Three soon-to-be UFAs have made strong cases to be re-signed during the Oilers’ playoff run

Oilers Mattias Janmark scores goal
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
29 days ago
Throughout the Connor McDavid era, scoring depth has always been in question for the Edmonton Oilers. That’s changed throughout the 2024 postseason.
There are several free agents the Oilers have come July 1, such as Corey Perry, Warren Foegele, and Vincent Desharnais. However, their entire current fourth line is set to become unrestricted free agents, and they’re the topic of today’s article.
Before the trade deadline, the Oilers acquired former Anaheim Duck Adam Henrique, as well as Sam Carrick for a 2024 first-round pick and a 2024 seventh-round pick. He scored six goals and nine points during the regular season for the Oilers.
During the 2023 off-season, the Oilers signed Connor Brown, a player they coveted for a long time, to play in their top six. Simply put, he wasn’t great, scoring just four goals and 12 points in 71 games. It also took him 55 games to score his first goal, not so great for a contract that’ll cost $4 million.
Mattias Janmark is a former 19-goal scorer for the Dallas Stars, and even had a 10-goal, 25-point season in 66 games for the Oilers in 2022-23. However, he posted just four goals and 12 points in 71 games with the Oilers in the 2023-24 season.
On their own, these three players are nothing extraordinary, with Adam Henrique being the best of the bunch. Together though, these three players helped the Oilers to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Brown and Janmark

Let’s discuss these two first.
Whenever Mattias Janmark and Connor Brown played together during the regular season, they were a positive pairing on the fourth line. The two played 216:36 minutes together during five-on-five action, with the Oilers scoring seven goals to the other team’s five for a 58.33% goal share, along with a 51.8% expected goal share.
On top of that, the Oilers had 45 high-danger scoring opportunities to the opposing team’s 35 high-danger opportunities, showing that the GF% wasn’t a fluke. In fairness, both players have played higher up in the lineup with skilled players, so it makes sense they drove play.
The two players are often paired on the Oilers penalty kill throughout the 2024 postseason. As you know, the Oilers penalty kill has been impeccable this postseason with a 93.6 PK%, including 34 straight kills.
Brown and Janmark are often a forward pair on the kill, allowing just one of those goals. However, that pair has accounted for both of Edmonton’s shorthanded goals, with Janmark scoring one in Game 6 of the Dallas Stars series, as well as a huge opening goal for the Oilers in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
As one would expect, they have been out-chanced on the penalty kill, but not only has the team kept the puck out with both of them on the ice, but they are also outsourcing opponents.
As one can imagine, when Brown and Janmark play together at even strength this postseason, the Oilers do well. So far, at five-on-five, they are out-shot 91-75, but have 15 high-danger chances to the opposing team’s nine high-danger chances. On top of that, the two staples of Edmonton’s fourth line are out-scoring the opposition 3-2.

Add in Adam Henrique

Adam Henrique was selected by the New Jersey Devils back in the third round in 2008 and became an NHL regular in 2011-12. In his first season, he scored 16 goals and 51 points, but also scored five goals and 13 points in New Jersey’s run to the cup that year (where they were also 3-0 down in the series).
Aside from a four-game series in 2017-18 with the Anaheim Ducks, Henrique hadn’t gotten a chance to play in the postseason and had the longest stretch of 4,333 days between two postseason goals.
Henrique may be playing on the fourth line alongside Janmark and Brown, but he is not a fourth-liner, simply put. In his career, he has 263 goals and 530 points in 912 games, along with 24 goals and 51 points this season.
But when you add this type of player with a bulldog in Mattias Janmark, as well as a speedster in Connor Brown, you have one of the best fourth lines in the league. Those three together have played 28:27 minutes, including 26:07 in the Stanley Cup Final.
Once again, they’ve been out-shot 21-23, have a goal (while not giving up one) and have six high-danger scoring opportunities holding the Panthers to just two high-danger shots.

So what happens at season’s end?

The Oilers are on the brink of elimination. They’ll have to win their next three games if they wish to win the Stanley Cup after already winning Game 4. The reverse sweep has only been done once in Stanley Cup Final history, back when the Toronto Maple Leafs did it in 1942.
Whatever happens, the Oilers should seriously consider re-signing these three players. Thanks to his bonus, Connor Brown will already cost the team $3.25 for the cap next season, so a league-minimum deal makes sense. Mattias Janmark is a dawg who always steps it up in the postseason, and Adam Henrique can play up and down in the lineup.

If you enjoy my content, you can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.

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