What’s next for the Edmonton Oilers? An overview of the 2024 off-season

Cam Lewis
24 days ago
It’s officially summer.
The Edmonton Oilers fell in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night but there won’t be much time to rest as the off-season is about to kick into full swing.

The Buyout Window

The first order of business in the off-season will be the buyout window, which opens 48 hours after the Stanley Cup is awarded and closes at 5 p.m. ET on June 30.
It seems inevitable that we’ll see the final three seasons of Jack Campbell’s five-year, $25 million contract bought out during this window. Campbell posted an 0.888 save percentage over 36 games in his first season with the Oilers in 2022-23 and was waived after posting an .873 save percentage in five games in 2023-24.
If the Oilers buy out Campbell, they’ll save $3.9 million next season, $2.7 million in 2025-26, and $2.4 million in 2026-27, but will take on a salary cap hit of $1.5 million for three seasons in 2027-28, 2028-29, and 2029-30 after his contract would have finished.
  • 2024-25: $1.1 million cap hit ($3.9 million savings)
  • 2025-26: $2.3 million cap hit ($2.7 million savings) 
  • 2026-27: $2.6 million cap hit ($2.4 million savings) 
  • 2027-28: $1.5 million cap hit 
  • 2028-29: $1.5 million cap hit 
  • 2029-30: $1.5 million cap hit 

The 2024 NHL Draft

The Oilers don’t have their own first-, third-, fourth-, or seventh-round picks, but they’re slated to select six times in this summer’s draft.
The first-round pick was moved to the Anaheim Ducks for Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick ahead of this year’s trade deadline, a deal that also netted Edmonton a seventh-round pick. The third-round selection was moved to the Arizona Coyotes two off-seasons ago to unload Zack Kassian’s contract and the fourth-round pick was traded to the Nashville Predators as part of the return for Mattias Ekholm.
  • Round 1 – No. 31 overall traded to Anaheim Ducks (March 2024)
  • Round 2 – No. 64 overall 
  • Round 3 – No. 96 overall traded to Arizona Coyotes (July 2022) 
  • Round 4 – No. 128 overall traded to Nashville Predators (Feb 2023) 
  • Round 5 – No. 160 overall 
  • Round 6 – No. 183 overall acquired from Nashville Predators (Feb 2023)
  • Round 6 – No. 192 overall 
  • Round 7 – No. 196 overall acquired from Anaheim Ducks (March 2024) 
  • Round 7 – No. 218 overall acquired from Arizona Coyotes (March 2024) 
  • Round 7 – No. 224 overall traded to Montreal Canadiens (March 2022) 

A New General Manager

The five-year contract that Ken Holland signed with the Oilers in June of 2019 is set to expire at the end of the month. The Oilers will soon be in need of a new general manager, though it seems that the team’s front office will take a committee approach for the time being. It’s possible Holland will return to Edmonton on a short-term contract while the Oilers search for a long-term successor.
Back in February, Oilers CEO Jeff Jackson spoke about the collaborative approach that he, Holland, and others within the organization have taken to management and roster building.
“Ken Holland is the GM of the team. What I’ve found and what I’ve really liked since I joined is that we’re collaborative.
We talk multiple times every day. We throw ideas off each other. We throw ideas off of Kris Knoblauch and Bill (Scott) and Keith (Gretzky). The group is very good that way. We’re not sitting in our own offices trying to come up with scenarios and execute them ourselves. Ken’s a general manager.
Brad (Holland) is an assistant GM who’s the head of pro scouting. He’s got a big voice, too. The entirety of the group works on all these things at this point.”

Restricted Free Agents

Teams have until 5 p.m. ET on June 30 to issue qualifying offers to their restricted free agents. Those who don’t receive qualifying offers will become unrestricted free agents on July 1.
The Oilers have seven RFAs, highlighted by a pair of first-round draft picks who played very well for the team during their playoff run. Dylan Holloway and Philip Broberg have reached the end of their respective entry-level contracts and will likely sign bridge contracts this summer.
  • F – Dylan Holloway
  • D – Philip Broberg 
  • F – James Hamblin (Arbitration Eligible)
  • F – Raphael Lavoie (Arbitration Eligible)
  • F – Carter Savoie 
  • D – Noel Hoefenmayer (Arbitration Eligible)
  • G – Ryan Fanti

Unrestricted Free Agents

The Oilers have quite a few players who are eligible to hit the open market as unrestricted free agents on July 1.
Warren Foegele will be seeking a raise following the first 20-goal season of his career and Vincent Desharnais will also be looking to secure a multi-year deal during his first trip to free agency. The team’s entire third line of Adam Henrique, Connor Brown, and Mattias Janmark will be popular names this summer based on their play in the playoffs, while veterans Corey Perry and Sam Gagner have suggested they want to continue playing.
  • F – Connor Brown
  • F – Sam Carrick
  • F – Warren Foegele
  • F – Sam Gagner
  • F – Adam Henrique
  • F – Mattias Janmark
  • F – Corey Perry 
  • D – Vincent Desharnais 
  • D – Troy Stecher
  • G – Calvin Pickard
  • F – Adam Erne
  • F – Greg McKegg
  • D – Cam Dineen
  • D – Markus Niemelainen

Contract Extensions

One of the biggest stories in Edmonton this summer will be whether the Oilers are able to get a couple of star players signed to long-term contract extensions.
The eight-year, $68 million contract that Leon Draisaitl signed back in August of 2017 is set to expire following the 2024-25 season, so he’ll be eligible to sign an extension on July 1. The same is the case for Evan Bouchard, who just finished the first of a two-year bridge contract that he signed last summer.

Transaction Season

As of right now, the Oilers have roughly $78 million committed against the salary cap for the 2024-25 season with seven forwards, five defencemen, and two goaltenders under contract, along with James Neal’s buyout penalty and performance bonuses owed to multiple players. If Campbell is bought out, the Oilers will have about $14 million to work with before they reach the $88 million salary cap ceiling.
  • F – Connor McDavid ($12.5 million)
  • F – Leon Draisaitl ($8.5 million)
  • F – Zach Hyman ($5.5 million)
  • F – Evander Kane ($5.125 million)
  • F – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($5.125 million)
  • F – Ryan McLeod ($2.1 million)
  • F – Derek Ryan ($900k)
  • D – Darnell Nurse ($9.25 million)
  • D – Mattias Ekholm ($6 million)
  • D – Evan Bouchard ($3.9 million)
  • D – Cody Ceci ($3.25 million)
  • D – Brett Kulak ($2.75 million)
  • G – Jack Campbell ($5 million)
  • G – Stuart Skinner (2.6 million)
  • James Neal Buyout ($1,916,667)
  • Carryover Bonus Overages ($3.55 million) 
  • Total Cap Hit ($77,966,667)
  • Salary Cap Ceiling ($88 million) 

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