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The Oilers should try to re-sign Warren Foegele

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Photo credit:Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Delaney
1 month ago
Keeping Warren Foegele around should be a priority for the Edmonton Oilers. 
The 27-year-old left-winger is in the final year of his three-year, $8.25 million deal with an annual cap hit of $2.75 million. Unfortunately for the Oilers, Foegele will be an unrestricted free agent at the season’s end, and they need to do everything in their power to get him signed to a new deal. 
Foegele was acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes on July 28, 2021, in exchange for right-shot defenceman Ethan Bear. I won’t lie, this trade upset me at the time as Bear was tracking to be a useful top-four defenseman before two unfortunate injuries. Several seasons later though, and I like many other Oiler fans, have come to appreciate what Foegele brings to the table.
For starters, Foegele is the rare Oiler in the bottom six that puts up points. In 188 games with Edmonton, Foegele has 75 points with the team, the most out of any of the Oilers’ bottom six. So far in 2023-24, he has seven goals and 21 points, which is the seventh-most on the team, four behind Evander Kane, who has played significant minutes in the top-six.
It also appears that Foegele is going to blow by his career-high in points, where he had 13 goals and 30 points in 2019-20 with the Hurricanes. This season, he’s on pace for 14 goals and 44 points, both of which would be his best totals.
Another aspect of Foegele’s game is the fact he’s almost always been a positive player in terms of possession. While he’s been on the ice for more even-strength goals against (25) than for (24) at five-on-five hockey, his expected goal share of 58.33% is the seventh time in his seven-year career he’s had an expected goal share above 50%.
Even in the only other season where his actual goal share was below 50% (46.25% in 2021-22), his expected goal share was 51.75% that season, the lowest of his career. Furthermore, Foegele’s lines have always outshot the opposition, and that’s no different in 2023-24. So far, he’s been on the ice for 285 shots on goal, while opposing teams have 209 shots on Edmonton’s goalie. That’s an SF% of 57.52% during five-on-five play, the highest in his career.
Foegele also kills penalties, as he has 37:16 minutes on the penalty kill this season, which is the sixth-most among forwards. Interestingly, when Foegele has been on the ice, the team has 13 shots for and only 18 shots against, which is a 41.94 SF%, the highest on the team. The next highest SF% from an Oilers player with 10+ minutes or more on the penalty kill is Vincent Desharnais, who has a 26.15 SF%.
Another benefit for Foegele is how he can move up and down the lineup and who he’s found chemistry with. Recently, he’s been on a line with Leon Draisaitl and Ryan McLeod, and those three together have an insane 76.92% goal share and a 60.08% expected goal share.  Last playoffs, Foegele played with McLeod and Derek Ryan, with the trio having a 50% goal share and an absolutely insane 77.23% expected goal share at even strength.
Losing Foegele in free agency would be tragic for the Oilers because for as long as they’ve had McDavid, bottom-six scoring has been somewhat of an issue. Foegele has been a light in the darkness this season, as he’s become one of the team’s most reliable depth players. 

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