Report: Oilers and Evan Bouchard closing in on two-year contract worth $3.9 million annually
Photo credit:© Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis28 days ago
It looks like the Edmonton Oilers are getting close to signing their last remaining restricted free agent.
According to Elliotte Friedman, the Oilers and Evan Bouchard are closing in on a two-year contract worth $3.9 million annually.
Over the past couple of seasons, Bouchard has emerged as the top-four, offence-driving defenceman that the Oilers were hoping for when they selected him with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2018 draft.
He made his NHL debut as a 19-year-old in 2018-19, spent the entire 2019-20 season in the AHL with the Bakersfield Condors, and was used sparingly during the shortened 2021 season. The 2021-22 season was Bouchard’s first full campaign in the NHL and he broke out with 43 points across 81 games.
Last season, general manager Ken Holland felt comfortable enough with Bouchard’s progress that he moved power-play quarterback Tyson Barrie as part of the exchange to acquire veteran defenceman Mattias Ekholm from the Nashville Predators. Bouchard stepped into Edmonton’s top power-play unit and filled the role seamlessly. Following the Barrie-for-Ekholm swap, Bouchard scored 19 points over Edmonton’s final 21 games of the regular season and he exploded with 17 points in 12 playoff games for the Oilers.
Bouchard will again become a restricted free agent when this two-year bridge contract expires in the summer of 2025. At that point, the Oilers will have two more years left of team control over Bouchard before he’s eligible to hit unrestricted free agency.
Bouchard coming in on a $3.9 million cap hit means that the Oilers will only have the space to carry one extra skater, barring another transaction. The roster listed below with 12 forwards, seven defenders, and two goaltenders has a cap hit of $83,117,500 with $382,500 left in open room.
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