There’s one significant Edmonton Oilers player without a contract: RFA Kailer Yamamoto.
Just this past weekend we saw the Carolina Hurricanes back the Montreal Canadiens into a corner by offer sheeting Jesperi Kotkaniemi to a one-year deal.
It has made me wonder: would a team offer sheet Yamamoto?
He’s appeared in 105 NHL games and has scored 20 goals and 52 points in that time. This next deal, much like that of Kotkaniemi’s, is his first outside of his ELC.
Yamamoto has the draft prowess as a 2017 1st round pick and clearly has the talent to be an NHL player. A tenacious forechecker and strong in his own zone, his biggest knock from this past season was his inconsistent scoring.
Yes, he scored 21 points in 52 games — a decent clip for a 22-year-old — but he went through a significant stretch down the end of the year where his offense dried up.
In the first 27 games of the year, he scored seven goals and 14 points, but in the last 25, he scored just one goal and seven points. The scoring cooled and while that’s to be expected at times for young players, it was a stretch the Oilers could’ve used a bit of extra offence.
A Yamamoto offer sheet could put the Oilers in a serious bind. The Oilers have around $3-million in cap space when you account for Oscar Klefbom destined for the LTIR and I could see the team wanting to bring in an extra body or two on offence and defence.
So money-wise, any team coming in with an offer sheet above $3-million would put the Oilers in a precarious position. The offer sheet compensation for any deal between $2,055,365 and $4,110,732 would be a second-round pick.
The teams that could offer that compensation would be the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators and the Seattle Kraken.
The number of teams that could offer between $4,110,733 – $6,166,096 and the 1st and 3rd round pick compensation that follows shrinks more: Arizona, Buffalo, Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, Ottawa and Seattle.
Is it realistic to think this could happen? Not really. We don’t see offer sheets get thrown around often. In the last decade, we’ve only seen four: Shea Weber, Ryan O’Reilly, Sebastian Aho, and now, Kotkaniemi.
The truth of the matter, however, is that offer sheets are something teams are allowed to do. And in the case of the Edmonton Oilers, they find themselves in a situation where they’re not able to protect themselves how they may want to be able to if someone were to stir the pot.