Today we start a new series focusing on where each Canadian team is headed in the long term. I’ll begin with my favorite team, the Edmonton Oilers.
The Edmonton Oilers this season have passed expectations currently sitting at 70 points. Much of this success has been on the backs of NHL point leading Connor Mcdavid and all-star caliber goalie Cam Talbot. This team boasts some young offensive talent in players such as Mcdavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, Klefbom, Larsson, and Nurse. All of these players have contributed to the Oilers massive improvement. This young talent is insulated by veterans Lucic, Sekera, Maroon, Kassian, Talbot, and Letestu. This team is trending in the right direction and the only way left for them to go is up.
Compared to their abysmal numbers in 2015-2016 this year the Oilers have proven they are a more stable team. They are capable of playing with the bigger teams and longer fold under pressure. Some of the stats in 2015-16 as compared to this year are painful to look at. Their appalling -43 goal differential as compared to this year’s +21 differential (according to https://www.sportingcharts.com) is a great example. Now however Edmonton boasts strong numbers and are way more effective. They rank in the top 15 in categories such as goals per game, goals against per game, power play and penalty kill efficiency, and team shooting percentage.
The only direction Edmonton can go is up, with the strong team that Gm Peter Chiarelli has designed along with excellent coaching from Todd McLellan. This team is primed to become a playoff and eventual Stanley Cup contender. Look for the Edmonton Oilers to challenge for and potentially win a Stanley Cup in the next 3-5 years.
Do you agree with my assessment? Post your responses in the comments below.