Welcome to the 2020-21 season review and 2021-22 season preview player-by-player! In this, and other articles, I’ll be, well, reviewing the Edmonton Oilers 2020-21 season and previewing the 2021-22 season. You can read about the analytics behind my analysis here.
A taxi squad staple last year, I’m fairly surprised Tyler Ennis didn’t get more playing time.
Yes, he drew into the lineup scoring three goals and nine points in 30 games, but I think he’s a good enough player to have held an everyday spot in the Oilers lineup. His underlying numbers last season weren’t tremendous, but he still provided solid value to the club.
With him on the ice at 5×5, the Oilers controlled 45.89 percent of the shot attempts, 52.17 percent of the goals and 47.87 percent of the expected goals while posting an inflated 102 PDO. That, however, was due to some higher than average goaltending when has on the ice.
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According to hockeyviz.com, at even-strength this year Ennis provided offensive value at a seven percent rate above league average and defence at a three percent rate below league average.
His offensive production at 5×5 was very good. He scored 1.54 points per hour last season, good enough for fourth among all Oilers forwards. It’s a rate that firmly places him as a middle-six scorer. Maybe it speaks more to the lack of scoring depth up and down the Oilers lineup, but I think it also speaks to Ennis’ offensive abilities.
This 1.54 5×5 P/60 mark was his lowest since a down 2016-17 campaign with Minnesota. In 2017-18, he scored 1.31. 2018-19 he scored 1.85. 2019-20 he scored 1.9.
So the offensive output was there, and that’s probably the biggest reason why I was surprised how little the Oilers utilized him among a forward group that, outside of the big guns, really struggled to score at 5×5.
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Edmonton invested a fifth-round pick to acquire him and gave him a modest one-year, $1-million extension to play last year and now, they appear to be ready to walk away from him. Ennis hit free agency this year and hasn’t found a home as of this article being written (Aug. 8).
He’s a player that the Oilers could consider bringing back on a cheap deal for next season.

ENNIS’ NHL CAREER SO FAR

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPtsPIM+/-PGPGAPtsPIM
2009-10
Buffalo Sabres
NHL
10
3
6
9
6
1
6
1
3
4
0
2010-11
Buffalo Sabres
NHL
82
20
29
49
30
0
7
2
2
4
4
2011-12
Buffalo Sabres
NHL
48
15
19
34
14
11
2012-13
Langnau Tigers
Swiss-A
9
3
5
8
0
-5
2012-13
Buffalo Sabres
NHL
47
10
21
31
16
-14
2013-14
Buffalo Sabres
NHL
80
21
22
43
42
-25
2014-15
Buffalo Sabres
NHL
78
20
26
46
37
-19
2015-16
Buffalo Sabres
NHL
23
3
8
11
11
-9
2016-17
Buffalo Sabres
NHL
51
5
8
13
12
-10
2017-18
Minnesota Wild
NHL
73
8
14
22
12
-1
1
0
0
0
0
2018-19
Toronto Maple Leafs
NHL
51
12
6
18
2
-6
5
0
2
2
2
2019-20
Ottawa Senators
NHL
61
14
19
33
16
-5
2019-20
Edmonton Oilers
NHL
9
2
2
4
4
-1
3
1
1
2
4
2020-21
Edmonton Oilers
NHL
30
3
6
9
6
0
2
0
0
0
0
NHL Totals
643
136
186
322
208
24
4
8
12
10

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]