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Edmonton Oilers 2020-21 player review: Josh Archibald

Welcome to the season in review! In this, and other articles, I’ll be, well, reviewing the Edmonton Oilers 2020-21 season. You can read about the analytics behind my analysis here.

Taking the road less traveled, Josh Archibald has finally found himself an NHL regular. Drafted out of high school in the sixth round, he had to fight and claw his way through the Pittsburgh Penguins system to try and get ice time, but it never came in a regular role.

A trade to the Arizona Coyotes gave him a season and a half of NHL time before he hit free agency and joined the Oilers in 2019-20. Since, he’s been a staple in the Oilers bottom-six.

This past year he found himself playing 52 games for the Oilers scoring seven goals and 13 points, a down year in terms of his production from the past.

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In year one with the Oilers, Archibald got caved in analytically at 5×5 (44.43 CF%, 42.20 xGF%). This, however, saw some improvements this year. His shot attempt share rose to 46.72 percent while his expected goals rose to 47.90. His actual goals percentage rose, too, from 34.55 in 2019-20 to 43.18 this past year.

He once again found himself killing penalties this year and spent the most time among Oilers forwards there. With him on the ice, the Oilers allowed 6.36 goals against per hour — a solid number that placed him right in the middle of the clubs other PK’ers.

The numbers are still below that of the team average but show a trend in the right direction. Archibald had inked a two-year deal worth $1.5-million last year and it’s probably the right value for a chippy, physical bottom-six player who is relatively effective on the penalty kill.

Archibald is a player who has shown his ability to produce offence in the right situations and heading into next season, that’s one area of his game that could seriously improve.

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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]