Alex Chiasson did not have a very good start to the season. In the first 20 games the Oilers played this year, he had five points coming off a season that saw him score 38 points in 73 games.
His shooting average was terrible at the start of the year and there was a sense of deflation in his game. Edmonton had given him a two-year, $2.15-million the prior offseason.
But Chiasson turned his season around. In the final 45 games of the year, he scored 10 goals and nine assists as his shooting percentage rebounded to near his career average.
All in all, he totally 24 points in 65 games this year. It paces him to 30 points over a full 82 game year.
Chiasson has been a strong player for the Oilers and his underlying numbers provide that. His even-strength underlying numbers are considered average (50.24 CF%, 52.38 xGF%), but they get a significant bump considering all situations (57.02 CF%, 60.39 xGF%).
He found a home playing alongside James Neal this year and the two are a strong pair and that’s something I would expect to see when the Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks square off on August 1st.
I imagine him making up a third of the Oilers fourth-line alongside Neal and a TBA centre. There’s a number of players the Oilers have competing for that fourth-line centre spot, so it will be interesting who has the best camp.
Chiasson will be relied upon for his solid two-way play like he was earlier this year. The Oilers will really need their secondary scoring to chip in lots if they have any hopes of making a run in the playoffs.
On Twitter: @zjlaing