Zack Kassian Signs
Over his 9-year NHL career, Kassian has played for the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers. He has put up 80 goals and 91 assists for 171 career points in 510 career games. He was originally drafted in the first round, 13th overall of the 2009 NHL draft by the Buffalo Sabres.
This season he has scored 13 goals and 15 assists for 28 points in 44 games. He also added 64 minutes in penalties. His possession numbers were 49.3 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of 2.8.
What Does This Mean for Edmonton?
This is a somewhat risky extension for the Edmonton Oilers. They are in desperate need of depth scoring as most of their offence has come from the sticks of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Kassian is having a breakout season in this regard, on pace for a career-high 49 points. So from that standpoint, this is one of the best moves Edmonton can make for the time being. The main question is can he continue the production as he has never before scored more than 29 points in any of his previous nine seasons in the NHL.
The big risk comes in terms of penalty minutes. Can Kassian stay out of the penalty box on a nightly basis? Zack Kassian is a frequently penalized player with 780 career penalty minutes. He has also been in the spotlight of the Department of Player Safety recently for tossing Matthew Tkachuk across the ice like a ragdoll after becoming frustrated by Tkachuk’s physical play.
While having a player with Kassian’s physicality and willingness to play the enforcer role is important for an Edmonton team that needs to protect their stars, Kassian comes with extreme risk. Now that he has been suspended once, the NHL will not hesitate to come down hard on him for any questionable play, since he has a disciplinary history.