Photo credit:Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Three Bold Predictions for the 2023-24 Edmonton Oilers
By baggedmilk6 months ago
With less than two months to wait until the start of the 2023-24 NHL season, I figured that now was the perfect time for some way-too-early predictions about what will happen this season. And since we always talk about what McDavid and Draisaitl are going to do, I wanted to offer up some takes for a few guys lower in the lineup. Let’s get it.
RYAN McLEOD HITS 20 GOALS
Ryan McLeod is easily one of my favourite players on this hockey team, and I truly believe that this coming season is going to be his best. The guy has size, speed, and enough scoring touch to contribute depth goals semi-regularly, and I’m betting this upcoming season will be his best in that arena. That’s why I’m predicting that the 2023-24 NHL season will be the first time Ryan McLeod reaches the 20-goal plateau. Last year, in 57 games played, McLeod had 11 goals on 78 shots, putting him on a 16-goal pace over a full season. If the guy can stay healthy and maybe get a little bit of luck, there is no reason why McLeod couldn’t be another guy on this roster who pops 20 goals and I’m predicting that he gets there.
EVAN BOUCHARD HITS 60 POINTS
Regardless of what you think of Evan Bouchard as a complete defenceman, there’s little doubt that the guy can put up points nearly as well as anyone we’ve had on the back end in recent memory. While Bouchard has yet to reach the career highs in points that Tyson Barrie had both with the Oilers and his other stops, my prediction is that Dad gets there this season. As the default defensive option on the league’s best power play, Bouchard will have every opportunity in the world to pick up points just by feeding McDavid and Draisaitl the puck. Put another way, 19 of Bouchard’s 40 points last season came after Barrie was moved to Nashville in the trade for Mattias Ekholm and it really wasn’t surprising given the extra opportunities he was getting at key moments. So would it really be surprising to see Bouchard hit 60 points this year knowing that he’s going to get the first look whenever the Oilers need a goal? I don’t think so either. It’s coming.
DYLAN HOLLOWAY HITS 40 POINTS
Before last season began, I predicted that Dylan Holloway would register 40 points. Obviously, he didn’t get there — Holloway put up three goals and six assists in 51 games — but I think that all changes in his second crack at the NHL level. Averaging only 9:35 in TOI, Holloway’s leash was short and he rarely got the chance to play with skilled linemates, but I’m banking on that changing in his sophomore season. Not only do I think Holloway will have a better idea of what it’s going to take to have success at the highest level, but I also think he’ll use those early at-bats to earn more opportunities from the coaching staff. Not only do I think Jay Woodcroft will use Holloway more frequently, but I’m also betting on the player capitalizing on those chances. And seeing as we all know that injuries happen, I can see Holloway being given more offensive minutes than he got last year and finding ways to grind out points as a result. So what’s my prediction? I think a 14-goal, 26-assist campaign sounds about right. Who’s with me?
BETTER LAIT THAN NEVER
Just because the Oilers aren’t giving us anything to talk about doesn’t mean I don’t still have plenty of useless information to talk about. Subscribe to Better Lait Than Never on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you get podcasts. New episodes come out every Wednesday.
THE NATION VACATION TO SEATTLE
Much like every time we’ve ever done a trip like this, our first-ever #NationVacation to Seattle is going to sell out quickly so you’ll want to get your spot locked in as soon as possible. Need some details on what’s going down? No problem:
- When: November 10 – 12th
- Where we’re staying: Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Seattle
- What you get: Your flights, three nights at the hotel, a ticket to the hockey game (Edmonton vs. Seattle), and a ticket to the football game the very next day (Seattle vs. Washington).
- How Much: The total cost for the trip, flight, hotel, and entry to the game is $1999 per person (based on double occupancy)
- Tickets: Ready to dive in? Click this link.
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