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Oilers preaching patience for Connor Brown

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Aleena Aksenchuk
5 months ago
It would be an understatement to say it’s been a slow start to the year for Connor Brown.
Through his first five games with the Edmonton Oilers, he’s gone pointless and hasn’t made the impact many expected when he signed with the club as a free agent coming off a torn ACL. Dspite that, Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft is preaching patience for the 29-year-old winger.
“He’s probably where he didn’t expect [to be] personally in terms of production, but when you come off the injury he came off, this is not ‘A’ typical it usually takes you a little while to get up and running and feel like your normal self,” Woodcroft expressed, following practice on Monday evening.
Back in October of 2022, Brown showcased his news colours in his inaugural season as a member of the Washington Capitals. Brown would only play throughout three games before tearing his ACL after absorbing a hit from Vancouver Canucks defenceman Noah Juulsen. Ironically, Brown was a summer addition to the club to fill the spot of Tom Wilson, who was due to miss the 2022-23 campaign with an ACL tear of his own.
So far, in his first season in orange and blue, we’ve seen a player trying to find his footing again. Heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild, Brown has seen a significant dip in his individual point production, a drop in his individual shot rates, and scoring chances.
Notably, all of these dips in the road are to be expected and don’t come as a shock, given the extent of the injury he’s finally working his way back from.
“I think one of the things the coaching staff did with him right off the bat was message to him that we’re gonna be patient,” emphasized Woodcroft.
“We’re patient with him, with his game, production and all that stuff, but the most important thing is for him to be patient with himself that it doesn’t all have to happen right away and there’s different ways to help a team win when you’re going through that process.”
Patience truly is vital in this scenario. Despite Brown’s slow start, the Oilers dominate at their 5v5 play with him on the ice, symbolizing a positive sign for what’s to come. Primarily playing on the third line alongside linemates Ryan McLeod and Dylan Holloway, they’ve managed to swallow up opposing chances but are yet to find their way into the dirty areas offensively. That said, the trio is still generating a high rate of shot attempts playing, indicating that the scoring should eventually come.
For now, Brown and everyone else must hone in on what Woodcroft emphasizes: patience.

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