According to the Twittersphere, the Edmonton Oilers have signed depth defenceman, Keegan Lowe, to a two-year (two-way) contract extension with a $675,000 AAV at the NHL level.
Lowe, a third-round pick in 2011 (73rd overall), has a fresh contract with his name on it that will keep him with the Oilers franchise for the next two years. Lowe, formerly in the Hurricanes and Canadiens organization, has bounced around a fair bit in his not-so-young career before landing with the Oilers last summer, a move that raised some eyebrows based on his last name. Since 2013-14, Lowe has played with three different AHL teams but has been unable to make the jump to the NHL level outside of a cup of coffee with the Hurricanes in 2014-15 and last season with the Oilers. Signed to a one-year deal with the Oilers last summer, Lowe played in 52 games with the Bakersfield Condors last season, registering two goals and 12 assists for 14 points.
Last summer, Lowe achieved Group 6 free agent status as a 25-year-old as he had played more than three professional seasons but with less than 80 of those games being played in NHL. That CBA quirk allowed him to sign a show-me deal with the Oilers on July 1st, 2017, which gave him a chance to make a case for further employment, something he was granted with this new two-year deal in his pocket. Lowe will now remain with the franchise that made his father a Stanley Cup champion several times over, which will certainly cause some debate in the comments section.
As for the man himself, Keegan Lowe made his way back into the NHL last year with a pair of games with the Oilers, but will most likely serve as an AHL fixture and emergency depth option if things go off the rails. Looking at the depth chart right now, Lowe has a decent chance of competing for the 7th or 8th spot on the depth chart with guys like Eric Gryba, Ryan Stanton, and Ethan Bear. While we don’t know what kind of offers Lowe would have received elsewhere, this extension affords him the chance to continue playing for an organization with close ties to his family and the potential for a call up in case of injuries. At this stage in his career, that opportunity is likely enough to give him some satisfaction.
While I know a bunch of people are going to be annoyed about this signing because it’s Kevin Lowe’s son, I don’t see much harm in what amounts to a depth move for the Oilers. Lowe is an experienced AHL defenceman and the Condors need some of those if they hope to get back into the playoffs next year. From what I’ve read, Lowe also has some excellent leadership qualities and those are important traits to have when you’re surrounded by NHL prospects that are hoping to make the leap to the next level.
Sure, we can talk about Kevin Lowe getting his son a job or something salty like that, but I’d rather look at this as a depth move that adds another experienced d-man to a Condors team that needs more of them. If he plays well enough to earn a call-up with the Oilers then that’s great, if not, the Condors have a hard-nosed player on the farm that can play reliable minutes and help that team get itself back into the playoffs. Frankly, it would be nice for this franchise to see some kind of success at any professional level and I’m hoping Lowe is part of the solution for the Condors.
What do you guys think?
LOWE’S PROFESSIONAL CAREER SO FAR
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Source: Jim Matheson, Verified Twitter Account, 6/3/2018 – 9:24 am MST