Edmonton Oilers Players In Review: Brandon Davidson


24 year old Brandon Davidson had himself a breakout season with the Edmonton Oilers in 2015/2016. Overcoming some pretty significant obstacles and bumps in the road, he finally managed to solidify a regular spot in the NHL after a few years of hard work in the minors. You have to respect a guy that triumphs over an unfortunate sickness like cancer in the midst of his young hockey career. I have nothing but admiration for the guy.

This season, Davidson appeared in 51 games for the Oil and tallied 11 points.

Davidson possesses great size for a defender at 6″2 210 lbs. He surprised many people this season showing off his ability to fire laser beams from the point on the power-play. I was also enamoured with his defensive ability. He was rock solid on the backend and was hands down one of the most, if not the most, consistent Oiler all season long.

His game is calm. He has an intriguing, well-balanced mix of offence and defence which makes him a solid two-way rearguard. Davidson can jump up in the play as well as maintain good positioning on the back check. He’s fast, mobile and very smart with the puck as well.

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Peter Chiarelli rewarded Davidson with a 2 year contract worth 1.4 million per year during the trade deadline this season. The deal is inexpensive and just the right amount of term.

As fate would have it, the hockey gods threw yet another curveball at Davidson towards the end of the season when he suffered an injury that would keep him out for the remaining games. Talk about bad luck as he was really taking his game to another level before the injury.

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Now, to tell you the truth, even though he’s starting a fresh new contract that kicks in next year, you have to wonder what exactly were going to see when Davidson returns next season. By no means was it his fault for getting injured at a pivotal point in his development, however it certainly slows things down for him and raises questions heading into next season. With a very crowded Oiler blue line, questions certainly come to light.

Can he overcome the injury and build off the steady progress he’s made with the club? Will the injury effect his training camp? Does new offseason additions affect his spot in the lineup?

The biggest concern I have is the fact that the Oilers have too many left handed defenseman already on the roster and with new players coming in through trades and signings this offseason, you have to wonder who Chiarelli plans to make room for.

Davidson is already competing with the likes of Darnell Nurse, Oscar Klefbom, Jordan Oesterle and Griffin Reinhart. All of which are lefted-handed. Not to mention Andrej Sekera is already comfortably integrated on the left side on the Oilers top pairing unit. That’s six d-men under contract next season that will be seeing lots of action. There isn’t a lot of room left, especially if Chiarelli plans to bring in a few new faces, which undoubtably he will.

Davidson has earned his keep but at the same time, the organization is going to have to decide who they value more and who they plan to go with moving forward for the long term. You simply cannot keep all of these left handed rearguards. All of these guys are regular NHLer’s or on the cusp of regular duty. It appears imminent that at least one or two of them will be shipped out. If Davidson happens to be the odd man out, he is sure to have some value on the trade market.

I have heard rumblings of a particular deal with the Chicago Blackhawks in which the Oilers send Davidson to the Windy City straight up for pending restricted free agent Andrew Shaw. This deal makes a lot of sense as Chicago will have a difficult time fitting Shaw into their budget. He’s due for a raise and the Hawks donot necessarily have enough cap room to bring him back, thus causing complications with contract negotiations.

It would make sense for the Oilers to pursue Shaw as he fits the competitive, gritty, skilled mold Chiarelli is looking for. Davidson would be a fair, affordable price to pay as the Hawks are getting a young defenseman trending upward. The Oilers can afford to lose Davidson if the right deal comes around that can fetch them a decent player like Shaw in return.

The Oilers have a useful asset in Davidson. It will be interesting to see how Chiarelli handles the situation as he has many options to consider. Will Davidson pick up where he left off this season come training camp? Or will he be packaged up in a big deal this summer? These questions will be answered soon enough. Let’s wait and see.