Xavier Bourgault gets recalled by Oilers despite disappointing season in AHL

The Edmonton Oilers continue to strengthen their playoff depth chart, by recalling their 2021 first round draft pick from the Bakersfield Condors.
Winnipeg Jets at Edmonton Oilers
Winnipeg Jets at Edmonton Oilers / Marissa Baecker/GettyImages

The second round schedule has now been set for the Edmonton Oilers versus the Vancouver Canucks, with game one taking place at Rogers Arena on Wednesday night, beginning at 8 p.m. MT. All the talk about who will win, will finally give way to the actual action on the ice.

The Oilers have arguably their strongest roster of the Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl era. They are also relatively healthy save for forwards Evander Kane and Adam Henrique, who are both expected to be ready for the opening game in Vancouver.

Regardless, the Oilers continue to strengthen their depth chart with recalls, also know as black aces. They recently recalled seven players from Bakersfield and have now added another one.

As confirmed by the team via social media on Monday, the Oilers have recalled Xavier Bourgault from the Condors. He is notable for being the 22nd overall pick in the 2021 NHL entry draft.

Struggling to live up to the hype

In truth, Bourgault has yet to live up to his potential as a top six offensive talent who is particularly dangerous on the power play. Perceived by many as the Oilers' top prospect, he has just completed a disappointing second season with the Condors, which included seeing less playing time on the power play.

There was plenty of optimism that the 21-year-old would build off an encouraging first season in Bakersfield, which included producing 34 points (13 goals and 21 assists) and a +10 rating in 62 games. Instead, he took a step back and struggled at times, finishing with 20 points (eight goals and 12 assists) and a 0 rating in 55 games.

One opinion is that the Oilers are not the best organisation at developing prospects, with some suggestion Bourgault would be better off leaving Edmonton for pastures new. In fact, there was even speculation earlier in the 2023-24 season, that the Oilers might consider trading him.

The L'Islet, Quebec native previously played four seasons in the QMJHL, with the Shawinigan Cataractes. During that time, he produced 206 points (96 goals and 110 assists) in 197 combined games.

Next. Oilers have advantage in every area vs. Canucks. Oilers have advantage in every area vs. Canucks. dark

Bourgault has yet to play at the NHL level, which is extremely unlikely to change during these playoffs. He has one season remaining on his three-year entry-level contract which, as per Cap Friendly, will have a cap hit of $925,000 if he plays for the Oilers next season.

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