This morning, the Oilers took care of a little bit of housekeeping as they re-signed forward, Joseph Gambardella, to a two-year, two-way contract extension with a $700K AAV at the NHL level.
How about the year Jo Gambardella had in 2018-19? Undrafted by any NHL team, he found his way into the Oilers in March of 2017 after wrapping up his college career with the University of Massachusetts Lowell. In four seasons at UMass (150GP), Gambardella amassed 47 goals and 82 assists for 129 before leaving school to continue on with his hockey career. After getting his first taste of pro hockey with the Condors at the tail end of their 2016-17 season, Gambardella became a mainstay on the roster the following year.
Set to become a free agent on July 1st, Joseph Gambardella elected to remain with the Oilers organization for another couple of years after a career-best season where he not only helped the Bakersfield Condors make the AHL playoffs for the first time but also his own NHL debut. The 25-year-old led the Condors in scoring this season with 29 goals in just 50 games, adding 19 assists for 48 total points. In his first taste of NHL action, the Staten Island, New York, native put up three assists in 15 NHL games with the Oilers this past season.
From where I blog, I like the decision to bring Gambardella back for another couple of years. Not only does he add some skill to a depth chart that desperately needs it, but he also sports one of the thickest and most luxurious beards that I’ve seen. It’s hard to put a price on that kind of manliness, ya know? And while you could probably assume that Gambardella will spend the bulk of his year in Bakersfield, he will remain a viable recall option if and when injuries occur. I thought Gambardella provided some nice energy in his recalls and it can only be a good thing to have more competition pushing up from the AHL level.
Even if he doesn’t play a single minute in Edmonton in 2019-20, Gambardella will be expected to help build upon the success the Condors had under Jay Woodcroft this past season.
GAMBARDELLA’S 2018-19 SEASON
Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Team Account, 5/29/2019 – 8:00 am MST