Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – Edmonton Oilers
For the last 13 years (12 with The Hockey News) I have reviewed each team from a fantasy hockey standpoint, and graded them. My 14th annual review will appear here on DobberHockey throughout the summer. This is not a review of the likely performance on the ice or in the standings, but in the realm of fantasy hockey.
Gone – Adam Clendening, Taylor Hall, Rob Klinkhammer, Eric Gryba, Lauri Korpikoski, Nikita Nikitin
Incoming – Taylor Beck, Jonas Gustavsson, Milan Lucic, Adam Larsson, Drake Caggiula
Impact of changes – The biggest change heading into this season actually wasn’t listed above. It’s the fact that Connor McDavid is healthy. So, knock on wood, they potentially have him for 37 more games.
The second-biggest change heading into this season is also not listed above. And that’s the play of Cam Talbot in the second half. Flailing so badly in the first two months that he actually lost his job temporarily to Anders Nilsson, Talbot seized control in mid-December. After December 14 he played 43 games and was 18-19-4 with a 2.37 GAA and a 0.924 SV% (you can dig that up by clicking his name above and selecting dates using our handy Goalie Calculator tool).
So Edmonton now has a superstar and a quality goaltender. Now what? Well how about an experienced power forward and one of the better ones in the league? That’s what Lucic brings and his arrival gives the Oilers a huge physical, yet skilled, presence on three different lines with Patrick Maroon and Zach Kassian.
And finally, a right-handed shot on defense. How hard have the Oilers been looking for one of those? So desperate for one that they actually signed Nikitin to this big, obscene contract and hopes that he could improve their power-play. This time the skill level and pedigree is significantly better, as former fourth overall pick Larsson is now on board. A minute muncher, a defensive stalwart, and an underrated offensive gem, Larsson will change the dynamic of this team.
Although the loss of Hall is tough to swallow, especially given what they got back for him (Larsson), it is mitigated by the arrival of Jesse Puljujarvi. In fact, had they not drafted Puljujarvi (i.e. had he not ‘fallen into their lap’) I submit that the Oilers would not have traded Hall.
Ready for full-time – Puljujarvi had knee surgery late in the spring but will be fine for training camp and is expected to make the team. He is an all-around winger, resp