Tobias Rieder was a steal of a pick for the Edmonton Oilers when he was selected in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
He had just come off a season in which he notched 49 points in 65 games and played in both the U-20 and U-18 tournaments.
The U-18 tournament saw him score three goals in three games alongside countryman and now-teammate Leon Draisaitl, who scored seven points in six games.
Rieder returned to the Kitchener Rangers for his sophomore year where he broke out, scoring 42 goals and adding 43 assists in 60 games.
His final year of junior hockey was a little less impressive, but he still put up a very respectable 56 points in 52 games.
This also brought on the point in Rieder’s career where he needed to sign his entry-level deal.
It was in March 2013 when the Oilers moved Rieder’s rights to the Coyotes in exchange for face-puncher Kale Kessey, who never dressed in the NHL.
Rieder had a tough chance to break into the Oilers line-up, which almost sounds ridiculous to say given the Oilers inability to put together adequate lineups then, but that’s another story.
Rider was still an undersized player at the time and needed more time to develop.
Hindsight is 20/20, but it’s clear the Oilers were better off signing Rieder and letting him develop somewhere in the system.
None the less, Rider spent a full year in the AHL (72GP-28-20-48) before he broke the Coyotes lineup putting up a respectable 21 points in 72 games.
He made his bones over the course of the next two and a half seasons with Arizona, putting up 43 goals and 52 points in 220 games.
Last season, he was dealt to the L.A. Kings and only scored four goals and two assists in six games.
Rieder comes to Edmonton on a value contact that’s paying him a mere $2-million for a year of service.
What I like most about this signing is that he is a player who can play up and down the lineup, and on both special teams. He has the ability to slot in and help produce on the second line, but can play a defensive style game grinding it out on the fourth line.
He is a versatile winger, who can play both sides as well as take draws. The Oilers have a real lack of players with this skill-set, so it doesn’t surprise me he was a top target of the team.
At 5v5, he scores at 1.21 points per hour and .9 primary points per hour (goals + first assists). His relative corsi is positive (+.52, which takes the sting off his 47.47 per cent corsi.
Like his relative corsi, his expected goals for is +.5, showing he is better than his 45 per cent expected goals for.
He has spent 395 minutes on the powerplay in his career, scoring 2.28 points per hour (six goals, nine assists).
He has played a lot more minutes on the penalty kill, 521 to be exact.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Given the team had cap restraints, the Oilers quietly had a very strong free agency class and Rieder helped lead that.
I’m looking forward to seeing what he brings to the Oilers lineup this season, and hopefully beyond this one too.
RIEDERS’S CAREER SO FAR
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