2021-22 Team Preview – Edmonton Oilers

2020-21

Record: 35-19-2, 72 pts; 2nd in Scotia North Division

Playoffs: Lost in First Round iof Stanley Cup Playoffs to Winnipeg

Key Losses

D Adam Larsson
D Ethan Bear
D Caleb Jones
D Dmitry Kulikov
F Tyler Ennis
F Alex Chiasson
F Dominik Kahun
F James Neal

Key Additions

F Zach Hyman
D Duncan Keith
D Cody Ceci
F Warren Foegele
F Derek Ryan

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2021-22 Preview

The Edmonton Oilers have a bit of re-tool coming during the season. With the losses on either trades or free agency signings, the team has question marks on defence. Duncan Keith, Tyson Barrie, and Cody Ceci look to be the top three defenceman but after that, things are questionable. Barrie has a great upside as an offensive d-man but after that, he’s not much of a help as a true defenceman.

Duncan Keith comes to the Oilers after a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks with championship experience but with Keith being 38 years old, Keith’s skills on defence are also somewhat questionable. Yes, Keith can block shots and have some scoring chances but again, his age brings in questions.

Edmonton, outside of the key three, don’t have a lot of depth when it comes to defence.

When it comes to the offensive side of the team, there really are not a lot of questions when it comes to the play. With the top two scorers in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, expect both to be in the scoring race throughout the duration of the season.

With the Oilers signing Zach Hyman, expect Hyman to add his own scoring threats to the top line. After being with Auston Matthews and John Tavares in Toronto, Hyman very well could have more chances to be a top goal scorer. With Hyman having a better 5-on-5 goals per minute (0.82) over Toronto RW Mitch Marner (0.79) since the 2017-18 season and was behind Toronto RW William Nylander at 0.83 during the same span, it would be in Edmonton’s best interest to put Hyman on the first line on all power play units.

Now the biggest question mark of all that surrounds Edmonton is goaltending. Mike Smith, 39, returns to the Oilers fresh off of signing a two-year deal. Smith went 21-6-2 with a 2.31 GAA and .923 save percentage but age does come into question. Mikko Koskinen and Alex Stalock come into camp battling for the back-up position but it does not seem likely that Koskinen and Stalock can remain in long-term plans in net for Edmonton.

Prediction: 2nd in Pacific Division

Projected lineup

Zach Hyman — Connor McDavid — Jesse Puljujarvi

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — Leon Draisaitl — Kailer Yamamoto

Warren Foegele — Derek Ryan — Zack Kassian

Devin Shore — Ryan McLeod — Josh Archibald

Darnell Nurse — Tyson Barrie

Duncan Keith — Cody Ceci

Kris Russell – Evan Bouchard

Mike Smith

Mikko Koskinen

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