It's been a challenging season for the Condors, which began with so much hope. However, after a promising start which included their best-ever record through five games, they've struggled ever since and find themselves bottom of the Pacific Division at the time of posting.
One of the few players to perform consistently up to this point of the 2023-24 campaign, is Drake Caggiula. Despite playing less than the majority of the roster, he is tied for the team lead with 13 points.
Unfortunately for the Condors, they will now have to make do without the 29-year-old for a little while. As per theAHL.com, the American Hockey League’s Player Safety Committee has suspended him for two games, due to an illegal check to the head of an opponent during Wednesday night's game versus the Calgary Wranglers.
It was an eventful game for Caggiula all around, as he also scored a goal in an impressive 4-2 win over the Pacific Division leaders. His suspension will include Friday night's game versus the Tucson Roadrunners and Saturday's contest against the Coachella Valley Firebirds.
Invaluable veteran leadership
In total, the Pickering, Ontario native has played 13 games to date, and has proved to be a real plus after signing a two-year, two-way deal during the offseason. One of his main highlights is a recent run of three consecutive games with three points.
Caggiula's form this season shouldn't really come as a surprise, given how he performed last season. In 65 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, he set single-season professional career-highs of 31 goals and 53 overall points.
This is the winger's second tour of duty with the Oilers organisation, who he previously signed with as a free agent after going undrafted. During his first tenure in Edmonton he played 156 games at the NHL level, in the process scoring 49 overall points while averaging 13:31 of ice time per contest.
Whether Caggiula gets another opportunity with the Oilers remains to be seen, but he has become an integral part of the Condors roster. He will be sorely missed during their next two games.
Notes - In total, Caggiula has played 282 games in the NHL over a period of seven seasons, scoring 46 goals and adding 45 assists. While in college, he won the 2016 NCAA National Championship with the University of North Dakota and was named Most Outstanding Player of the Frozen Four.