Another early signing, Holland brings in Markus Granlund as a depth winger for a team that needs offense.
The Edmonton Oilers issue last season was not their top end offense. Draisaitl, McDavid, and Nugent Hopkins all had career years last season and it still wasn’t enough to make the post-season. Edmonton needs more forward depth and Ken Holland is hoping that Markus Granlund can offer that.
Markus Granlund Signs One Year Deal At 1.3 Million
The 26 year old Granlund has spent the last four seasons with the Vancouver Canucks. Granlund is a solid checker and has been utilized frequently by the Canucks as a penalty killer, an area that the Oilers needed to address. Granlund has 12 goals last season.
In his first full season with the Canucks (he was traded for in 2015 from the Flames in exchange for Hunter Shinkaruk) Granlund scored 19 goals in 69 games, shooting at a high 15.6 S%. His numbers have fallen back down to earth since then and has seen his ice-time lower consistently over the past two seasons. Last season the winger averaged just over 15 minutes a game.
Edmonton needs a third line centre still but Granlund is likely not going to be that player. While Granlund has played centre (he took 348 faceoffs last season winning 42.8%) he has been most effective as a left winger.
Granlund effectively is a replacement for Tobias Reider, and unless the hockey gods truly hate Edmonton, Granlund should offer more offense. Look for Granlund to be competing with the likes of Jujhar Khaira, Joakim Nygard, and possibily Tyler Benson for the third line left winger role.
This isn’t the big signing that Oilers fans were expecting when the team freed up an additional 3 million in cap space when they bought out Andrej Sekera but Holland has still been able to address a team need at a fairly reasonable cap hit and term.