Are The Edmonton Oilers Better Than Last Season?

Mar 30, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; The Edmonton Oilers Celebrate a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 30, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; The Edmonton Oilers Celebrate a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

Going into the 2023/24 season the Edmonton Oilers are once again in a Stanley Cup or bust scenario. There are no more growing moments for this team. After going to the Western Conference Finals two years ago and the Pacific Division Finals last season there is nothing to look forward to now other than bringing home the Stanley Cup.

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Did The Edmonton Oilers Improve From Last Season?

Going into last season the Edmonton Oilers had just as high of hopes as they do this coming season. Last season they were coming off a defeat to the eventual cup winning in the Western Conference Final. This is similar to what is happening this season as they lost to the eventual cup winners once again.

The main difference is two years ago they made it one more round in the playoffs and to be fair I really didn’t think the Edmonton Oilers had a chance to beat the Colorado Avalanche in 2022. That is what makes this past playoff failure hurt even more. They could have defeated the Vegas Golden Knights, they just couldn’t make it happen.

2022 Opening Night Line-Up

If you take a look at the above lineup for opening night last night there are a couple of players missing that have been replaced. Puljujarvi, Yamamoto and Barrie are the main ones. They have been replaced by either a better player or a less expensive player.

Connor Brown will take Puljujarvi’s spot in the top six, where hopefully he can provide some consistency and scoring on a line with McDavid. Yamamoto was traded away with Klim Kostin in order to make some space salary-wise.

The biggest improvement comes on the backend where the Edmonton Oilers traded Barrie at the deadline for Mattias Ekholm. I can not wait to see what this season’s Edmonton Oilers blueline can do with a whole 82 games of Ekholm.

2023 Projected Opening Night Line-Up









On paper, I like this line-up much better than the 2022 one. There is more proven skill in the forward group for one thing. No more hoping for either Puljuarvi or Yamamoto to break out. Brown has proven himself in the past at the NHL level.

As for the defence, adding the size and defensive ability of Ekholm over the high offence that Barrie brought should help reduce the number of goals against. Desharnais will also help in this aspect. In the short sample size we saw with Desharnais, I was impressed. Give him a full season under his belt and his “rookie” mistakes should start to leave his game.

Almost Time To Get Excited For Edmonton Oilers Hockey

As August wraps up the NHL season starts to get closer. Before you know it the team will start to join up in Edmonton and start working out and skating together. This is a good time to be an Edmonton Oilers supporter. This is one of the best teams I have personally seen coming into a regular season.

One thing I want to remind everyone, it is okay to celebrate every win. As much as this season lots of wins will be expected, don’t forget how things were only a few years ago. Winning isn’t guaranteed and when you have a winning team DO NOT TAKE IT FOR GRANTED.