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Recapping the Edmonton Oilers summer of 2017

As free agent frenzy picks up today at 10 am MST, we take a moment to look back at the players the Oilers lost/let go as well as added in and around last year’s free agency dates. We will recap how 2017-18 went for each of these for their respective teams.

SUBTRACTIONS-

Eetu Laurikainen signed in Finland with JYP Jyvaskyla

This one was a case of losing a guy who we signed in the summer of 2015 for nothing. He put up poor numbers in the ECHL (3.77 GAA and .881 SV%) in his eleven games of work in Norfolk.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League MINS GP SO GAA W L T SVS SV%
2017-18 JyP HT Jyvaskyla SM-liiga 1389 54 3 2.33 11 9 3 545 0.900

Verdict: Nothing ventured, nothing lost.

Jonas Gustavsson signed in Sweden with Linkoping HC

After signing a free agent contract to back-up Talbot in the summer of 2016, Gustavsson was hideous in his seven games with the Oil holding a .878 SV% and a 3.10 GAA. He was replaced by Brossoit for the remainder of the season. He had previously needed to complete a PTO with the Bruins in 2015 to get that back-up job, so the writing was on the wall for Jonas.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League MINS GP SO GAA W L T SVS SV%
2017-18 Linkopings HC SweHL 1987 80 3 2.42 15 19 0 876 0.916

Verdict: Low-risk gamble that busted

Jere Sallinen signs in Sweden with Orebro HK –

Coming to Condors in the summer of 2016 on a one-year entry level deal, Sallinen failed to impress with just ten points in 53 games in Bakersfield. He headed back to Europe where this past year he had an improved 8-15-23 in 50 games.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Orebro HK SweHL 50 8 15 23 38 8

Verdict: European talent headed back to Europe

Anton Lander signs in KHL with AK Bars

Lander was never given a real kick at the can in Edmonton, some will argue. He had the tools to make it happen with the Condors of the AHL (2016-17: GP 42 25-30-55), but when he would hit the NHL, his offensive numbers would fall off the cliff (2016/17: GP 22 1-3-4).

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Kazan Ak-Bars KHL 54 9 29 38 40 9

Verdict: Serviceable bottom-six player just not given the shot to shine, let go for nothing

Griffin Reinhart claimed by Vegas Golden Knights in expansion draft:

The price for the former Oil King was high, a first and second round pick that turned into Matthew Barzal and Mitchell Stephens. That made the exposing of Reinhart sting a little more, but the Knights grabbed Griffin from Edmonton.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Chicago Wolves AHL 60 2 10 12 30 20

Verdict: Price aside, losing him was not a big loss for the team.

Benoit Pouliot bought-out and signs one-year contract with Buffalo Sabres:

After a season of killing penalties and not much offensive output, Pouliot was bought out to get him out at the cost of having $1,333,300 cap hit on the books until the end of 2021.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Buffalo Sabres NHL 74 13 6 19 22 -8

Verdict: Player paid for three more years to do relatively ok on other teams.

Jordan Oesterle signed two-year contract with Blackhawks:

A player who excelled with the Condors (2016/17 GP 44 7-25-32) was only given two games with the big club that year, opted to move on from the organization.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 55 5 10 15 8 -11

Verdict: Four years of development in our AHL affiliates for the Blackhawks benefit.

Tyler Pitlick signs three-year contract with Stars:

Pitlick had a lot of promise but missed a ton of time with injuries over the span of his time in the Oilers organization. The appetite was there to re-sign but Dallas offered more stability with a three-year term.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Dallas Stars NHL 80 14 13 27 34 9

Verdict: An oft-injured player had his first full season for another team. Can’t blame the team for not wanting to give that term.

David Desharnais signs for one-year with the Rangers:

A trade-deadline acquisition for Brandon Davidson, Desharnais was underwhelming in his role as third-line centre for the Oil. There was never much of a push to have him sign back here.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 New York Rangers NHL 71 6 22 28 18 -22

Verdict: Wasn’t in the plans’ long-term. No loss here.

Andrew Ference retires from NHL:

The captain of the team until 2015, hadn’t played since his six games in that same season. Injuries cut short the career of one of the NHL’s warriors.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 New York Rangers NHL 71 6 22 28 18 -22

Verdict: Always sad to see a player retire not on their terms. Ference would later announce he joined the NHL as the director of social impact.

Matt Hendricks signs with the Jets:

The “glue guy” of the Oilers 2016-17 playoff bound team was let go to the Jets, signing a one-year deal with Winnipeg at a $700,000 salary.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Winnipeg Jets NHL 60 5 8 13 39 -1

Verdict: A player who was reportedly loved by everyone on the team, (according to my sources, Connor the most) was let go to another team for a low price, low risk deal.

 

ADDITIONS-

Signed Iiro Pakarinen to a one-year contract:

After a shortened season for the one they call “Iiro the hero”, Pakarinen was given another year to prove his worth with the Oil.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 40 2 1 3 6 1
2017-18 Bakersfield Condors AHL 18 9 4 13 2 3

Verdict: Sent to the AHL after underwhelming at the start of the year (0-1-1 in 20 games), was sent down, only to return two months later for the final 20 games (2-0-2). Lost to the KHL.

Signed Juhjar Khaira to a two-year contract:

Two seasons of short stints in the NHL where he would impress was given two years to show his stuff on the big club.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 69 11 10 21 47 -7

Verdict: Khaira quickly endeared himself to the fanbase with his effort and toughness.

Signed Kris Russell to a four-year contract:

After signing in the 11th hour prior to the 2015 season, Russell earned himself a big contract and term? with the Oilers.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 78 4 17 21 8 -7

Verdict: Russell is a good d-man, when not being forced to play above his head.

Signed RFA Zack Kassian to a three-year extension:

After his first full season with the Oilers (traded for in 2015-16) Kassian was given a long-term home in Edmonton.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 74 7 12 19 92 -8

Verdict: Great bottom-six talent who should be able to chip-in more.

Mitch Callahan signed to a two-year contract:

After developing in the Red Wings organization, Callahan was given a spot in Bakersfield to continue growing.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Bakersfield Condors AHL 45 2 7 9 23 -7

Verdict:

Oilers “prospect” Mitch Callahan busted for PEDs

Ryan Stanton signed to two-year contract:

After bouncing around in the AHL the year before (mid-season trade from Colorado to Columbus), the Oilers stocked the shelves in Bakersfield with Stanton and four others o one day.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Bakersfield Condors AHL 46 2 6 8 44 1

Verdict: Stanton is/was filler in the AHL. There was a hope he could help out in the NHL if needed but it never happened (Lowe, Simpson and Bear were the call-ups). One more year to go.

Grayson Downing signed to one-year contract:

Depth addition to the Condors after he shifted around with a mid-season trade the year before.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Bakersfield Condors AHL 48 4 19 23 18 -18

Verdict: Consistent career AHL numbers, not likely to return.

Brian Ferlin signed to a one-year contract:

Hailing from the Bruins organization, a player who Chiarelli drafted got his chance to shine with the Condors.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Bakersfield Condors AHL 7 1 0 1 6 -3

Verdict: He did not (shine), and retired.

Ty Rattie signed to a one-year contract:

A 24-year-old “buy low”, low risk signing that was mired in mediocrity with the Blues organization.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Bakersfield Condors AHL 53 21 22 43 24 -15
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 14 5 4 9 2 1

Verdict: Rattie exceded expectations earning a late-season call-up and a spot on the top line with the Nuge and McDavid. Signed another one-year deal already.

Keegan Lowe signed to a one-year contract:

The son of Kevin Lowe was drafted by the Hurricanes all those years ago. He walked away from the Canadiens (after being traded mid-season) to sign with his Dad’s old team.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Bakersfield Condors AHL 52 2 12 14 65 14
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 2 0 0 0 0 -1

Verdict: Serviceable AHL call-up. Brought back for two more years.

Eddie Pasquale signed to a one-year contract:

Signed out of the Red Wings farm team with a stellar SV% and GAA to give us some options in the system.

2017-18 season stats:

2017-18 Bakersfield Condors AHL 947 41 2.60 6 5 0 414 0.910
2017-18 Syracuse Crunch AHL 835 24 1.72 10 1 2 363 0.938

Verdict: Did not impress, traded mid-season.

Brad Malone signed to a two-year contract:

Came over from the Blue’s (from Washington) AHL affiliate after being included in the Shattenkirk deal.

2017-18 season stats:

2017-18 Bakersfield Condors AHL 56 13 20 33 49 -9
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 7 0 0 0 6 0

Verdict: Malone was an early call-up and played well down in Bakersfield. Pushing for a bottom-six roster spot.

Connor McDavid signed eight-year contract extension:

McDaddy got McPaid what he is McDue. His $12.5 million dollar deal is the largest on the Oilers and coming off a Hart, Art Ross and Ted Lindsay award-winning season, well deserved.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 82 41 67 108 26 20

Verdict: Honestly, Connor deserved the max. We’re thankful he took the discount he did.

Jussi Jokinen signed to a one-year contract:

Coming off a down year in Florida, Jokinen looked to be the utility knife style player for the Oilers.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 14 0 1 1 2 -3
2017-18 Los Angeles Kings NHL 18 1 4 5 4 0
2017-18 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 14 0 1 1 4 -2
2017-18 Vancouver Canucks NHL 14 4 6 10 2 7

Verdict: After a brutal start with the Oilers, he was swapped for Cammellari and proceeded to bounce around the league ending up with the Canucks.

Yohann Auvitu signed a one-year contract:

After impressing with the Devils organization the year prior, the Oilers bought low on the European answer.

2017-18 season stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 33 3 6 9 8 4

Verdict: Under-utilized, he took his ball and went home.

Joey Laleggia signed a one-year deal:

With the Oilers from the start, Laleggia’s arrow has been pointing up, so he was given another extension.

2017-18 season stats:

Year Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Bakersfield Condors AHL 68 15 28 43 32 -6

Verdict: Had five more points than the previous year, but no word yet on if he will be back.

Dillon Simpson signed a one-year deal:

Coming off his ELC Simpson was used in three games in the NHL the year before and the Oilers kept him in the fold for another year.

2017-18 season stats:

Year Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Bakersfield Condors AHL 61 4 14 18 18 -5

Verdict: Simpson is a UFA with not much indication as to whether they want him back.

Kailer Yamamoto signed his three-year ELC:

Newly minted draft pick Yamamoto was signed to the standard three-year deal with eyes on making the jump to the league.

2017-18 season stats:

Year Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 9 0 3 3 2 -2
2017-18 Spokane Chiefs WHL 40 21 43 64 18 22

Verdict: Had his cup of coffee in the big leagues but was sent down to the WHL where he started off slow before taking off.

Leon Draisaitl signed eight-year contract extension:

Along with his captain, the Oilers wanted to make sure they had two of their top players locked down after a playoff run. The expectation for Leon was to have him run the 2nd line with Connor on the top line.

2017-18 season stats:

Year Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 78 25 45 70 30 -7

Verdict: Spent a lot of time on Connor’s wing again before being pushed back onto line two for the end of the season.

Dmitri Samorukov to a three-year ELC:

The third-round pick signed his ELC. Planning to spend the season down with the Guelph Storm.

2017-18 season stats:

2017-18 Guelph Storm OHL 62 11 23 34 29 -10
2017-18 Bakersfield Condors AHL 5 0 2 2 2 2

Verdict: Exactly what was expected to happen, happened.

Chris Kelly signed to a PTO contract:

Call it a favour to an old friend, Chiarelli signed the former Bruin to see if there was anything left in the tank.

2017-18 season stats:

None

Verdict: The try-out extended into sticking around with team throughout the year. He played in the Olympics with Canada, but no team signed him.

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