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2018-2019 NHL Preview: Edmonton Oilers

They will rebound from a rebound but not as far.

Edmonton Oilers v Ottawa Senators Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images

In this 31 part series, I will be working my way back from 31st to 1st in my projected 2017-2018 standings. Fifteenth up are the Edmonton Oilers (currently in their 39th year in the league) who had an electric 2016-2017 season (after missing the playoffs the previous 10 years) before falling from graces last year and finishing 6th in the Pacific.

2017 – 2018 NHL Stats:

NHL Standings: 23rd
Goals for Rank: 20th
Goals against Rank: 25th
PP Rank: 31st
PK Rank: 25th

Projected 2018-2019 NHL Stats

NHL Standings: 17th
Western Conference Standings: 9th
Pacific Division Standings: 5th
Coach: Todd McLelland (425-272-89 regular season; 37-38 playoffs)

Overview:

Talk about hero to zero. Connor McDavid had the world thinking they were the force to be reckoned with entering the start of last season and they were anything but. Cam Talbot going from a 2.39 GAA to 3.02 dropping from 42 wins to 31 had other plans as did the team going from a 9.52% shooting rate to a 8.35%. This team is average to below average on offense, they have strong power in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisatl but Jesse Puljujarvi and Ryan Strome have not materialized the way they hoped and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins continues to fall short of expectations. Their power play, which considering the lineup; should be a force to be scared of and instead they were worst in the league last year. It’s a team full of talented players who are underperforming. They traded Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson and thus far the New Jersey Devils won that trade seeing Hall win an MVP while Larsson had 13 points in 63 games last year. Oscar Klefbom has potential to be their star defender; however, beyond that Matt Benning, Darnell Nurse and Andrej Sekera are average to below average defensively. Cam will be asked to retain his 2016-2017 form if this team is expected to have any form of success in 2018. That plus a number of forwards doing more to contribute to the collective success; all of which sounds like a tall order to ensure each piece falls into place for them this year. I’m assuming some of it does and they fall just outside of the playoff bubble.

Major Additions:

Major Subtractions:

Marc Letestu,

Prospects and Picks:

-Kailer Yamamoto. He was brought up for a very brief stint playing 9 games with the Oilers and scoring 3 assists in the process. Outside of that he had 64 points in 40 games in the WHL with the Spokane Chiefs. He had 4 points in 7 games with Team USA at the WJC and he is adapting and improving his game at a rapid pace. He has a good chance to make the roster but there is another possibility the team wants to see him prove his worth in the AHL and then bring him up mid-season if he continues to show promise.

-Evan Bouchard. Thought by some to be a top 7 pick, he slipped to #10 where the Edmonton Oilers happily grabbed him. An offensively talented defensemen, he scored 87 points in 67 games including 25 goals with the London Knights last year also serving as the team captain. He is positionally sound and smart on the ice but it remains to be seen if his offense can translate at the NHL level.

Sleeper Fantasy Asset:

-Ty Rattie. Very early play shows a potential for the top line of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Connor McDavid and Ty Rattie. IF that happens, than Ty vaults up to a 50+ points per year player. If its someone else pick that guy. Essentially, much like Sidney Crosby, pick his line mates always.

Cap Situation:

$70MM Spent; $7M in Cap room; 19 players signed; average team age 26.

Poll

Connor McDavid scores the most points in the NHL again?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    Slam Dunk Yes
    (12 votes)
  • 20%
    Eh, maybe not
    (3 votes)
15 votes total Vote Now