The Edmonton Oilers Should Be Concerned About A Bouchard Offer Sheet

Stuart Skinner and Evan Bouchard. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Stuart Skinner and Evan Bouchard. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

The NHL’s offseason is in full swing right now. Today is the first day that the Edmonton Oilers and other NHL teams can buy out players, along with news of teams not qualifying RFAs. Before you know it the NHL draft will be here and so will free agency. The Edmonton Oilers still need to re-sign a few players including Evan Bouchard in that time.

One thing that comes with the RFA and UFA season is offer sheets. An offer sheet is when an opposing team makes an offer to one of your RFA’s and the RFA signs it. The main difference between this and a UFA offer is that the team that owns the player can match the offer.

If the team decides not to match the offer sheet they are compensated by getting draft picks from the team to present the offer sheet. The round and amount compensated are directly related to the AVV of the deal. The signing amount and compensation are listed below.

$1 – $1,415,740

No Compensation

$1,415,741- $2,145,061

1 Third-Round Pick

$2,145,062- $4,290,125

1 Second-Round Pick

$4,290,126 – $6,435,186

1 First-Round Pick
1 Third-Round Pick

$6,435,187 – $8,580,250

1 First-Round Pick
1 Second-Round Pick
1 Third-Round Pick

$8,580,251 – $10,725,314

2 First-Round Picks
1 Second-Round Pick
1 Third-Round Pick

$10,725,315 – ∞

4 First-Round Picks

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Why Is An Evan Bouchard Offer Sheet An Issue For The Edmonton Oilers?

The Edmonton Oilers have three players that could be presented with an offer sheet. Klim Kostin, Ryan McLeod and Evan Bouchard. Of those three I really think the only player that other teams may come and sign is Evan Bouchard.

Evan Bouchard is coming out of his entry-level deal. A deal where his cap hit was $863,333. Last season he put up 40 points in 82 regular season games and added an additional 17 points in 12 playoff games.

Those numbers are only going to increase I think. With the trading away of Tyson Barrie last season, Bouchard moved into the powerplay quarterback. A powerplay that was the best in NHL history I might add.

The Edmonton Oilers are likely going to sign him to a bridge deal in order to keep the cap hit down. Other teams in the league may look at offering him more per year over a longer term. This is the reason why I would be wary of an offer sheet if I was the Edmonton Oilers.

The Edmonton Oilers are short in the cap space department meaning they can only really afford Bouchard up to a certain point before they need to make more roster moves. If a team was to offer Bouchard north of $5 million per year for 5 years the Oilers would have trouble making that fit in their cap.

Weighing The Compensation?

If Bouchard does get an offer sheet for around $5 million I assume the Edmonton Oilers would match it. The issue would be, where can they get the cap space to fit the great of the UFAs and RFAs in?

Would it be less stressful and better in the end game if the Edmonton Oilers took the first and third-round picks for Bouchard? They could use that cap space to sign a different player, and either use the picks at the draft or trade them for a good player.

It would be a tough call for Ken Holland and his team to make, but I would still assume they would like to keep Bouchard on this team as he is young and showed a lot of potential last season. He still has a few rough edges in his game, but he is only 23 years old.