Oilers prospect Raphael Lavoie named AHL Player of the Week
By Cam Lewis27 days ago
The American Hockey League announced on Monday that Edmonton Oilers prospect Raphael Lavoie has been named the league’s Player of the Week.
Edmonton’s second-round pick from the 2019 draft was among the last players cut from the team’s training camp and has been playing like somebody who doesn’t want to ride the bus any longer.
Lavoie scored six points over three games this week and picked up a Gordie Howe hat trick in a 5-1 Bakersfield Condors win over the Tuscon Roadrunners on Saturday. The big winger leads the team with four goals and seven points so far this season.
The Oilers ultimately decided to start the regular season with veterans such as Mattias Janmark, Derek Ryan, and Adam Erne over Lavoie and it’ll be interesting to see how long they want to let the young sniper hone his game in the AHL.
Lavoie might not bring the defensive presence the team is looking for in its bottom-six right now but the Oilers could really use some added scoring ability down the lineup. Through eight games this season, they’ve scored 22 goals, 15 at even strength, and the third and fourth lines have chipped in virtually nothing.
The Oilers have 12 forwards, seven defencemen, and two goaltenders on their active roster with $429,766 in open salary cap room, according to Cap Friendly. Sending down Erne, who has a league minimum salary of $775k, would open up enough room for Lavoie.
Also, since Lavoie cleared through already, he won’t be subject to waivers again unless he stays on the NHL roster for 30 days or plays in 10 NHL games. The Oilers can give the 23-year-old a cup of coffee at the big league level to see if he can contribute and they can send him back down to the minors without risk if they wish.
There are some other players on the 4-1-0 Condors who have had strong starts to the season worth mentioning. Sam Gagner has five points in three games upon his return from off-season hip surgery, centres James Hamblin and Lane Pederson have five and four points respectively, and the team’s goaltending tandem of Olivier Rodrigue and Calvin Pickard has a combined for a .950 save percentage.
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