Skyler Brind’Amour won’t be signing with the Edmonton Oilers. Did they miss out on anything?
10 months ago
Skyler Brind’Amour’s time in the NCAA has come to an end and his eyes are set on the pro game.
Drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the sixth round of the 2017 draft, it was reported yesterday that the team would have a decision to make on signing Brind’Amour. Well, it turns out Brind’Amour made the decision for them and won’t be signing with the Oilers, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported Tuesday morning.
Quinnipiac University, where he played, brought home its first National Championship over the weekend, defeating the University of Minnesota 3-2 in overtime. Peter Chiarelli drafted Brind’Amour back in 2017 with the 177th pick in the 6th round.
Brind’Amour spent four years at Quinnipiac playing in 145 games scoring 23 goals and 75 points. In his senior year, he crushed his career highs hitting 14 goals and 32 points, which was more than his previous totals of 3 goals and 20 points.
The Brind’Amour name is obviously famous thanks to Skyler’s father Rod. Rod played almost 1500 games in the NHL scoring 1,184 points and famously lifted the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. He is now the coach of those same Hurricanes as they continue their quest for a second Stanley Cup.
Now, the time has come for him to follow in his Dad’s footsteps and take his game to the next level in the pro levels.
Before fans go jumping down Ken Holland’s throat about not signing him, let’s take a look at what is behind the curtain.
There is not much to Brind’Amour’s game. He plays a simple style and finally found his role at Quinnipiac, which helped jolt his numbers. As mentioned, he scored 14 goals this season; all of which were in a very similar fashion. On the powerplay, Brind’Amour played the net front role tipping pucks in and picking up the garbage. He became extremely good at it too. You can see in the scoring map below that his 14 goals came from practically the same area. The one that came from a distance was an empty netter.
Brind’Amour’s 2022-23 goal map
He found a role this season and thrived in it. One that he could not get a grip on in years past when he scored nine goals in 104 games.
Another position of strength for Brind’Amour was in the faceoff dot. He took over 800 draws in his 41 games this season and had a success rate of 59%. Amongst everyone in the NCAA, nobody had a better percentage than him who had taken over 800 draws. In comparison to Bakersfield, only Luke Esposito, a former NCAA player himself, came close to his numbers with a 54% success rate. It is a skill that everyone deems to be important but is not always addressed.
With the puck, Brind’Amour again keeps it simple. He rarely challenges defencemen one-on-one or drives the play himself. Instead, he gets the puck and keeps it moving then finds the open ice to make himself available. A true complimentary player that knows his role and executes it.
There is no doubt that he can play a role at the professional level based on what he accomplished this season. However, perhaps the Oilers did not see enough growth in his game. In the six years, he was with the organization, Brind’Amour was never a point-per-game player with any program he was with. It was only this season he hit the double-digit mark in goals since junior. When you compare that to the Oilers’ most recent college signing in Carl Berglund, the former UMass-Lowell captain scored 89 points in 114 games. Neither of them is an elite scorer; however, Berglund provides more of a defensive game, which Brind’Amour doesn’t provide as much of.
Furthermore, the Oilers’ centre core throughout the organization is strong. Currently in Bakersfield, Dylan Holloway, Noah Philp, James Hamblin, and Berglund are the centre prospects. Additionally, they also have Xavier Bourgault and Tyler Tulio, who could likely fill those roles next season. Over in Europe, Maxim Denezhkin has had a nice season in the VHL with 21 points in 37 games. Perhaps the Oilers see him with more of a future role than Brind’Amour.
Signing Brind’Amour was not a make-or-break decision for the Oilers. He is a college free agent who never hit a point per game and would be joining an organization that was already deep at this position. The decision not to sign in Edmonton could prove to be beneficial for both parties. You never want to see a draft pick go unsigned; however, let’s not lose sleep over this one.
Recent articles from Liam Horrobin