Photo Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Could Auvitu play forward?

It’s about to get real crowded on the Oilers blueline once Andrej Sekera and Adam Larsson return from the injured reserve. Captain obvious here: we really need those two guys on the ice, but what happens with the others? Well, the two names at the top of the list of Oilers defencemen on the outs seem to be Auvitu and Gryba. I’m not sure what will happen, but I do have an idea for the Oilers brass!

Let’s move him up front 

Earlier this year, when he signed with the Oilers, Auvitu’s Elite Prospects bio showed that he has played left-wing and defence. It has since been updated to only defence. It’s hard to track down a lot of information on the 5’11 187 pound Frenchman, but I’m going to trust that he did indeed play forward at one point. He has the brain for it — he displayed it on Saturday night, sneaking up to put away that great feed from McDavid. I think the Oilers should try him as a winger.

Former Minnesota Wild coach Jacques Lemaire converted a young Brent Burns into a defenseman, and it worked out well for Burns, who has become an elite defender. Am I saying that Auvitu will become an elite player in a forward position? Hell no. But it would be interesting to see how he does given the freedom to roam up front. Besides, the Oilers don’t exactly have a bevy of wingers producing right now.

Less defence more offence 

TMac is continuously shuffling his lines, and let’s face it, there could be an open spot where Maroon is in the future. I for one would love to see how Auvitu would do given the chance to play on the wing. Like I said earlier, he has the head to play offence, and he could be a surprise when those defensive responsibilities on the blue line are retracted. Yohann can be the ultimate definition of chaos when he’s in his zone, so much so that 65.1% of his starts have been in the offensive zone this year. It’s almost as if he’s the new Brad Hunt. 

Who knows, Auvitu might solidify his spot ahead of Gryba on the depth chart now that a steady Brandon Davidson is patrolling the ice with him.  Would you like to see Yohann Auvitu play the wing? Let me why or why not below!