A Way Too Early Look Into The Oilers Offseason

Edmonton Oilers Evander Kane #91 Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Edmonton Oilers Evander Kane #91 Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports /

With the recent news of the salary cap increase to $82.5 million for the 2022/23 season, I couldn’t help but look ahead at what could be an action packed offseason for the Oilers. With the current state of the team, here is how I personally would handle the offseason.

Coaching Vacancy

For me the first order of business in the offseason is locking up Jay Woodcroft. He has really rallied up the team, despite some defensive struggles which could be a bi-product of the lessened amount of practice time this year as a result of re-scheduled games. The Oilers are 16-8-3 with Woodcroft behind the bench, including the teams 9 game home winning streak which is tied for longest in franchise history (2016/17). Although the Oilers will interview other options, Woodcroft still remains my top option.

Restricted Free Agents

The Oilers have a few RFA’s to resign this offseason, here is who I would bring back:

Ryan Mcleod (2 years, $1.25 million AAV)

In his first full season with the Oilers Mcleod has tallied 18 points in his 58 games played, gaining confidence as the season has progressed. Mcleod has rightfully earned an NHL spot this season and coming off making $834,167, he is due for a raise this offseason.

Kailer Yamamoto (2 Years, $3 million AAV)

With Yamamoto on pace for his first 20 goal season of his career, the 5’8″ winger who brings an element of speed and occasionally physicality should get an extension with the oilers. Although struggling for stretches this year Yamamoto has seemingly returned to his previous scoring pace.

Jesse Puljujarvi (2 Years, $3 million AAV)

The “Bison King” as he’s become known has had an explosive return to North American hockey since his polarizing return to Finland for the 2019/20 season. Puljujarvi’s big 6’4″ frame has created havoc for other teams defensemen with his relentless forecheck and offensive finishing ability.

Unrestricted Free Agents

The Oilers don’t need to make a huge splash in this years UFA market, but there are a few cheaper options to help fill some holes in the roster:

Evander Kane (5 years, $5 million AAV)

There is no doubting that Kane has had a substantial impact on the Oilers this season. Kane is the winger the Oilers have been trying to find Connor McDavid since he entered the league, A physical presence who can put the puck in the net all while keeping up with the speed of McDavid. Producing at nearly a point per game pace the Oilers must make resigning Kane their top priority.

Derick Brassard (1 year, $1 million AAV)

Despite my skepticism at first, Derick Brassard has been a fantastic addition to the Oilers lineup. His 2 goals in 5 games since joining the club at the trade deadline has been a pleasant surprise alongside his physical presence, making a very noticeable impact to the team.

Brett Kulak (2 years, $2 million AAV)

Kulak has looked like one of the Oilers top defensemen since coming over from Montreal at the trade deadline. The smooth skating 28 year old has logged 17:29 minutes a night while remaining a plus player alongside Tyson Barrie, who also has seen improvements defensively.

Justin Braun (2 years, $2 million AAV)

Coming off being at 20+ minute player on the Philadelphia Flyers, Braun has remained a plus player on what was a struggling flyers club. Braun brings a much needed shutdown presence to an Oilers D that needs a defensive presence on its right side.

Ville Husso (3 years, $2.5 million AAV)

Husso has had a fantastic season with the St.Louis Blues, posting a .923 save percentage most recently stopping 25 of 27 in relief against the Oilers, allowing the Blues to come back in the game. In what has become a crowded crease in St.Louis, I can see the team sticking with the more established Jordan Binnington and letting the 27 year old Fin walk this offseason.

Other than that I would let Koskinen, Turris, Archibald, and Russell walk.

Oil On Whyte
Oil On Whyte /

Want your voice heard? Join the Oil On Whyte team!

Write for us!


In order to afford all the new contracts, the Oilers are going to have to move out some money. Here are a few trades I would make to make that happen:

Despite Barries recent good play, the oilers have a redundancy on their right side defence, with both Barrie and Evan Bouchard being high offensive contributors while lacking a lot defensively. Contract wise Bouchard is still on his Entry-Level deal and in my opinion has a higher ceiling than Barrie.

Despite Foegele’s production this season the emergence of Dylan Holloway likely pushes him out of the lineup. As for Kassian he has been rather disappointing this season, often shying away from the physical game that endeared him to many Oilers fans. Austin Watson brings a strong 6’4″ frame to the oilers 4th line at a much cheaper price tag to Kassian.

The Oiler have to move on from the $5.5 million of Keith’s contract, but his no trade clause makes that difficult. With his son living in British Columbia, that limits things further. The Kraken are the best suited team to take on his contract, and take Samorukov as a sweetener.

Mike Smith

The last question I encountered was what to do with Mike Smith. For me the Oilers tell smith he wont crack the lineup due to his inconsistent play. He likely gets the choice of Retirement, a trade, or to be placed on long term injured reserve with his nagging knee injury.

Oilers Lineup and Cap Situation

With all that the oilers would sit at around $75.8 million of the $82.5 million in cap space leaving them with $6.7 of freedom to fill holes as needed (With Klefbom and Smith on LTIR). In my head the lines would shake out as follows:










Next. Ryan Fanti: The Domino Effect. dark