4 Oilers players set to step up in 2023-24

Apr 29, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Edmonton Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft and the bench celebrate the victory against the Los Angeles Kings in game six of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 29, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Edmonton Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft and the bench celebrate the victory against the Los Angeles Kings in game six of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Edmonton Oilers Connor Brown
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 12: Connor Brown #28 of the Washington Capitals looks on against the Boston Bruins during the third period of the game at Capital One Arena on October 12, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Connor Brown

Unlike the other players in this article, Connor Brown is in his first season with the Oilers. Regardless, he is the fourth player we predict to step up and have a positive effect in Edmonton.

While not exactly an impact player, Brown has enjoyed some decent years over the course of his eight seasons in the NHL. He’s renowned as a fine two-way player, who offers versatility and good instincts.

From an individual perspective, intriguingly the 29-year-old performed better with an average Senators team as opposed to a talented Maple Leafs side. Regardless, there’s enough there to indicate he still has more to give in the NHL.

Brown was unfortunate last season, as he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury just four games into his Capitals tenure. He underwent surgery, with it resulting in the end of his 2022-23 campaign.

The Oilers decided to give the winger a chance in Edmonton, signing him to a one-year deal which has a base salary of $775k. He’ll be supremely motivated to succeed though, in large part due to another possible $3.225 million in performance-related bonuses. (This will be achieved if he plays 10 games this season.)

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It says something, that Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft is placing Brown on the first line with McDavid. As much as the NHL’s best player can make anyone look good, they do have a history from previously playing together for the Eerie Otters.

While it was only versus an under-strength Flames side, the duo showed what they could do together on Wednesday night in a resounding 7-2 win. Brown scored two goals and added an assist, while McDavid registered a goal and a trio of assists.

In general, Woodcroft is confident in what Brown offers to the Oilers. As per Reid Wilkins and Brenden Escott of 630 CHED, he said:

"“I think we’ve managed him in the right manner and I think he’s going to fit our team like a glove. He’s got life on the bench. He’s someone that brings energy– says good things – and I think that’s contagious.”"

Next. Oilers put NHL on warning with impressive preseason. dark

As per this article from Rob Couch of The Hockey Writers, we appreciate there are also some underrated players who could step up and help the Oilers reach the promised land. However, the four players we’ve referenced are already excellent and influential players who just happen to be capable of even more, which is a scary proposition for opponents in the coming months.