Peter Chiarelli signed Brandon Davidson to a two-year extension this morning worth $1.425 million/year. Based on Davidson’s play it is an incredible value signing.
Davidson has been the Oilers most consistent defender all season.
Davidson has 5-6-11 and is a team-best +6 in 47 games. Since Oscar Klefbom went down with injury, Davidson’s minutes have increased, but his play hasn’t dropped. One could argue he’s played better since getting more responsibility.
It is a refreshing change to see the Oilers have a defenceman who will play above his pay scale. During the Decade of Darkness we’ve see far too many defenders underachieve. Regardless of what they were paid, too many simply did not perform well.
 I won’t list the names of D-men the previous regime signed at prices they could never live up to and put you through the horror of re-visiting them. But it seems possible the Oilers are done with paying players who can’t live up to their contracts. I sure hope so.
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When the Oilers signed Oscar Klefbom to a seven year extension worth $4.16 million/year I thought it was a very good signing. I still do. Klefbom is an excellent defender, and the only concern with him is can he play a full season.
You can’t train to prevent broken hands or a staph infection, so I’m not saying he is injury-prone, just pointing out that in junior, the AHL and in the NHL he has only had one year where he played 90% of the games. For his sake I hope his string of bad luck is over.
Klefbom will be 23 when his seven-year deal begins, and I’ll be surprised if he isn’t considered a great value through the entire term.
Davidson’s extension is outstanding value based on his play and how much faith Todd McLellan and Jim Johnson have in him.
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I took a look at Davidson’s first 60 NHL games (59 to be exact) and compared them to Klefbom’s. **I’m not saying Klefbom is overpaid, I’m trying to illustrate why Davidson is such a bargain.**
Klefbom first 60 games: 3-12-15 and -27
Davidson first 59 games: 5-6-11 and +1
Klefbom averaged about four minutes more TOI per game.
At EV, Davidson was paired the most with Eric Gryba, 283 minutes, Justin Schultz for 138, Keith Aulie 80, Oscar Klefbom 77 and Sekera 72.
Klefbom played mainly with Schultz, 65% of his is EV minutes, and Fayne was next at 16%.
Klefbom was younger and had to play mainly with a defender who was struggling. I believe Klefbom earned his extension, but after 60 games played Davidson is trending closely to the play of Klefbom, yet Chiarelli was able to sign him to a very cap-friendly salary of $1.425 million.
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With the Oilers potentially having rookie “overages” issues the next few seasons, having a value contract among your top-four defenders is huge.
At this point I’d rank Davidson ahead of Darnell Nurse, which is great, because it means the Oilers can protect Nurse next season and let him get comfortable as a third pairing defender.
The most attractive aspect of Davidson’s game is even while the team struggled the past month, his individual play did not wane. His confidence didn’t dip, and one could argue it grew despite the struggles around him. He’s proven he is mentally strong, and during the next two seasons it will be difficult to find a better “bang for your buck” on the Oilers than Davidson.

QUICK HITS..

  • The Oilers also signed Laurent Brossoit to a two-year extension. It is a one-way deal meaning he’ll be paid NHL money whether he is in the NHL or the AHL. His cap hit is $750,000 and he’ll make $650,000 next season and $850,000 in 2017/2018. This is another solid signing, and I’m curious to see what the Oilers do with Brossoit next year. He doesn’t need waivers next year, so he could still start in Bakersfield if they believe that is better for his development than playing 20-25 games in the NHL.
  • Jordan Oesterle and Jujhar Khaira were re-assigned to Bakersfield today and both will be eligible for the AHL playoffs. It is interesting that they haven’t placed Brossoit on waivers yet. It would be odd if he wasn’t re-assigned, just for one day, so the could be eligible for the post season.
  • As I wrote last night, I expected the Oilers to put in some waiver claims and they did. The Oilers have claimed forward Adam Cracknell and  defender Adam Pardy on waivers.
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