Edmonton Oilers: Looking at expiring contracts – UFA edition

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #93, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #93, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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Tyler Ennis #63, Edmonton Oilers
Tyler Ennis #63, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

C/LW/RW Tyler Ennis, expiring contract $1,000,000

After Ennis came here from Ottawa at the trade deadline in 2020 for this year’s fifth rounder, he put up two goals and four points in nine games, and Holland re-signed him for one more year at the same rate.
This year was Ennis’s first full year with the Oilers, and although he got off to a good start 2 seasons ago in short sample size, his play dropped off a bit from what we were expecting. Not that you expect a bottom 6 forward to score at almost a 50% rate anyway, but a 25-30% rate shouldn’t be out of the question.

He wilted a little more against deeper bottom six depth which is disappointing. He was in and out of the lineup and on the taxi squad for stretches last season. He only ended up playing 30 of the 56 games in the bottom six this season. He posted rather pedestrian numbers for the Oilers last season, going 3-6-9 in those 30 games.

He does bring some physical play to the table, 10th on the team in hits last season with 43. He doesn’t play much on special teams for the Oilers.

He does have some defensive chops in the bottom six, finishing even on the season. He played on both the 3rd and 4th lines when he was in the lineup, even getting a game or two in the top six to fill in for injuries. Being able to play all three forward positions helps too.

However, he was just as vanilla in the playoffs as he was in the regular season, playing only two of the four playoff games and producing no offence. This is a step down from the play-in series with Chicago 2 seasons ago, in which he played three games and was 1-1-2 in those three games.

That in and of itself might be enough to bump him off the roster. He was a fairly vanilla bottom six type and those are easily replaceable from year to year.
Chances he’s re-signed – 40%. If Ennis comes back it’s because he’s decent defensively and at 31 years old can still contribute. He’s played in the NHL for 13 seasons and 643 games. Is that enough to bring him back? Hard to say. I could see Ennis coming back as an extra guy for next year, but IMO not as a regular to the lineup.

Predicted contract – one year, $1,000,000. Same as last year.