Edmonton Oilers predicted to have similar success in 2024-25

While it's ridiculously early, fans will still be happy to know a projections expert has the Oilers pacing the NHL next season, alongside a Canadian rival.
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game Five
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game Five / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

It seems fair to characterise the Edmonton Oilers' offseason a success thus far, whether it be the draft, but particularly in free agency. As a result, the roster is now stronger overall, than the one which just fell agonisingly short of winning it all for the first time since 1990.

In this respect, as tough as it must have been for the Oilers -- and their fans -- to come so close to claiming the Holy Grail of hockey, you can argue this is a significant part of the reason why free agency has played out the way it has in Edmonton. Certainly, there are plenty of players -- existing and new alike -- who signed what can be termed as team-friendly deals with the organisation.

Yes, interim general manager Jeff Jackson -- who really should take on the job permanently -- was a big part of the reason why, with his previous experience as a sports agent and general rapport with people. However, there are players such as Adam Henrique, who appreciate how close this team is to winning the Stanley Cup, meaning money is no longer their main priority.

Of course, just because you have a strong roster on paper, there's no guarantees this will translate to the ice where the real action takes place. However, there's still plenty of reason to be optimistic about the Oilers' chances next season.

A positive projection for the Oilers in 2024-25

Along these lines, one particular popular and reputable hockey analytics expert has already come out and predicted success for the Oilers in 2024-25. More specifically, we're referring to Adam Fraser, who writes for EP Rinkside, but of more interest and relevance for this article, runs a social media account called JFresh.

Fraser has taken to social media to share his first projections for the 2024-25 regular season, taking into account all of the free agency moves made so far (up to July 5). And Oilers fans will be happy to know it makes for positive reading where their team is concerned.

Fraser has the Oilers actually finishing next season tied for the most points in the NHL, at 111. This would of course be of vital importance, with the team now realising more than ever how much better it is to have home-ice advantage where possible for the playoffs.

A heightened rivalry

Not that home-ice advantage would necessarily be guaranteed, just because of who Fraser has projected to finish on the same number of points. Alluding to him possibly having a wicked sense of humour, the other team is none other than the Oilers' Pacific Division rivals, the Vancouver Canucks.

Canadian teams already have a natural built-in sense of rivalry among themselves. However, you have to assume the specific one between the Oilers and Canucks has only become more heightened after the events of last season.

It all kicked off, when the Canucks humiliated the Oilers 8-1 on opening night of the 2023-24 campaign. The Vancouver team would then go on to claim a clean sweep, by winning all four games versus their Edmonton rivals in the regular season.

As a result, the Canucks finished five points ahead of the Oilers and secured the Pacific Division title. It also meant home-ice advantage, when the two teams subsequently met in the second round of the playoffs.

This ultimately only mattered so much however, as the Oilers came from being down three games to two, to win the series in dramatic fashion and advance. The pain has still not left the Canucks or their fans, who are convinced they are as good as, if not better than, the Oilers.

More importance attached to the meetings in 2024-25

For what it's worth, it should be noted the two teams will only meet three times during the 2024-25 regular season. It's a shame they will face each other one less time, but this will potentially only amp up the intensity with more importance attached to each meeting.

This should all make for an exciting 2024-25 season, although it doesn't mean things will necessarily play out as Fraser projects. In fairness though, he was pretty close on the Oilers ahead of this past season.

Consider that Fraser projected the Oilers would top the Pacific Division with 107 points, which he also had as the second-most in the NHL as a whole. Yes he wasn't exactly right, but with them finishing on 104 points, he wasn't too far off the mark.

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In fairness, Fraser did overall get 11 of the 16 eventual 16 playoff teams correct in 2023-24, which references his expertise with these projections. Of course all that matters to Oilers fans, is that he turns out to be correct again when it comes to their team specifically, and with a stronger and more battle-tested roster to hand, it would be tough to bet against it.

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