Mattias Ekholm Is Going To Change The Edmonton Oilers This Season

Edmonton Oilers Stuart Skinner and Mattias Ekholm Celebrate Win. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Edmonton Oilers Stuart Skinner and Mattias Ekholm Celebrate Win. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports /

No offence to Tyson Barrie, but Mattias Ekholm is most definitely an improvement on him. Having a full season of Mattias Ekholm is definitely going to have a positive effect on the Edmonton Oilers both in the regular season and the playoffs.

Mattias Ekholm was acquired by the Edmonton Oilers for Tyson Barrie, Reid Schaefer and this year’s first-round pick. on February 28th. This move made the Edmonton Oilers defence a lot stronger defensively, without really affecting the offence of it.

The offence wasn’t affected because Evan Bouchard was able to slide almost seamlessly into the first powerplay role. This was noticeable in the playoffs where even though the Edmonton Oilers were eliminated in the first round Bouchard still had the most points by a defenceman in the playoffs.

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Edmonton Oilers Defensive Game Should Be Better This Season With Mattias Ekholm

We can all agree that the Edmonton Oilers defence is their weak point. It has been for a few years now. Yes, they had Mattias Ekholm for the end of last season so we should have seen a slight increase when that happened.

It takes time for a player to become comfortable and knowledgeable in a system. This year Ekholm will have the whole offseason and preseason to prep and learn what the Edmonton Oilers coaching staff wants him to do.

Unless there is some sort of unseen move by Ken Holland the defensive players will be the exact same as it was in the playoffs last year. Going a whole season will give them lots of time to learn from each other and gain chemistry.

Oilers Need To Give Them Time

Gaining this chemistry main takes a little time at the start of the season. There is a chance that there are going to be some mistakes made by the blue line. One thing the coaching staff can’t do is make knee-jerk moves.

Give the players a chance to redeem themselves. If you punish a player after making one mistake it will likely only make things worse. The players will be nervous and then they will play nervously. You don’t want a defenseman that will only just go glass and out cause he is worried about an error.

This is where I think Mattias Ekholm will help. He brings a calming presence to this lineup. He is a large player, who can skate and move the puck well. If there is one thing you can take away from the past Stanley Cup winners is they have a large mobile defence and in my opinion, the Edmonton Oilers now have that.