Jack Campbell is back with the Oilers for playoff run

The Edmonton Oilers have recalled goalie Jack Campbell -- along with blue liner Philip Broberg -- to join their taxi squad for the NHL playoffs.
Edmonton Oilers v Philadelphia Flyers
Edmonton Oilers v Philadelphia Flyers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Jack Campbell entered the 2023-24 NHL campaign with plenty of hope of bouncing back from a poor first season in Edmonton, thanks to an encouraging preseason for the Oilers. Instead, he allowed four goals on just 12 shots versus the Vancouver Canucks in the season opener, resulting in him being removed less than halfway through an eventual 8-1 humiliation.

It didn't get much better after this, as Campbell endured a nightmare 1-4-0 record in five starts, as he compiled a horrific .873 save percentage and 4.50 Goals Against Average (GAA). As a result, he was assigned to the AHL, to work on his game with the Condors.

Initially, things weren't much better in Bakersfield, as the 32-year-old similarly went 1-4-0 in his first five starts. In the process, he allowed a combined 16 goals and produced a .884 save percentage.

At one point it got so bad, that the Condors decided to make Olivier Rodrigue their main goaltender. In a career with plenty of downs, this was arguably the lowest point of Campbell's time in professional hockey.

A renaissance for Campbell

However, the 2022 NHL All-Star continued to persevere and subsequently underwent a resurgence, which saw him offer glimpses of the talent he has always possessed. As a result, he regained the faith of Condors coach Colin Chaulk and helped the team qualify for the AHL playoffs for a fifth consecutive year.

By the end of the regular season, Campbell had produced an overall .918 save percentage and 2.63 GAA, both of which were better than what Rodrigue finished with. Now, following the Condors' elimination from the playoffs, he is finally back with the Oilers.

As announced on social media by the team, the 2010 11th overall draft pick has been recalled by the Oilers, along with defenceman Philip Broberg. The duo will join forwards Sam Gagner, Connor Brown and Sam Carrick, along with blue liner Troy Stecher, on the playoff taxi squad.

Campbell over Rodrigue

You could make the argument that Rodrigue was more deserving of being recalled from the Condors, given he was actually more consistent than Campbell during the 2023-24 AHL campaign. He finished with more wins and played better than his goalie teammate in their respective playoff starts versus the Ontario Reign.

At the same time though, Campbell actually has invaluable NHL playoff experience, with 14 starts and 18 overall games for the Oilers and Leafs combined. And while he has just a 7-8-0 record in those appearances, he has also compiled a .920 save percentage and 2.28 GAA.

This includes an extremely impressive .961 save percentage and 1.01 GAA during last season's Oilers' playoff run, in four relief appearances for a struggling Stuart Skinner. And while Calvin Pickard would deservedly be the first man up if Skinner struggles again, Campbell provides some talented -- if somewhat erratic -- cover.

Next. Stressful game ends with Oilers being up 3-1 in Kings series. Stressful game ends with Oilers being up 3-1 in Kings series. dark

With three seasons still remaining on his five-year, $25 million contract once the 2023-24 campaign is over, Campbell has been mentioned as a possible buyout option. At this point however, he is back with the Oilers and standing by if disaster strikes with Skinner and Pickard.

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