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Edmonton Oilers player review and 2023-24 preview: Mattias Ekholm

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
6 months ago
Welcome to the 2022-23 season review and 2023-24 season preview player-by-player! In this and other articles, we’ll be, well, reviewing the 2022-23 season of Edmonton Oilers players and previewing their 2023-24 season. You can read about the analytics behind my analysis here.
Welcome back, Mattias Ekholm.
5×5NHL GPTOI + TOI/GPG – A – PCFCACF%SCFSCASCF%GFGAGF%xGFxGAxGF%PDO
Individual21355.308-4-1238927658.523515061.04311075.6121.5913.4261.671.09
Per/6016.920.85-1.17-2.0265.6946.6139.6825.335.241.693.652.27
Per/60, RelTm%13.03-4.77.8510.26-2.759.872.9-129.180.92-0.4311.36
There’s an easy argument to make that Mattias Ekholm is one of the most important trade acquisitions in the Edmonton Oilers’ storied history. After joining the club on Feb. 28, Ekholm stepped into the Oilers’ top-four and was nothing short of a dynamite player every time he was on the ice.
He helped calm down Evan Bouchard’s game allowing the young offensive defenceman to play more to his strengths, and shut down the opposition any time they crossed the Oilers’ blueline. Simply put: his impact on the Oilers is almost hard to quantify.
In his small sample size of 21 games last season, the Oilers outscored their opposition by 21 goals and the team dominated every facet of the game with him out there. On top of that, his own individual contributions pegged him as one of the best defencemen in the league playing well above what would be considered a top-pairing defenceman.
The Oilers got high-danger looks often in the offensive zone with him on the ice, and good luck trying to get down low on the Oilers’ own crease.
His play has elevated the Oilers blueline in a big way, and this season it appears he and Evan Bouchard will form the clubs top pairing. It’s something I wrote about early on in the pre-season, and is a coaching decision that could have significant positive reverberations down the depth chart for this franchise.
Expect another big year from Ekholm.

EKHOLM’S CAREER SO FAR

Regular SeasonPlayoffs
SeasonTeamLgeGPGAPtsPIMGPGAPtsPIM
2006-07Mora IK Jr.Swe-Jr36044286
2007-08Mora IK Jr.Swe-Jr37571254-5
2007-08Mora IKSEL100000
2008-09Mora IK Jr.Swe-Jr21358323
2008-09Mora IKSwe-13821113127
2009-10Mora IKSwe-141121225410
2010-11Brynas IF GavleSEL551023333810504410
2011-12Nashville PredatorsNHL20000-1
2011-12Brynas IF GavleSEL419817551
2012-13Milwaukee AdmiralsAHL59102232301540110
2012-13Nashville PredatorsNHL10000-1
2013-14Nashville PredatorsNHL6218910-8
2014-15Nashville PredatorsNHL8071118521261012
2015-16Nashville PredatorsNHL82827354414143474
2016-17Nashville PredatorsNHL8232023344221101138
2017-18Nashville PredatorsNHL8110243446251317812
2018-19Nashville PredatorsNHL80836444727602212
2019-20Nashville PredatorsNHL688253332-140110
2020-21Nashville PredatorsNHL4861723141960336
2021-22Nashville PredatorsNHL7662531441440220
2022-23Nashville PredatorsNHL5751318240
2022-23Edmonton OilersNHL2141014428121678
NHL Totals
74066216282351877354282

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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