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NHL Notebook: Edmonton Oilers climb power rankings, Toronto Maple Leafs place Ryan O’Reilly on LTIR with broken finger, and more

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Photo credit:James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
11 months ago
The Edmonton Oilers are on the rise.
It was a productive week for the team last week despite going 2-2 in the standings. The real work was done in the trade market making a massive trade to acquire Mattias Ekholm. As a result, the Oilers have risen to number seven on Daily Faceoff’s weekly power rankings. 
7. Edmonton Oilers
Record: 34-22-8 (.594%, 13th)
5v5 Goal Differential: +7 (14th)
5v5 xGF/60: 2.94 (5th)
5v5 xGA/60: 2.51 (12th)
PP xGF/60: 9.93 (3rd)
PK xGA/60: 8.21 (19th)
5v5 PDO: 100
Previous Week: 9th (+2)
The Oilers continue their stretch of inconsistent play, going 2-2 last week by beating the Leafs and Jets and losing to the Bruins and Jets. They made arguably the biggest move out of any team in the West by adding Mattias Ekholm, so perhaps that will provide them with a bit more stability and consistency on the back end.

Leafs lose O’Reilly

The Toronto Maple Leafs have placed forward Ryan O’Reilly on the LTIR keeping him out of the lineup until the end of the month. The club will also be without captain John Tavares on Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils as he is unwell.
Here’s some of what Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis wrote:
O’Reilly played just 11:11 against Vancouver before blocking a shot in the second period on Saturday. The 32-year-old has three goals and five points in eight games for the Leafs, with all of his points coming during his first three games.
O’Reilly had just 12 goals and 19 points in 40 games prior to the trade, putting him on pace for just over 30 points this year. It’s been a tough year for a forward that has scored at least 50 points in every full season since 2011-12, his third year in the NHL.
The Maple Leafs acquired the power forward on Feb. 18 from the St. Louis Blues in a three-team trade. O’Reilly previously missed nearly two months with a broken foot and returned just a week before getting moved to the Leafs.
The Leafs also confirmed that John Tavares won’t play against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday. Keefe said Tavares had not been feeling himself and wore a grey jersey in practice that’s usually reserved for scratched players. Tavares, 32, has 62 points in 63 games and was on pace to hit 80 points for the first time since 2018-19 prior to the illness. No timeline for his return is known, either.

Wild sign David Spacek, son of Jaroslav, to entry-level contract

We’re all getting old.
On Monday, the Minnesota Wild signed David Spacek, the son of former Edmonton Oiler defenceman Jaroslav Spacek, to an entry-level contract.
The younger Spacek was drafted by the WIld in the 5th round of the 2022 draft.
Here’s some of what Daily Faceoff’s Colton Davies wrote about Spacek:
Spacek was taken in the second round of the 2021 CHL Import Draft by the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Last season during his rookie campaign, the defenseman notched 12 goals and 50 points in 57 games and another 13 points in 11 playoff games. Spacek won the QMJHL Raymond Lagace Trophy, was awarded to the QMJHL Defensive Rookie of the Year and was named to the QMJHL All-Rookie Team.
His totals put him on the scouting radar, and the Wild selected Spacek in the fifth round of the 2022 NHL Draft. This season, he has continued his dominance tallying 46 points (10 goals, 36 assists) in 49 games this season with the Phoenix. He has also picked up five multipoint games. According to EliteProspects.com, he is projected to finish the season with 55 points (12 goals, 43 assists) in 58 games.
The 6-foot-4, 174-pound defenseman also represented his home country of Czechia at the 2022 and 2023 World Junior Championship. He helped Czechia defeat Canada, stun the world during round-robin play, and notch eight points (three goals, five assists) in seven games. The Czechs won a silver medal and Spacek was named a top-3 player on the team for his efforts.

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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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