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The Edmonton Oilers should make re-signing Tyler Ennis a top priority

The Edmonton Oilers don’t have much time to work until free agency kicks off.

In fact, we’re less than a month away from Oct. 9th when the free-agent period kicks off.

Ken Holland has lots of work to do, and one of his top priorities should be re-signing Tyler Ennis. Acquired from the Ottawa Senators at the NHL trade deadline for a 2021 5th round pick, Ennis stepped in and was a dynamic player for the Oilers in a very short time.

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An Edmonton native, Ennis had a very solid season with a bad Senators team ahead of his acquisition scoring 14 goals and 19 assists in 61 games there. His underlying numbers were strong, posting a 56.07 CF% and an xGF% of 59.42.

In nine regular-season games, Ennis stepped in and scored two goals and as many assists. In the playoffs, he added another goal and assist in three games, but suffered a broken leg in game three that ended his season one game early.

Looking at Micah Blake McCurdy’s isolated impact charts, Ennis provided offence at a 10 percent rate higher than league average, while provide defence at a two percent rate worse than league average. Offensively Ennis has proven to be a dynamic, impactful player in the NHL. He draws penalties at a very high rate and his offensive impacts are massive on the game.

He’s played on five teams in the last five years and never spent more than one season in a single place as what has largely been as a bottom-six player.

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He’s been a career .51 point per game guy and Ennis’ ability to slide up and down the lineup, as well as play on the powerplay, helps to highlight how he can help the Edmonton Oilers.

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He saw good chemistry playing alongside Connor McDavid and his underlying numbers relative to his teammates, namely CF% and xGF%, were +2.43 and +4.10. In a very short time, Ennis has shown that he can contribute to the Oilers lineup.

Edmonton is in need of guys like him — veteran players who provide lots of value in the offensive zone. In the last two years, Ennis has taken near-league minimum one-year contracts to join the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators. I would imagine that at this point, he’s looking to sign somewhere for multiple years and to be honest, I think he could get that in Edmonton.

I wouldn’t call it unreasonable to see the Oilers ink Ennis to a multi-year deal around $1-$2-million. The Oilers, like many teams, are facing difficult decisions and they need to be able to find good, cheap players to play for them. Tyler Ennis is exactly that.

On Twitter: @zjlaing