This morning, it was announced via Twitter that the Edmonton Oilers have recalled defenceman Evan Bouchard from the Bakersfield Condors, while also reassigning veteran forward Markus Granlund back to the AHL as part of the swap.
Important to remember with a Bouchard. He can play 9 games this year, regular and playoffs, and his contract slides. Similar to Mikko Rantanen and Jake Debrusk. That plus fact Edm top three RD are solid I don’t see him playing many games. Nice reward of NHL paycheque for weeks.
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) February 19, 2020
I’ve gotta admit, I really didn’t expect to see Evan Bouchard this season now that Ken Holland is in charge, but with the run of injuries that have come down the pipe of late, including Oscar Klefbom going out with a shoulder injury only yesterday, it makes sense to bring up another guy that can move the puck. There’s no doubt that losing Klefbom is a major blow to the team, not only for the points he produces from the back end but also for the number of minutes he plays on a nightly basis, and, I guess, the hope is that Bouchard will be able to help alleviate some of that pressure. That is, of course, provided that he gets to play.
Known as a point producer with the ability to make an excellent first pass, Evan Bouchard comes to an Oilers team that is currently light on puck movers but also seems to be set on the right side, and it will be interesting to see how Dave Tippett deploys him. Since being drafted at 10th overall two years ago, Bouchard has been a prospect of major intrigue for Oilers fans everywhere as he can not only put up points but also seems to have ice in his veins with the puck on his stick, something he’ll surely need as the Oilers continue their push for the playoffs. As noted in the tweet above, Bouchard can play nine games in the NHL before having a year of team control wiped from the books so it’s going to be very interesting to see how many games he actually gets into.
In 50 games played with the Condors so far this season, Bouchard ranks second among AHL rookie defenceman in points scored, amassing seven goals and 26 assists for 33 points while averaging 20+ minutes of ice. As the AHL season has progressed, Bouchard has been given more and more responsibility and this recall certainly seems to be a reward for his improved play. Back in early February, Condors head coach Jay Woodcroft appeared on The Jason Gregor show where he spoke a little bit about Bouchard and how his game has evolved.
Evan has earned more minutes due to his play. He started out around 15 min/game and now he leads us in ice time. He played just over 25 minutes last game. His play has demanded we play him more.
As for Granlund, the veteran got into only one game with the Oilers since being recalled from Bakersfield and he didn’t do a whole lot, finishing his night with no shots on goal in 11:22 TOI.
BOUCHARD’S SEASON SO FAR