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54 Days Until The Season Begins

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
6 months ago
Throughout the summer and into the fall, we’ll be counting down the days until the Edmonton Oilers begin their 2023-24 season with a daily trip down memory lane.
With 54 days left until the season begins, let’s take a look at a former #54 on the Edmonton Oilers — Jujhar Khaira.

A Nov. 30, 2015 Edmonton Journal details, in part, Jujhar Khaira’s NHL debut.

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Drafted by the Oilers in the third round of the 2012 draft, the club knew that Khaira was still a few years away. They drafted him out of the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings, where he just wrapped up his second season having scored 29 goals and 79 points in 54 games.
In 2012-13 Khaira took off for the NCAA ranks but ended up spending just one year at Michigan Tech where he scored six goals and 25 points in 37 games. He returned out west spending the 2013-14 season with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips scoring 16 goals and 43 points in 59 games.
At season’s end, he made his pro debut with the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons and turned pro afterwards. While he would spend the whole 2014-15 season with the Barons, his NHL debut would come in the 2015-16 campaign.
He drew in for his first game on Nov. 28, 2015, against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He took 16 shifts playing two seconds over 10 minutes, and impressed in his debut.
“I thought he was really good,” then Oilers head coach Todd McLellan said Khaira, who skated alongside Matt Hendricks and Anton Lander. ” I had trust in him (late in the game).”
He struck around with the team into the New Year but was sent down to the AHL in early January. Another recall would see him have a three-game stint in February.
Khaira would begin the 2016-17 season with the Barons, but get called up for three games in January, six games in the end of February and one game in late March. He would score his first NHL goal amid those 10 games, but injuries at the AHL — as well as his recalls — saw him play just 27 games with the Barons. But what was seen in those games was promising finding twine eight times and scoring 20 points.
Come 2017-18, Khaira found himself a regular in the lineup drawing in for 69 games scoring 11 goals and 21 points. This season would mark the most productive season — offensively and defensively — for the 6’4 winger.
But between then and 2020-21, his final year with the Oilers, both his offensive and defensive numbers would dwindle despite facing worse and worse competition over the years. Concussion issues became apparent for him in his final season with the team, and the Oilers opted to allow him to walk into free agency.
Khaira has spent the last two years with the Chicago Blackhawks playing 78 games scoring six goals and 14 points. He’s currently an unrestricted free agent.

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