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Edmonton Oilers sign defenceman Noel Hoefenmayer to one-year entry-level contract
By Zach Laing8 months ago
The Edmonton Oilers have signed free agent defenceman Noel Hoefenmayer to a one-year, entry-level contract, the club announced Saturday.
Hoefenmayer, 24, was selected by the Arizona Coyotes in the fourth round of the 2017 draft, but never played a game in their organization.
Instead, when the 6’0, 192 lb. rearguard finished his junior career with the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s, he signed on with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies in 2020. In that final year of major junior action Hoefenmayer had a great season. He scored 26 goals and 82 points in 58 games.
The accolades quickly followed. He was named CHL defenceman of the year, the OHL’s most outstanding defenceman, and earned a spot on the OHL’s first all-star team. His 82 points were the most by a defenceman in not only the OHL, but the CHL as a whole. Second in scoring among defencemen across all three major junior leagues was the London Knights’ Ryan Merkley, with 76, then the Peterborough Petes’ Declan Chisholm, with 69. Lethbridge Hurricanes defenceman Alex Cotton led the WHL in scoring among defencemen with 67 points, while Saint John Sea Dogs’ William Villeneuve’s 58 points led QMJHL defencemen.
Now, Hoefenmayer has spent the last three seasons within the Leafs organization and played 65 games for the AHL Marlies last year as he’s continued to rack up points. In those AHL games, he scored 11 goals and 38 points tacking on 114 PIM, and was named to the AHL All-Star game.
His AHL totals have seen him score 13 goals and 47 points in 91 games, while he’s lit up the ECHL with 15 goals and 50 points in 69 games.
Months ago, The Leafs Nation suggested that Hoefenmayer could be the next ECHL to NHL player to come through their system:
Then we enter this year, one where Hoefenmayer wouldn’t let his chances get away from him. Immediately — in a season as important as ever — the 24-year-old stepped into the Marlies lineup, starting on the third pair with Maple Leafs prospect William Villeneuve.Ever so slowly, Hoefenmayer found his way up the lineup. Injuries and call ups had a bit to do with it, but so did the fact that he was taking full advantage of the opportunity when it was given to him.“I think there’s a lot to learn throughout a full season,” Hoefenmayer said in early February of what he’s learned in the AHL.“I played in junior so there was a similar long season, but the grind is different in this league, so it’s good to learn, just even simple things like taking care of your body, preparing yourself every day for a new challenge.”The biggest tool that Hoefenmayer has is his slap shot. I can remember watching him with the Marlies during the pandemic-shortened season and his shot was effective then.Now, though, after a number of years of adding strength and learning new techniques, his shot — plus a lot more of his game — has improved drastically.
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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 email@example.com.
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