A Big Season Ahead for Olivier Rodrigue
9 months ago
Yesterday, we discussed Edmonton Oilers prospect Raphael Lavoie. We discussed how he needs to become a more consistent scorer in the AHL with the Bakersfield Condors if he wants to break into the NHL someday. He had a solid end to the season in 2022 with 22 points in the 17 games after Christmas; however, before the holiday break, he struggled massively, scoring only three points in as many games to start the year.
Another prospect and Lavoie’s teammate are in a similar boat. Olivier Rodrigue is heading into this third season as a professional and is likely the new number one goaltender with the Condors. The past two seasons, he’s split time between Bakersfield and the Wichita Thunder in the ECHL. Rodrigue also spent time in Europe with Graz99ers in the Austrian League when COVID-19 postponed the minor leagues in North America.
In junior, Rodrigue was a star for the Drummondville Voltigeurs and Moncton Wildcats. He finished his time in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 111 wins along with a 2.70 GAA and a 0.900 save percentage. In 2018, he represented Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial, where he won gold and finished with the best GAA (1.33) and save percentage (0.949%).
The Oilers liked him enough to select him in the second round of the 2018 NHL draft, 62nd overall. Since being drafted, Rodrigue has struggled to establish himself with the Condors, with Stuart Skinner and Ilya Konovalov getting games ahead of him. The 2023 season needs to be different for Rodrigue, and he has the opportunity to make it so given the Oilers’ current depth chart. Skinner will be the backup goaltender for the Edmonton Oilers, and with Konovalov now back in Russia, that leaves only Rodrigue and mid-season college signing Ryan Fanti.
Yet, despite an apparent path forward, progress will not be as easy as it may seem for Rodrigue, especially after his performance at the Oilers rookie camp scrimmage. Granted, it was only a single scrimmage but he was significantly outplayed by Fanti, who only has one pro game under his belt. Only time will tell how Rodrigue will perform, but with only one season left on his contract, this feels like a critical point in his career with the Oilers.
RODRIGUE’S PRO CAREER SO FAR
Recent articles from Liam Horrobin