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Edmonton Oilers player review and 2023-24 preview: Vincent Desharnais

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Photo credit:© Marc DesRosiers-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, Vincent Desharnais.
5×5NHL GPTOI + TOI/GPG – A – PCFCACF%SCFSCASCF%GFGAGF%xGFxGAxGF%PDO
Individual36402.524-0-435535450.0720216654.89201262.518.8216.2753.631.03
Per/6011.180.50-0.05-0.5552.9252.7730.1124.742.981.792.82.42
Per/60, RelTm%-7.53.58-5.05-4.07-2.02-1.19-0.44-0.835.88-0.45-0.05-3.21
There were few better stories last year than that of Desharnais: a seventh-round pick who fought and clawed his way to the NHL with stints in the NCAA, ECHL, and AHL where all along the way, his game improved.
The Oilers recalled him to make his NHL debut in early January, and I don’t think anybody expected what game next from him. His role continued to grow as his game did, too, to the point where late in the regular season and in some playoff games, his minutes went as upwards of 18 minutes a night.
Looking at his underlying numbers above, there was a lot to like. The Oilers were even in terms of shot attempt share, but the club excelled in terms of controlling the goals, expected goals, and scoring chances all the while posting an ideal PDO number. This is a great sign from Desharnais that he was able to post these numbers, doubly so considering the Oilers need him to be a strong defensive player.
He’s a big body, who plays a big body game. Physical, strong, hard on pucks, never going to shy away from contact, nor from clearing the crease. His game isn’t flashy, but he’s a very effective player on the ice for the Oilers.
Despite being 27, he’s still someone you can consider “young” given the fact he’s played in all of 48 games at the NHL level, playoffs included. That means we’re still going to see warts, like in this instance from game one against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Small moments like this are outweighed by his work on a greater scale, and this season he’s going to be in competition for a depth role on the Oilers’ blue line. As of now, he’s the safest bet for the third-pairing right side, but he could be usurped quickly by Philip Broberg, who is looking to have a big training camp.

DESHARNAIS’ CAREER SO FAR

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPtsPIM+/-PGPGAPtsPIM
2019-20Wichita ThunderECHL310131324-9
2019-20Bakersfield CondorsAHL600070
2020-21Wichita ThunderECHL6044145
2020-21Bakersfield CondorsAHL370101036460116
2021-22Bakersfield CondorsAHL6652227553650112
2022-23Edmonton OilersNHL360553115120228
2022-23Bakersfield CondorsAHL13022191
NHL Totals3605531120228

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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