Oilers Prove They Mean Business With Impressive Preseason

Published October 5, 2023 at 3:06 PM
BY GRAHAM MONTGOMERY
     

Expectations Are High In Edmonton



With Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl looking better than ever, many expect the Oilers to be serious Stanley Cup Contenders this season. With a Pacific division that could be the weakest in the league, the Oilers could potentially be in line for a top five finish in the regular season if not a President's trophy.

NHL insider Greg Wyshynski has even predicted that the Oilers will take home the Stanley Cup. It would be the first Stanley Cup for the Oilers since 1990, and the first by a Canadian team period since 1993.

The Oilers were a very dangerous team last year as they lead the league in goals scored and boasted a historically good power-play. It was the best power-play on a percentage base since 1977.


None of this should surprise fans as McDavid and Draisaitl are tow of the best creators of offense the league has ever seen.

Oilers Still Looking To Improve



While it was a mostly successful regular season, once again the Oilers were snuffed out relatively early in the playoffs. Ad their goals remain ambitious, the players will not be satisfied with another first or second round exit. Luckily, they have some new faces that should help them go on a deeper playoff run.

First, there is Evander Kane, who was with the Oilers last season, but he missed half the season due to injury. If he can remain healthy all year, that would be another significant boost to the Oiler's already impressive offense. Kane, of course, also brings some toughness that you don't really get with superstars like McDavid very often.

The Oilers also have a relatively new face on their blueline. Mattias Ekholm, a trade-deadline acquisition last season, has three years remaining on his contract so he should be a staple on the backend for the next few seasons. Ekholm brings a veteran presence while being an effective shutdown defender.

image

Questions In Goal For Edmonton



The big question last season for the Oilers came in net. With Jack Campbell having a questionable year, the Oilers turned to rookie goal tender Stuart Skinner. While the young netminder proved he can be effective in the NHL, earning himself a Calder nomination, it remains unclear whether he can find sustained success in the league. Afterall, he have seen goalies come out of nowhere in their rookie seasons only to fall back to earth in subsequent seasons.

There has been speculation that the Oilers may make a trade for a new goalie such as Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck, but it remains to be seen what the Oilers will do to upgrade in goal, if anything.

Oilers Dominate In Preseason



The Oilers put up an impressive 7-2 record in the preseason this year. While preseason records are typically not a great indicator of success, it could be a sign that the Oilers are on track for one of their best seasons since the turn of the century.

As Seen in Oilers put NHL on warning with impressive preseason
POLL
October 5   |   266 answers
Oilers Prove They Mean Business With Impressive Preseason

How far will the Oilers go in the playoffs this year?

Stanley Cup Final9636.1 %
Conference Final6022.6 %
Second Round6725.2 %
First round exit4316.2 %
LIST OF POLLS
Latest 10 stories