Connor McDavid’s eight-year extension is down, but that doesn’t mean Peter Chiarelli is out of the park just yet. He still has to worry about… Joey LaLeggia?
Sarcasm aside, the Oilers fifth round pick in 2012 filed for salary arbitration today. He’s 25 years old and is coming off of a two-year entry-level deal that paid him $70k annually at the minor league level and had an NHL AAV of $925k.
LaLeggia was drafted out of the University of Denver, where he played four seasons. He was an offensive defenceman for the Pioneers, scoring 40 points in 37 games in his final season. He played one professional season with the Bakersfield Condors in 2015-16 before switching positions from the blueline to left wing mid-way through 2016-17.
The reason for this largely came down to the fact LaLeggia was too small to be an NHL defenceman and the Oilers have virtually zero organizational depth in terms of skill the wings. He scored 20 goals and 18 assists at the AHL level last season. Lowetide wrote about LaLeggia and his switch back in March.
Obviously a depth player like LaLeggia going to arbitration isn’t really a big deal. He’s sort of an interesting case because of the position change, but isn’t going to cost the Oilers much money to keep around. I imagine they’ll get a one-year deal figured out in the next week or so.