Edmonton Oilers: Ranking Players Trending Up So Far This Season

EDMONTON, AB - DECEMBER 18: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates during the game against the St. Louis Blues on December 18, 2018 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB - DECEMBER 18: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates during the game against the St. Louis Blues on December 18, 2018 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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EDMONTON, AB – DECEMBER 22: Adam Larsson #6 of the Edmonton Oilers warms up prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 22, 2018 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Sixth Player Trending Up

6.  Adam Larsson

Larsson has been quietly having a very good season and adding an element of a secondary offense to his game.  It started in his World Championship time with Team Sweden last year, and that part of his game seems to have translated over to the Oilers to some extent.

He’s currently 1-10-11 in 39 games.  Not exactly setting the league on fire, but still good secondary contribution – which projects out to 2-22-24 on the season, good enough for the 2nd best boxcars of his career regarding points.  Although on the surface he’s taken a step back defensively, it’s important to remember that the Oilers have had injury issues this season as well, so the team surrounding Larsson is not exactly up to their best – it’s obvious he misses his partner Klefbom.  Expect his current -7 to rebound as other regulars come back from injury to help stop the bleeding.

Want more evidence Larsson is a great player?  Take a look at the EV ice time for the league right now:  http://www.nhl.com/stats/player?report=timeonice&reportType=season&seasonFrom=20182019&seasonTo=20182019&gameType=2&filter=gamesPlayed,gte,1&sort=evTimeOnIcePerGame

There is only one defensive d-man in the top 10 in league EV ice time – Larsson, at #9.

And remember this is through 2 coaches this season, so Larsson’s skillset has impressed both McLellan and Hitchcock, which not every player can do.

Say what you want about the Taylor Hall trade, but Larsson was a great candidate to get back from Jersey, and he was just what the doctor ordered at the time – a minute-munching stay at home guy to pair with a puck-moving countryman.  He still is.  The fact that the team blew an opportunity to get a sweetener back from Jersey is Peter Chiarelli‘s fault, not his.

Maybe the only knock against Larsson is he’s currently shooting at only 1.9%.  He’ll probably set a new career high if he can get back to his career average of 3.6%.