Edmonton Oilers winger Jujhar Khaira is a standout player and one of their top AHLers ready to make the jump to the NHL. However, with Edmonton’s depth on the forward lines, he will have to work harder for a spot on the opening night roster.
The 22-year-old had eight goals and 20 points through 27 games with the Condors this season, which are solid numbers but nothing notable. Because of his hard work and skill, Khaira earned a call-up to the big club, but only registered a lone goal through 10 games.
Though he didn’t put up much on the board, Khaira brought a lot to the bottom-six. The 6-foot-4, 219-pound winger recorded 20 hits and added a lot of physicality and also helped ignite offence on the bottom-six.
Because of his frame and ability, Khaira is hard to knock off the puck, and is great at maintaining possession and getting the puck up ice. Because of this, he helped create a lot of scoring chances offensively. In addition, he was solid on the backcheck, as he could win battles for the puck and keep the play away from the opposition.
Though he’s a solid, two-way forward, Khaira has yet to put up totals that would help him crack the NHL roster. Edmonton also has notable depth on the left wing, making it harder for him to make the jump.
If Khaira shines in the preseason and outplays Anton Slepyshev, it could very well be possible that he ends up staying in Edmonton. However, given Slepyshev’s experience, as well as his strong playoff performance and end to the year, he will likely continue to display his skill and confidence and make the team over Khaira.
Overall, the British Columbia native is well on his way to the NHL, but he will have to improve his all-around edge and add more offence if he wants to make the Oilers roster. Still, more depth and top-six minutes at the AHL level will only help his development.