After dealing away Nail Yakupov to free up cap space, the Oilers made another move, signing Kris Russell to a one year deal worth 3.1 million. This move brings in another NHL caliber defenseman, which contrary to Oilers teams past, gives us positional depth. The one wrinkle of course being he’s another left shot making our D-corps potentially look like this:
What Russell Brings
As the chart shows Russell show’s up as a solid 4-5 defense man who’s decent at a lot of things, but doesn’t really excel at any. He, to me is an improvement over Fayne as he has more mobility better passing skills and can block shots like no one else in the league, as evident by his number one rank in the category. Last season in 62 games he had 15 goals and 19 assists, which is very decent production for a middle/bottom pairing defenseman. All in all Russell helps shore up our D-corps and is a definite upgrade over Mark Fayne on the bottom pairing, even if we end up dressing five left shot D men.