What Are The Next Steps For The Edmonton Oilers This Offseason?

Edmonton Oilers Celebrate Goal. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Edmonton Oilers Celebrate Goal. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

Now that we are a few days out from the NHL draft and free agency period let us take a look at what the next steps are for the Edmonton Oilers. There are obviously lots of things that need to happen from now to the opening night puck drop. I am only going to name a few of the major ones.

Re-Sign Evan Bouchard

Going into the offseason this was one of the top priorities for the Edmonton Oilers. Now that we are quickly moving through this offseason it is just as urgent.

Evan Bouchard had a career year last season and in the playoffs. This has a lot to do with the fact that Tyson Barrie got moved and Bouchard ran the first unit powerplay. He was given the opportunity on the second unit before, but he showed he can do it with the first unit after that trade.

This contract is going to be a bridge deal for sure. The Edmonton Oilers just don’t have the cap space to sign him for an amount that Bouchard is going to want for a long-term deal. I would expect him to get a raise, just not that large of a one.

This deal needs to get done and it needs to get done quickly. There are still a few more deals that need to be done, but this Bouchard is the main one that needs to be done before the rest.

Re-Sign Ryan McLeod

Just like Evan Bouchard, this was a deal that we knew needed to be done. It doesn’t have as much urgency as the Bouchard deal, but McLeod is an important piece to this team. He has solidified himself as the third-line center.

The deal between McLeod and Bouchard is going to be built along the same style. They will both be short-term deals and will likely need to be extended again in a couple of years once the cap goes up.

Be Cautious Of An Offer-Sheet

I don’t know why offer-sheets aren’t done more often. I understand there is likely an unwritten code among GMs that they don’t do it. This is good news for the Edmonton Oilers though as they are very much in danger if a team did offer-sheet either Bouchard or McLeod.

If an opposing team offered $3 million for either one of these two players the Edmonton Oilers would be in a tough place as they don’t really have the space available. A team could end up getting a bargain on one of these two players.

Edmonton Oilers Need To Figure Out The Bottom Six

With the signing of Connor Brown, it looks like the Edmonton Oilers have the top six figured out. Now they need to figure out what the bottom six is going to look like. They just signed a lot of depth players. Most will play in the AHL, but they will push for a spot in the NHL. This could cause problems for some players.

There are a few openings from last season as a few players are no longer on this team. Nick Bjugstad and Klim Kostin are just a couple. The team needs to find a player to fill those roles, whether that be internally or externally.

Not only do they need to fill them, but in a perfect world they would be able to upgrade. This team did not win the cup last season. That means they have to improve in order to win.