Edmonton Oilers: Pair of Former Players Return Home

Wow, free agency was wild yesterday. The Edmonton Oilers didn’t even have the biggest day, with Tavares leaving New York for Toronto. Edmonton, however, did have a very productive day revamping their bottom six.

The Edmonton Oilers landed Tobias Rieder, and I am shocked. I was 100% sure he was going elsewhere just from this tweet:

The Edmonton Oilers, however, have announced they have signed Rieder to a one year contract with a two year AAV. This is a massive boost to our middle six. I see Rieder starting off on the third line with Strome and Puljujujarvi and eventually maybe earning a spot in the top 6.

Rieder’s skill set should be very familiar to Oilers fans as he’s spent all of his career in the Pacific division. Rieder brings a lot to the table; he’s a great penalty killer, He’s fast, and can chip in offense.

Although he struggled last year, only notching 25 points, the two earlier seasons before that had him at 34 points in 16-17 and 37 points in 15-16. Here’s an example of how good Rieder is on the penalty kill (sorry!):

This also shows just how fast this guy is. He makes Nikitin look an AHL player (oh right) on that play as he blows right by him. This player will help our team immensely in the speed and skill department, and I’m excited to see him in the fall.

Kyle Brodziak

Kyle Brodziak first and foremost is a heart and soul guy. This guy is a mix of Mark Letestu and Matt Hendricks. Notching 33 points last season, Brodziak proves he still has offensive skills. Brodziak throughout his career is known as a warrior. He isn’t well known as a big fighter. However, he’s a physical, grinding center that punishes whoever he plays against.

A fixture on the penalty kill wherever he plays, expect him on Edmonton’s top penalty killing unit. At even strength Brodziak is going to be our fourth line center, this will help push Khaira to the wing where he can better succeed. This will help bring balance to our roster as Khaira, while a useful player, hasn’t thrived at center.

I believe this is a great signing for Edmonton on a two-year deal that pays him 1.1 million in Year 1 and 1.2 million in Year 2. He may have to spend a year in the AHL if he slows down considerably, but at that cap hit most of it gets buried. However, I do believe the chances of that are slim to none as Brodziak doesn’t strike me as the type of player that will drop off soon.

Wrap Up

The Edmonton Oilers made a couple of smart moves. Funny how time works, both of these players were originally drafted by Edmonton and now they find their way back. I’m excited for these two players as our biggest problem was lack of depth up front. These players can come in, and Rieder especially plays up and down the lineup.

Hopefully, these signings will return the Edmonton Oilers to the playoffs for next season.