Edmonton Oilers Team Preview

2019-20 Regular Season:  37-25-9 (83 pts, .585%)  —  2nd in Pacific Division

2019-20 Playoffs: 5th seed in Western Conference; Playing Chicago Blackhawks in Stanley Cup Qualifiers

 

The Edmonton Oilers are looking to qualify for the postseason for just the second time since the 2005-2006 season.  If they want that to happen, stars F Leon Draisaitl and C Connor McDavid will need to pick up where they left off before the season paused on March 12th because of the concerns surrounding COVID-19.

Leon Draisaitl won the Art Ross Trophy as the leading scorer with an NHL career-high 110 points (43G, 67A) in 71 contests.  Connor McDavid had 97 points (34G, 63A) in 64 contests.  This is the first time that teammates finished in the top two in scoring since the strike-shortened season in 2012-13 with Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis (60 points) and Steven Stamkos (57 points).

 

Player to Watch:

 

Kailer Yamamoto looks to continue making an impact since being recalled from the AHL Bakersfield Condors on December 29th.  Playing on the line with Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Yamamoto has 26 points (11G, 15A) and led the team with +17 rating in only 27 games.

 

Question mark:

 

Can the Oilers continue being on top when it comes to their special teams?  Edmonton is first in the league on the powerplay (29.5%) and second on the penalty kill (84.4%).  Chicago was 28th on the power play (15.2%) but were eighth on the penalty kill (82.1%).

 

Injury Updates:

 

Forward Joakim Nygard is expected to be ready for camp from his surgery on his broken right hand on January 29th.

 

Defenceman Mike Green is also expected to ready for camp after his MCL sprain on February 26th.  Update:  Mike Green is now out for the Edmonton Oilers sighting concerns around his family and COVID-19.

 

Fresh Face:

 

Defenceman William Lagesson made his NHL debut on December 29th after being recalled from Bakersfield.  Lagesson, 24, has had zero points with Edmonton, but had 10 points (3G, 7A) in 25 AHL games.  Lagesson may be unlikely to play in the qualifier round, given the Oilers options at defenceman, however, the camp can give Lagesson the chances to impress the Edmonton coaching staff.

 

Projected Edmonton Lineup:

 

Tyler Ennis — Connor McDavid — Zack Kassian

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — Leon Draisaitl — Kailer Yamamoto

Andreas Athanasiou — Riley Sheahan — Josh Archibald

James Neal — Jujhar Khaira — Alex Chiasson

Oscar Klefbom — Adam Larsson

Darnell Nurse — Ethan Bear

Kris Russell — Mike Green

Mike Smith

Mikko Koskinen

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