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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers sign Drake Caggiula to a two-year contract

According to the Oilers’ official Twitter account, restricted free agent Drake Caggiula has signed a two-year contract extension worth $1.5 million per season.

The Edmonton Oilers took care of another piece of housekeeping today as they signed Drake Caggiula to a two-year contract extension that will keep him with the team until 2020. As you’ll recall, Caggiula came to the Oilers as a highly-touted college free agent after spending four seasons with the University of North Dakota. In 127 NHL games played with the Oilers so far, Caggiula has amassed 20 goals and 18 assists for 38 points as he continues to work towards polishing his game and solidifying his place in the league.

The transition from college star to NHL regular hasn’t always been a smooth ride for Caggiula as he’s spent some time on all four lines and as a healthy scratch, which is not overly surprising for a young player, but the year-over-year improvement was obviously enough for the Oilers to sign him to the extension. The belief from the team is clearly there, and now it will be up to Caggiula to keep taking steps forward.

Back in early May, Jason Gregor spoke to Caggiula about how he thought his game was shaping up, and what he expects from himself moving forward into next season:

“I think scoring 13 (goals) is a good step. I had seven last year and basically doubled it this year. Hopefully I can get close to the 20 goal range. I think I’m capable of doing it. With the amount of chances I had this year I think I’m capable of it. The biggest thing is being confident in my abilities and not dwelling on bad things if I miss a chance. There was a few times where I let things get to me and get a little too critical of myself and that causes me to not play how I normally would. I’d like to take another step, in my overall game and get closer to being a 20-goal scorer.”

In 67 games played last season, Caggiula registered 13 goals and seven assists for 20 points. Looking at the fancies, the Oilers will need to make sure to find him a spot that best serves his talents and continue to help him foster his growth as a player. From Corsica:

Caggiula w/ McDavid: 39.5 CF%, 45.5 GF% – McDavid w/o Caggiula 52.6 GF%, 62.0 GF%
Draisaitl w/ Caggiula: 49.6 CF%, 43.8 GF% – Draisaitl w/o Caggiula 51.7 CF%, 50.6 GF%
Caggiula w/ Strome: 52.6 CF%, 35.7 GF% – Strome w/o Caggiula: 50.0 CF%, 56.4 GF%

THE WRAP…

After signing a two-year entry-level contract with the Oilers as an undrafted college free agent back in May of 2016, Caggiula has been moved around the lineup as he continues to find his footing at the NHL level. In his first few weeks with the team, the Oilers had him playing at centre for some reason and it wasn’t exactly a smooth transition for a guy that hadn’t played the position all that much, especially not at the NHL level. After moving to the wing, Caggiula started to look a lot more comfortable in his role, though, admittedly, there have been some ups and downs which is nothing new for a young guy.

Depending on what the money looks like (I’ll update the article when it comes out), I think the Oilers made a smart choice in regards to term as they’ve given him both a little bit of security while also keeping it short enough to leave him hungry. As for Caggiula, he finished fifth in goals for the Oilers last year and they’ll need him to take another step forward if they hope to get themselves back into the playoff picture. In his own words, the belief that he can become a 20-goal scorer is there, now let’s see if the execution can follow.

What do you guys think?

***UPDATE****

Bob McKenzie just tweeted out that Drake Caggiula’s cap hit will be $1.5 million per season.

CAGGIULA’S CAREER AS AN OILER SO FAR

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- PGP G A Pts PIM
2016-17 Edmonton Oilers NHL 60 7 11 18 16 3 13 3 0 3 25
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 67 13 7 20 37 -13
NHL Totals 127 20 18 38 53 13 3 0 3 25

Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Twitter Account, 6/14/2018 – 2:00 pm MST