Ken Holland's Biggest Mistake As Oilers GM Now Revealed

Published December 5, 2023 at 6:32 PM

There is no reason the Edmonton Oilers should be as bad as they are right now. While the team has started to pull it together in recent weeks, they never should have been at the bottom of the standings as they were earlier this season. The reason for that has clearly been their subpar goaltending, which has brought light to a bad move Holland made in 2021.

Holland Fails To Secure Goalie Of The Future

The 2021 NHL draft class saw one of the best goalie prospects we have seen in recent memory in the form of Swedish netminder Jesper Wallstedt. Ken Holland and the Oilers would have had a chance to draft the netminder 20th overall, but instead they traded the pick to the Minnesota Wild to move down two spots in the draft. Minnesota ended up drafting Wallstedt while the Oilers would select Xavier Bourgault.

Meanwhile, Wallstedt has been living up to expectations as he has been lighting up the AHL.

Jesper Wallstedt recorded an AHL career-high 43 saves to help the
@IAWild to a 3-2 victory last night ❌

This move looks especially egregious considering the goaltender problems the Oilers have had this year. Wallstedt has been objectively better than the Oilers goalies, or at least Jack Campbell who has directly comparably numbers thanks to his demotion to the AHL this season.

Wallstedt Already Better Than NHL Veteran Goaltenders

Wallstedt has an 8-4 record, a .937 save percentage, and a 2.08 goals-against-average. Campbell has a 3-4 record, an .893 save percentage, and a 3.28 goals-against-average in the AHL this year.

Wallstedt has been so good in fact, that many are now wondering if he might get a call up this season. The Wild have been another team that has been getting less than ideal goaltending performances so far. However, the team may not want to rush him into the league as this season is likely lost for them anyways.

Regardless, Ken Holland certainly looks like a fool for passing on Wallstedt and instead signing Jack Campbell to a 5-year contract. Whether or not the Oilers will be able to recover from this particular mistake remains to be seen.

As seen on GM Ken Holland made a massive mistake passing on a star goalie
December 5   |   143 answers
Ken Holland's Biggest Mistake As Oilers GM Now Revealed

Should the Oilers have drafted Wallstedt?

Yes, of course8257.3 %
Not necessarily6142.7 %
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