The Edmonton Oilers Plan For The Trade Deadline

Edmonton Oilers General Manager, Ken Holland (Photo by Dave Reginek - Pool/Getty Images)
Edmonton Oilers General Manager, Ken Holland (Photo by Dave Reginek - Pool/Getty Images) /
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Speaking of Raphael Lavoie, he’s a guy who’s worth taking a second look at.

The term “NHL ready” is being thrown around on the 22-year-old prospect RWer and his timing couldn’t be better as this is where the Oilers are currently weakest in terms of their depth. Lavoie struggled with injuries at the beginning of the season, but since coming back has been on a tear – he’s currently second on the Condors in scoring with 12 goals and 23 points with a +5 to boot in a mere 33 games. He was the second-round pick in 2019 (Ken Holland’s first draft with the Oilers) and the lightbulb appears to have come on with him. FYI, only one of those goals is on the PP, so most of his scoring is done at even stregnth which is fantastic.

He was technically called up earlier this season but didn’t get into a game. Once the Oilers clinch a playoff spot with home-ice advantage don’t be surprised if the player gets called up and put into a few games to see what he can do and then subsequently put on the injury taxi squad for the playoffs.

As previously mentioned he’s coming on at the right time, right when right winger Jesse Puljujarvi appears to be off the team for good sooner rather than later.

Lavoie is currently on a two-way contract worth $870,000 which expires after this season when he’s an RFA. Expect a similar number on his next contract when he might even be a full-time NHLer.

The Oilers currently have five players with two-way contracts playing in the big leagues – forward Dylan Holloway, blueliners Evan Bouchard, Philip Broberg, Vincent Desharnais, and goalie Stuart Skinner. Of those five, Skinner has already been signed to an extension but expects extensions for the rest of them too.

Don’t be surprised if Lavoie soon joins them here in Edmonton.

The other aforementioned guy is Xavier Bourgault. The 20-year-old right shooting center was drafted in the first round in 2021 and has only been on Bakersfield for this season but was also pushing for a roster spot on the big club already last training camp – IIRC he was one of the last cuts sent down to Bakersfield. That means if he’s been focusing on development he’s bound to make even more noise at next season’s training camp.

Bourgault, in fact, is right behind Lavoie in scoring in Bakersfield (I already posted the link so just take a second look) with 10 goals and 21 points in 44 games and a +3 to boot, a great thing for a rookie pro. However, it’s important to note that Bourgault has had four goals on the PP (a team high) and two shorthanded ones as well (also a team lead) so he has been aided by special teams to an extent. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Oilers sent him back down to Bako after training camp next season to work on even-strength scoring, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the Oilers out of camp either.

Could the Oilers give both players a callup before the end of the season if the team is in the right spot? It’s entirely possible.

Something to keep an eye on. Bourgault is currently in the first year of his ELC at the standard rate of $925K for this season and the next two. Also, don’t be surprised if Bourgault gets put on the playoff taxi squad too.