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7 Days Until The Season Begins

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Cam Lewis
1 month 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. Today at No. 7 we have Jason Arnott, one of three Oilers ever to finish second in Calder Trophy voting for the league’s top rookie.
By the time the 1992-93 season rolled around, all of the core members of Edmonton’s dynasty teams of the previous decade were playing elsewhere. Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri were with the L.A. Kings, Mark Messier was with the New York Rangers, and Glenn Anderson and Grant Fuhr were playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Oilers couldn’t afford to keep their star players around so they had to find new ones through the draft. The team went 26-50-8 in 1992-93 and missed the playoffs for the first time since merging into the NHL for the 1979-90 season. They used the seventh overall pick at that summer’s draft to select Jason Arnott, a big centre from the Oshawa Generals of the OHL.
Arnott broke into the NHL the following season led the Oilers with 33 goals and finished second on the team in scoring behind Doug Weight with 68 points, who the team had acquired the previous season from New York in exchange for Esa Tikkanen. Arnott finished second in Calder Trophy voting behind New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, who had been drafted in the first round a few years earlier.

Edmonton Journal Newspaper Clipping From June 17, 1994

No Oilers has ever won the Calder Trophy for the league’s top rookie, though three have finished in second place in voting, Arnott in 1993-94, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in 2011-12, and Stuart Skinner in 2022-23. Gretzky was ineligible for the Calder Trophy because he had played his rookie season at the professional level in the World Hockey Association.
After missing out during his first three seasons in the league, Arnott helped lead the Oilers back into the playoffs following a four-year hiatus in 1996-97. The team went 36-37-9 and upset the Dallas Stars in the first round, who had won the Presidents’ Trophy with a 49-24-9 record.
The following season, Arnott was traded to the New Jersey Devils for veteran winger Bill Guerin, who had helped the team win its first-ever Stanley Cup a few years earlier. Arnott would form a dominant top line with Patrik Elias and Petr Pykora on his wings and lead the Devils to Stanley Cup Final appearances in 1999-00 and 2000-01. New Jersey won the Cup in 2000 over the Stars and lost in 2001 to the Colorado Avalanche.
In March of 2002, Arnott was involved in another big trade, as the Devils dealt him to Dallas along with a first-round pick for Jamie Langenbrunner and Joe Nieuwendyk. The Stars missed the playoffs that season but returned in 2002-03 with a first-round win over the Oilers. Dallas would lose to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the second round, who later lost to the Devils in the Stanley Cup Final.
Arnott would spend time with the Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals, and St. Louis Blues before announcing his retirement in 2013. He played 1,244 games in the NHL and scored 417 goals and 938 points.

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