Veteran defenseman Kris Russell has signed a four year contract worth $4 million per season. The deal also includes a modified no trade clause. Russell is coming of a one-year contract worth $3.1 million after signing with the Oilers last season. The 30-year old defenseman had a single goal and 12 assists in 68 games in his first season in Edmonton.
With the Jordan Eberle trade, the Oilers will announce later a contract extension for Kris Russell. 4 years at $4M per. Confirmation to come
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) June 23, 2017
Hearing there will be a modified no trade as part of the Russell deal.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) June 23, 2017
Kris Russell Re-signs with the Oilers
Russell is an NHL veteran of 641 games, scoring 39 goals and adding 151 assists to his career totals. Russell has played for five different organizations over the course of his career: Columbus, St. Louis, Calgary, Dallas, and Edmonton.
Russell’s two best seasons offensively came while he was a member of the Flames organization. He had a career high seven goals back in the 2013-14 season, adding 22 assists for his second highest single-season point total (29). He then went on to set a career-best for points, with 34 in total, in his four goal and 30 assists season in 2014-15.
Aside from not being able to offer much offensively, Russell has been relatively solid defensively throughout his career. Despite only being 5’10” and 170 pounds, he has been able to forge out a successful career as an NHL blueliner. Size isn’t everything, but having such a small frame makes his 641 career games all the more impressive.
Originally a 3rd round pick, 67th overall, by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2005 NHL Entry Draftt, Russell went on to play in 288 games in The Buckeye State, scoring 18 goals and adding 61 assists. Russell also played in 76 games for the St. Louis Blues, 11 for the Dallas Stars, and 68 for the Edmonton Oilers in 2016-17.
Kris Russell carried a Relative Corsi-For percentage of -4.27 during the 2016-17 season. This was the worst on the Oilers blue line and was only better than four players last season: Anton Lander (-4.66), Mark Letestu (-4.87), Matt Hendricks (-5.51), and Tyler Pitlick (-6.79).
While this points to Russell not being worthy of a top six position in a defensive corps, the Oilers will be hoping this is a one-off in what has been an otherwise productive career.
All analytics courtesy of Puckalytics.