Oilers recall Xavier Bourgault

Edmonton Oilers Xavier Bourgault
Photo credit:twitter.com/Condors
Zach Laing
1 month ago
Another Black Ace is joining the Oilers, as the club recalled Xavier Bourgault Monday morning.
The club announced he joined the likes of Lane Pederson, Adam Erne, Raphael Lavoie, Cam Dineen, Ben Gleason, Phil Kemp and Olivier Rodrigue, all of whom were recalled on Saturday morning.
Bourgault, 21, was drafted by the Oilers 22nd overall in the 2021 draft, but has yet to hit his potential. He turned pro ahead of the 2022-23 season, where he scored 13 goals and 34 points in 62 games with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors.
While missing some games due to injury this season, Bourgault’s game regressed, and he scored just eight goals and 20 points in the 55 games he played.
In one of his most recent Prospect Reports, our own Bruce Curlock wrote about Bourgault’s game.
Make no mistake, Xavier Bourgault’s development path took a step back this year. He finished the season with fewer points than his rookie year. He finished the season with fewer shots on the net than his rookie year. His plus/minus worse. He went from the first powerplay to the second. He went from a relied-upon penalty killer to only seeing spot duty.
There is not anyway to sugar coat it, Xavier Bourgault did not have a good second professional season. To make matters worse, he missed more than a month with a shoulder injury. It would be hard to argue with those who view this first-round pick as a bust. Either by his play this year or by the play of those drafted after him: Wyatt Johnson, Matthew Knies and Logan Stankoven to name a few who have made impacts at the NHL level. However, this is still a prospect who is only 21 years old. He still is a high-skill player. He plays a position that could help the Edmonton Oilers.
So, this offseason is a critical one for Xavier Bourgault and for the Edmonton Oilers development program. Bourgault enters the final season of his entry-level contract in September 2024. It will be critical for him to take material steps forward for his NHL aspirations. It’s also critical for the Edmonton Oilers who will continue to face salary cap pressures for the foreseeable future. Fortunately for all, the last Bakersfield game of the AHL regular season may provide some material for both Bourgault and the Oilers to use to get Bourgault’s development back on track.

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@thenationnetwork.com.

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