French Defenseman and winger Yohann Auvitu signed a one-year, $650,000 contract with the Edmonton Oilers. Auvitu, 27, spent his first NHL season with the New Jersey Devils last season.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) July 10, 2017
Yohann Auvitu Signs With Edmonton Oilers
Auvitu was left to unrestricted free agency by the Devils after just one season with restricted free agent defenseman Damon Severson needing to be re-signed as well as the acquisition of Mirco Mueller from the San Jose Sharks. Turning 28 on July 27th, he’s just looking for the opportunity to play in the NHL after logging significant time in Liiga.
Prior to signing with the Devils in May 2016, Auvitu logged 218 career games over six seasons in Liiga playing for JYP and HIFK, scoring 19 goals and 57 points including 13 goals and 24 points in 53 playoff games in that span. He’s also been a regular on the French National Team for the World Championships, scoring four goals and 22 points in 54 games playing for his home country. He had an excellent 2017 Tournament, scoring two goals and seven points.
This season however, his opportunity with New Jersey was quite limited. He logged just 25 NHL games scoring two goals and four points. In 29 games with the Albany Devils in the AHL, he scored five goals and 13 points, battling a lower-body injury in January between healthy scratches in the second half. 25 games is an extremely small sample size, but among skaters to play at least 300 minutes for the team this season, he posted a 49.82% Corsi-for percentage that placed fifth on the Devils, including a +5.0 relative Corsi.
Auvitu signed his only NHL deal last season with New Jersey worth $792,500 for that campaign. He will act as depth in case of injuries to any of the top-four men with the big club. At the AHL level in Bakersfield, he’d be an experienced leader for younger defensemen coming up the pipeline. Going to Edmonton, he’ll have healthy competition in making the defense with the likes of Matt Benning and Darnell Nurse.