Heading into the 2019-20 NHL season, there could be some new faces in the Edmonton Oilers lineup that could impress.
With training camp in action, many Edmonton fans are seeing Ken Holland’s new acquisitions for the first time in an Oiler uniform.
So far a few new faces have made nice early impressions.
New Names That Could Impress for the 2019-20 Edmonton Oilers
Assuming that they can carry their strong play into the regular season, they should be on the Oilers roster on opening night. Furthermore, they could make a positive impact on the team for the 2019-20 Edmonton Oilers.
Josh Archibald Could Improve the Bottom-Six
Despite being a smaller player (5’10″, 176lbs), Archibald plays a lot bigger than his size. His speed and tenacity make him a rather effective player on the forecheck.
As a result, he was a reliable bottom-six forward and penalty-killer. On top of that, Archibald can provide some offense as well, something the Oilers desperately need in their bottom-six forward group this year.
Archibald is also one of the few players on the Oilers with Stanley Cup-winning experience. This should help improve the winning culture of the room.
Oilers fans shouldn’t expect Archibald to be a solid 20-goal scorer. But rather a solid depth guy, who can improve the penalty kill and provide some scoring depth in the bottom-six.
Realistically, it would be considered a huge win for the Oilers if Archibald can score around 10-15 goals and provide solid two-way play throughout the year.
Joakim Nygard a Useful Complimentary Player
Joakim Nygard is another winger that could make a positive impact for the Edmonton Oilers this season.
Back in May, Edmonton signed the 26-year-old to a one-year entry-level contract. It was reported that the Calgary Flames were also one of the teams interested in Nygard as well.
This goes to show GMs around the league believe in Nygard’s potential to succeed at the NHL level.
Overall, the biggest element of Nygard’s game is his speed, which was lacking throughout the Oilers lineup last year. Nygard is also a proven offencive player at the pro level. He finished second in the SHL in goals (21) last year playing for Farjestads BK Karlstad.
Nygard’s speed, offencive touch, and reliable defencive play could potentially make him a useful player up and down the lineup.
Coming out camp he has a legit chance to secure a spot on the left-wing. Some even project him to see time in the top-six beside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
It remains to be seen how big of an impact Nygard could make on the Oilers year. But if he can score around 15 goals and 35 points, it would turn out to be a very great signing for a player on a $925,000 cap-hit.
Joel Persson a Dark Horse on Defence
Joel Persson is another new face at the Oilers’ camp that could end up as a pleasant surprise this year.
The 25-year-old is a bit of a late-bloomer and only started playing professionally in the SHL two seasons ago. Shortly after that, he was able to ink a one-year deal with the Oilers in May.
Persson appeared in 51 games with the Vaxjo Lakers last season, scoring 34 points (6G, 28A) along with a +17 plus/minus rating.
Overall, Persson has a decent shot and is an efficient puck-mover from the backend. Right now, he is unproven at the NHL-level but the Oilers are willing to give him a chance to succeed.
At camp, he is seeing time with Oscar Klefbom and is auditioning for a full-time role in the top-four. From what we have seen in pre-season, Persson does not look out of place. It is still early but Persson has a good chance to lock up a spot on opening night.
It remains to be seen if he can maintain his solid-play all season long.
Generally speaking, Persson makes good decisions with the puck and can generate some offense from the backend.
If he can give the Oilers 30-35 points form the backend and play a reliable 20 minutes a night, he might earn himself a long-term contract with the Oilers after 2019-20.