Oilers issue qualifying offers to Evan Bouchard, Ryan McLeod, Raphael Lavoie, Noah Philp, and Olivier Rodrigue

Photo credit:© Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Delaney
9 months ago
We got some transactions!
Aside from the three draft picks and a rather shocking trade, the Oilers gave qualifying offers to five pending restricted free agents (RFAs) on Thursday afternoon.
These were all pretty much a given, but let’s quickly look at each of these players…

Evan Bouchard:

The 23-year-old right-shot defender broke out in a big way this season. He played all 82 games and scored eight goals and 40 points. While this was a little bit of regression compared to last season’s 12 goals and 43 points in 81 games, Bouchard had a fantastic playoff run.
He played 12 games, scoring four goals and 17 points, which led all defenceman in points in the playoffs.
It’s likely that the 2018 10th overall pick gets a bridge deal, but it’d be wise for the Oilers to lock him up for as long as possible.

Ryan McLeod:

The 23-year-old centre was the other full-time Oiler that was extended a qualifying offer.
It’s been a while since the Oilers developed a third line centre, but McLeod has filled in nicely. Last season, he had a career high 11 goals and 23 points in 57 games, building on his 9 goals and 21 points in 71 games during the 2021-22 season.
Hopefully, the Oilers keep the Warren Foegele-Ryan McLeod-Derek Ryan line intact, because they were excellent in the playoffs.

Raphael Lavoie:

The 22-year-old centre/right-winger hasn’t made the Oilers… yet.
The second round pick in the 2019 draft scored 25 goals and 45 points in 61 games for the Bakersfield Condors in 2022-23, finishing second in team scoring and first in goals.
He saw a significant increase in both goals (up from 13) and points (up from 26), and he has a real shot at making the Oilers next season.

Noah Philp:

Noah Philp retired in the middle of June, but the Oilers still extending a qualifying offer to maintain his rights.
Last season in Bakersfield, the 24-year-old scored 19 goals and 37 points in 70 games. He went undrafted and played for the University of Alberta, and was considered to be a potential fourth line centre in the future.
Whatever is going on, let’s hope for the best for Philp, even if he never plays a game again.

Olivier Rorigue:

Sometimes, you just have to be patient with goaltenders.
The 22-year-old was drafted in the second round of the 2018 draft, and had an abysmal start to his professional career. However, he played much better in 2022-23 with the Condors, posting a .912 save percentage and a 2.77 goals against average.
The next step for Rodrigue is to get starter minutes, as he only played 29 of 72 games for Bakersfield last season.

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