According to Darren Dreger, the Edmonton Oilers are in on free agent Czech defender Jan Rutta. I’ll give you a minute to Google him before we get started…
With all the talk going around the Oilogosphere about whether or not the Oilers should re-sign Kris Russell, ol’ sneaky Pete could be looking overseas to add some depth on the right side. It’s no secret that the Oilers are lacking on the starboard side and adding competent defencemen to that right side should be of huge importance to Peter Chiarelli and his scouting staff.
But before we get excited about another free agent signing that none of us has likely heard of before today we need to figure out who this guy is and whether or not he’d be a good fit for our beloved Oilers.
WHAT’S A JAN RUTTA?
So who is Jan Rutta? According to the Google machine, Rutta was the second highest scoring defenceman in the Czech league this past season so the guy could have some offensive pop. In 46 games played for Piráti Chomutov of the Czech League, the 26-year old put up 32 points in 46 games which was good enough to put him third in team scoring.
In total, Rutta has four years worth of experience in the top Czech league and he seems to make developmental strides year over year. In his first season, the 6’3 defender had only four points in 37GP but that number started to spike in his third year when he amassed 21 points (10G, 11A) in 44 games. That offensive progression continued once again in year four when he, once again, raised his points totals after scoring 32 points in 46GP. That bump in his boxscores has certainly put his name on the map for NHL teams.
Most recently, Rutta played for the Czech Republic at the World Championships, where he scored one goal in eight games, and now that the Czechs are out the tournament it seems as though he’s looking to take the next step in his career by signing an NHL deal.
IS HE A FIT FOR THE OILERS?
Multiple NHL offers on Czech dman Jan Rutta. Edmonton is among the CDN teams with interest, but i don't believe they've tabled offer yet.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 18, 2017
From where I blog, if the kid is right-handed and can actually play then, of course, he’d be a fit for the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers don’t have many righties in their pipeline and adding to that would go a long way to having balance on the depth chart. Signing Rutta could also add a value contract to an organization that will be in desperate need of cap space in the coming years. If the Oilers can land him, and they apparently have a solid chance of doing so, then they could be snagging an unknown point producer that could make an impact (if even at the AHL level) as soon as next season.
To add another wrinkle, the Flames are also reportedly in the mix for Rutta and that adds even more reason to want the Oilers to get him.
JAN RUTTA’S PRO CAREER SO FAR