Edmonton Oilers player review and 2021-22 preview: Josh Archibald

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
2 years ago
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.
Josh Archibald took the long road to the NHL and has finally found himself a regular spot in NHL lineups with the Edmonton Oilers for the last two years now.
Last year he appeared in 52 games scoring seven goals and 13 points.
In his first year with the Oilers, Archibald got caved in analytically at 5×5 (44.43 CF%, 42.20 xGF%). This, however, saw some improvements this year. His shot attempt share rose to 46.72 percent while his expected goals rose to 47.90. His actual goals percentage rose, too, from 34.55 in 2019-20 to 43.18 this past year.
At even-strength, he contributed offence at a 10 percent rate below league average and defence at a one percent rate below league average.
Archibald is a strong penalty killer for the Oilers and spent the most time there of any forward on the team. With him on the ice, the Oilers allowed 6.36 goals against per hour — a solid number that placed him right in the middle of the clubs other PK’ers.
He comes into next season in a contract year, the final of a two-year, $1.5-million deal he inked with Edmonton. His offensive production needs to improve at 5×5 scoring, as is the case for much of the Oilers bottom-six players. He’ll be expected to take on more of a defensive role in the bottom-six, likely starting the majority of his shifts in the neutral and defensive zones, much like has been the case the last two years.
He’ll continue to kill penalties this year but might see a bit of a reduction in that role with the acquisitions of Zach Hyman and Warren Foegele. I wouldn’t expect to see Archibald absent from the PK, but there’s no denying that the aforementioned two may be more important pieces of that group than Archibald.


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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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