Insider Reveals Possible Contract Details On Oilers Defenceman

Published May 16, 2023 at 1:23 PM

The Edmonton Oilers had their season end at the hands of the Vegas Golden Knights after a 5-2 loss in Game 6 of their second round series.

With the season over now management is tasked with trying to improve the roster. Edmonton has $5,970,000 in projected cap space next season with a few players on expiring contracts. Pending RFA blueliner Evan Bouchard is projected to take up a good chunk of that on his next deal. The question is will it be a bridge deal or a long-term contract?

Bouchard's sophomore season in the NHL started off rough. In his first 31 games he had 3 goals and 14 points but was an ugly -12 rating.

The turning point came when Ken Holland traded Tyson Barrie and acquired Mattias Ekholm from the Nashville Predators. The move allowed Bouchard to now play on a historic powerplay, which he would quarterback, and play with a veteran defenceman in Ekholm. Bouchard already had success in the past playing with a veteran in Duncan Keith last season and the idea has worked again.

Since the trade Bouchard finished the season with 18 points in 20 games, and saw his ice time rise to almost 22 minutes a night.

Insider Frank Seravalli suggests the Oilers cap situation will force their hand into giving Evan Bouchard a bridge deal, instead of a long-term deal.

Although, it is believed Bouchard is willing to take a pay cut to remain in Edmonton long-term.

«I don't see a path as currently constituted for a long-term deal. I think they (Edmonton) are thinking and hoping to bridge. If it gets to the point where is not willing to sign a bridge and only wants long-term then it is not out of the realm of possibility that he (Evan Bouchard) gets traded this summer. I don't think it is something the Oilers want to do; however, they are dealing with a tight salary cap. There was an avenue to extend him over the summer to a bridge deal. He (Bouchard) bet on himself by waiting to see how the year played out. Now moving forward, I think you bet on yourself and pocket whatever the number turns out to be 2 years x $3.5 million, 2 years x $4.5 million. You put that in your pocket and then work for that $8 million deal after that.»

There is no doubt Edmonton has a good player in Bouchard. With Bouchard, Darnell Nurse, and Ekholm, Edmonton has a solid group of defenceman to build from. The Oilers lost their series against Vegas because they weren't the better team at 5 on 5. Edmonton has the two of the best players in the world in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and their top six is very solid. The Oilers will need to get more scoring depth out of the bottom of the lineup if they want to get to the next level.
May 16   |   277 answers
Insider Reveals Possible Contract Details On Oilers Defenceman

What type of contract does Evan Bouchard sign in Edmonton this summer?

Two year contract6724.2 %
Three year contract9835.4 %
Long-term contract7727.8 %
Traded3512.6 %
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