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81 Days Until The Season Begins

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Photo credit:© Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
10 months ago
If you enjoyed yesterday’s edition of the Edmonton Oilers 2023-24 season countdown, which featured obscure undrafted defenceman Jordan Oesterele, you’re in for another exciting trip into the abyss today.
At No. 81, we’ve got Yohann Auvitu, an underlying numbers darling who many viewed as one of the best Moneyball signings of the off-season once upon a time.
Born in Ivry-sur-Seine, Auvitu played in France’s top junior league for Mount-Blanc before leaving for Finland to play for JYP Jyvaskyla. He slowly worked up the ranks with JYP, going from their U20 team to their Mestis team and then eventually reaching their top team in Liiga. 
Auvitu made the move over to HIFK, a team based in Helsinki, and took on a larger role on the team’s blueline. In his second season with the club in 2015-16, Auvitu scored 21 points over 48 regular season games and then added 13 points in 18 games in the playoffs.
That performance earned Auvitu a one-year, two-way contract with the New Jersey Devils. He scored 13 points over 29 games for New Jersey’s AHL affiliate and put up four points in 25 games for the Devils at the NHL level. He also had very good underlying numbers in a limited sample with New Jersey, highlighted by a 12-to-9 on-ice goal differential.

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The Peter Chiarelli-led Oilers signed Auvitu to a one-year, $700k contract in the following off-season. The team was in a bit of a salary cap crunch so the goal that summer was to look for hidden gems on cheap contracts. Auvitu played both forward and defence for the Oilers and scored three goals and nine points over 33 games with a 26-to-18 on-ice goal differential.

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Auvitu was a one-and-done in Edmonton. He signed with HK Sochi in the KHL for the 2018-19 season, jumped to the Swedish Hockey League in 2019-20, and returned to HIFK in Finland for 2020-21 and 2021-22.
Most recently, Auvitu split the 2022-23 season between Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in the KHL and Genève-Servette HC in Switzerland, winning the National League championship with the latter. Genève-Servette was a bit of an Oilers reunion party, as the team that won the club’s first-ever Swiss National Championship featured Teemu Hartikainen, Linus Omark, and Marc-Antoine Pouliot. The four of them nearly spell H.O.P.E.

How many days are left until the Edmonton Oilers start the 2023-24 season? 81!

Can you guess who will be featured in tomorrow’s countdown?

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