Welcome to the 2020-21 season review and 2021-22 season preview player-by-player! In this, and other articles, I’ll be, well, reviewing the Edmonton Oilers 2020-21 season and previewing the 2021-22 season. You can read about the analytics behind my analysis here.
From the east to the west. Zach Hyman fell for the Edmonton Oilers, and the Oilers fell for him.
Coming off one of his strongest seasons in the NHL, Hyman got paid to the tune of a seven-year, $5.5-million AAV deal.
His 2020-21 campaign saw him score 15 goals and 33 points in 43 games for a .77 points per game pace — the best of his career. He scored more assists per game (.42) than at any other point while his goals per game (.35) fell slightly behind his career-high of .41.
While Hyman played very well alongside Auston Matthews last year helping drive the top line and 5×5 scoring is where most of his offence came from. Interestingly enough, he was never been much of a consideration on the Leafs powerplay.
Over the last three years, he averaged just 51 seconds there per game ranking 16th among all forwards in that time. While he saw an uptick to 1:32 powerplay TOI per game, he only scored five points there on the 16th best powerplay unit in the league.
That should change when he arrives in Edmonton. Not only will he ride shotgun with one of Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl in the Oilers’ top-six, I expect Hyman to fill the net-front roll on the powerplay.
As of the writing of this article, it doesn’t appear that Alex Chiasson will return to the club. He, as we all know, held that net-front role with the Oilers powerplay over the last few years where he was very effective.
But Hyman is more of a natural goal scorer and plays a more physical game that I think will blend well with the offensive wizards Edmonton has. His prowess will likely also be felt on the penalty kill, too, where he’s continuously been very strong.
Beyond that, he will add a great element to the Oilers top-six at 5×5 play, too. He pushes pace offensively and will be a dynamic addition to whomever he plays with. His physical style will open up the ice, and he’s surely going to become a fan favourite.