons with the Oilers, is an unrestricted free agent and unlikely to return.
Edmonton’s five regular RW’s scored 41 goals in 2020-21 (Josh Archibald the fifth man). What is the plan, exactly, on right wing?
I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here’s the latest!
- New Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations eat dust during Connor McDavid’s dream season
- Jonathan Willis: Why some of the most popular moves Ken Holland could make would be mistakes
- Lowetide: Why huge Oil Kings goalie Sebastian Cossa could be the perfect first-round fit for the Oilers
- DNB: What I’m hearing about the Oilers’ plans for the Kraken draft
- Lowetide: The Oilers must decide now what to do about the Connor McDavid-Leon Draisaitl dilemma
- DNB: Oilers mailbag, part 2
- Lowetide: What is Kailer Yamamoto’s future fit on the Oilers’ depth chart?
- DNB: Oilers mailbag, part 1
- DNB: What a perfect offseason could look like for the Edmonton Oilers
- Lowetide: The Oilers need to add four wingers to their top nine this summer
- Lowetide: Oilers enter free agency as a major buyer. Is third time the charm?
- DNB: Oilers could look quite different next season after departure of several players
- Lowetide: It won’t be easy, but the Oilers need to re-sign Darnell Nurse soon
- DNB: Ideal Oilers free-agent targets
- New Lowetide: An early look at the Oilers’ options for the 2021 draft
- New DNB: The pressure is on Oilers GM Ken Holland
- New Lowetide: What now for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?
- New DNB: Connor McDavid shows his frustration as another year of his prime is lost: ‘We’re a group that expects more’
- New Jonathan Willis: The NHL gifted the Oilers Connor McDavid; six years later, they have yet to adequately support him
I just went over the ‘reasonable expectations’ from preseason 2020-21 (posted results at The Athletic this morning) and both wings brought plenty of surprises during the year.
As we look to next season, the Oilers RW depth chart is not close to championship quality. Using a full 82-game season for estimates, I’d project Puljujarvi for 23 goals, Yamamoto for 16, Archibald for 9, Kassian for 8. Maybe Cooper Marody or Raphael Lavoie or Seth Griffith (probably not Seth Griffith) get in a few games.
That’s 56-60 goals from right-wing in an 82-game season, after 41 goals in a 56-game season one year ago. The Oilers need help on LW, but signing a RW wouldn’t go amiss either.
- No. 19 overall: RW Samu Tuomaala, Karpat (Sm-Liiga Jr). He’s a first-shot scorer, very skilled. There’s room to grow creatively, but he’s a bona fide offensive winger.
- No. 117 overall: LD Shai Buium, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL). Big defender plays smart two-way game. He is 6.03, 214, that will appeal to an Oilers management group that appears hellbent on getting bigger blue.
- No. 181 overall: RC Ryan Winterton, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL). September 4, 2003. He had a strong WJ’s (7, 2-2-4) but did not play this season. He’s 6.02 and owns a plus shot.
- No. 185 overall: LC Attilio Biasca, Halifax Mooseheads (QJMJHL). A fine skater and forechecker, he is an inconsistent offensive player (19, 2-6-8) in the QMJHL.
- No. 213 overall: RW Oliver Suni, Luuko (U20 SM-Sarja). Strong winger with range of skills. I had him listed on the 2020 final rankings (No. 117) and he is No. 105 this year.
Edmonton picks No. 19 overall, moving up as the final four came into view. This is an important pick, not sure the Oilers make it. I expect Holland is more likely to trade down than out, but all options will be on the table.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we hit “play” and kickstart the weekend on TSN1260. Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck podcast will tell us how far the Habs can go, McDavid’s Hart chances and we’ll discuss Marc-Andre Fleury’s amazing career. At 11, Michael Chandler from The Score will talk Euro 2020 as things kick off today. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!