Edmonton Oilers: Return of Caggiula, Draisaitl Should Spark Offence

EDMONTON, AB - OCTOBER 04: Connor McDavid. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB - OCTOBER 04: Connor McDavid. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

To kick off 2017-18, the Edmonton Oilers average two goals per game, which is the second-worst offensive production in the league. They also have just around 16 percent success on the power-play and a 2-5 record through their first seven games.

Still, that lack of goal-scoring can stem from a few injuries on their forward lines. Following their third game of the year, the Oilers have been without Drake Caggiula and Leon Draisaitl, both of who have a huge impact on the forecheck.

Thankfully for Edmonton, doctors have cleared Caggiula and Draisaitl to play, so the team activated both of them off the injured reserve, and both of them will return Tuesday against Pittsburgh. The Oilers have also reassigned Brad Malone to the Condors in wake of both of them drawing back into the lineup.

Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers /

Edmonton Oilers

Firepower on Offence

Obviously, Draisaitl is one of the team’s most important forwards. Not only did he help make up half of the NHL’s deadliest duo (along with Connor McDavid) with 29 goals and 77 points last season, but he has three points in the three games he’s suited up for this year. Also, Draisaitl is coming off an eight-year, $64 million extension he signed in the offseason, so he appears poised to take centre stage and play a bigger role offensively this year.

While he does well alongside McDavid and Patrick Maroon on the first line, his team-leading six goals and 16 points through 13 playoff games last season shows that he can carry his own line as a centre. He will draw back in on the third line tonight, suiting up alongside Caggiula and Mark Letestu. With his great vision and playmaking ability, as well as his underrated shot and unwavering effort shift after shift, he will certainly add a spark to the Oilers’ forecheck.

Caggiula had a strong showing in his rookie year, showing plenty of progression as time went on. He finished with seven goals and 18 points on the year but got time on the top six in the postseason, where he’d score three goals in 13 games. And as he looks forward to drawing back in, he also looks to contribute more on offence and fight for a spot on the top six. In just his two games to start the year, the 23-year-old has been held scoreless, but does have a lot of offesnive acumen to offer.

Next: Edmonton Oilers: Don't Panic Yet

Overall, with both of these highly-skilled forwards drawing back in, the Oilers should see improvement in their numbers. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need more from their bottom-six and other scorers.