Lowetide: 10 free agents for the Oilers who will compete this summer (2023)

A year ago, theEdmonton Oilerswas in a difficult position because of the salary cap. A week before free agency, the team had signed 15 players, with a lump sum of more than $75 million.

That left just over $7 million to acquire seven players.

Oilers general manager Ken Holland went to work over draft weekend and cleared some capital dollars by trading a veteran wingerJacques Cassian($3.2 million AAV times two years) atArizona coyotes.


Edmonton was also helped by the departure of Duncan Keith andMike SchmidtHis inability to play the 2022-23 season, freeing up $7.5 million in cap dollars.

When free agency began, the Oilers had cap space to contend with.

A year ago I mentioned10 quality goals for free agents. Edmonton signed three.

Here are 10 worthy targets for free agency in 2023.


Jasper quickly,Hurricane Carolina

If there's a perfect fit for what the Oilers need this summer, it's definitely Fast. Fast is a man who can stick with high quality skills and affect the target share. Fast is also at the end of a contract that underpaid him.

The quick signing would cost much more than his salary last season ($2 million), but his skill set is ideal for an Edmonton team that lacks defensive awareness on the front line.

Fast turns 32 in December, but has great speed and can help on five-on-five kills and penalties.

His five-on-five scoring is a little shy, but his numbers possession has been strong over the last two seasons.





Target share



X target share



Target v elite



DFF Pct vs elite






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All numbers five against five

This is the player the Oilers neededJesse Puljujarvito become, but at this point in the organization's window to win, a veteran like Fast should be considered an ideal choice. Edmonton would have to overpay, if necessary, in an attempt to close out the top six.

Ivan Barbashiev,Vegas Golden Knights

Barbasev would occupy the same position in the lineup (No. 2 right winger inLeon Draisaitlrule) olive groves were allowed to sign it.

He has provided more offense than Fast in recent years and has a 51 percent target share over the past two seasons.

Here are his numbers with theBluesand Golden Knights.

statSt. LouisVegas




Target share



X target share



Target v elite



DFF Pct vs elite



DFF% Courses Fig



All numbers five against five

One interesting thing about Barbashev, and something that could affect him if he were to sign in Edmonton, is the increased playing time against the elite once he arrived in Vegas.


In St. Louis, he averaged 3:59 per game against elite teams, reaching 5:40 per game once with the Knights. His target share fell after the trade, but his underlying numbers were better.

While Barbashev may be a bigger offensive contributor to wins overall, he's also likely to be more expensive in free agency than Fast and less effective without the puck.

Alex Killorn,Blixem in Tampa Bay

The Oilers need what Killorn brings and he represents the top at No. 2 right wing.

Killorn has real ability (27 goals and 64 points in 2022/23) but is also a responsible player.

He can play both sides and has had strong five-on-five scores over the past two regular seasons. Its target share is 56 percent with an expected target share of 49 percent.

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He scored 2.23 points per 60 five-on-five over those two seasons. This is number 61 belowNHLforwards who have played 1,000 or more minutes in the division in the last two seasons.

There are some signs of corrosion. Puck IQ lets Killorn play big minutes against elites and score better in those minutes. Share (DFF-percentage) was 43.8 in 2021-22 and 48.6 last season.

In the short term, Killorn could be a strong option for Edmonton, but his price is likely to be on the high side. After completing a seven-year deal with an AAV ($4.45 million) that was great value for Tampa Bay, the efficient forward will be looking for a big contract.

Grant Hathaway,Boston Bruins

Hathaway's numbers when he played for herWashington Capitalsthey've been strong in the areas Edmonton needs this summer.

The idea of ​​Hathaway in a leading role (line two) is more than a minor tweak. This player's track record (middle six or fourth line bets) means he is on a list of players who could play on the wing with Draisaitl orConnor McDavid.


The numbers don't lie.

Hathaway averaged 1.59 points per 60 on five-on-five shooting and held a 56 percent shooting percentage (55 percent expected goals) during his time in Washington.

Puck IQ shows he averaged 3:48 per night against the elite, with a 53.3 DFF percentage and 6-3 goals. It was also impressivethird year in a rowHathaway succeeded in Washington. His most common companions during these years wereNick DowdInCarl Hagelin.

Hathaway would be a bit of a gamble, but it could pay off in an excellent value deal. His last contract was $1.5 million and even with a significant raise, Hathaway will be affordable.


Scott Mayfield,New York Islanders

Mayfield's impressive suppression numbers have every NHL team looking for a high-value player.

Going five-for-five in 2022/23, the Islanders have allowed just 2.08 goals per 60 (No. 32 among regular NHL defensemen).

Oilers fans would love Mayfield, a tall (6-foot-5, 220-pound) shutdown defenseman who canplay long minutesagainst elite and won the shot and the goal.

Mayfield is Edmonton's top defensive option and would be a solid partner for either of themNurse Darnell,Matthias Ekholm,Brett earofPhilip Bromberg.

The problem is the number of teams that will compete for his services and the lack of capacity in Edmonton. To moveCody Dittwould be key, and even then it's uncertain the Oilers would have enough to secure Mayfield.

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He is the No. 1 defensive target while also unlikely to sign with the Oilers.

Matt Duba,Minnesota Wild

If Edmonton were to sign a player like Duba, it would also be as a replacement for Cesi. One of the key issues for management this summer is the closure of Ceci and Nurse.

Dumba is considered an upgrade and will definitely be more expensive. Using Puck IQ vs. Elite numbers, here are the two men and their numbers from the past two seasons combined.

statCeciit was

TOI Games



DFF pct






Target share



All five-on-five numbers against the elite through Puck IQ


Turning 29 in July, Duba would need a long-term deal and possibly a raise on his just-completed $6 million contract with AAV. In order for the Oilers to market Dumba, Ceci and one other player must be given away.

It's a bet.

Radko Gud,Florida Panthers

If there's one NHL defenseman who represents what Oilers fans want to see on the team's blue line, it's Gudas.

Gudas is a quiet player who has an edge to his game that is arguably unmatched in today's NHL.

He is effective and intimidating while also being effective in coverage.

Wipe IQ numbershe showed less elite play in 2022/23 and may not be the ideal top-four defensive option for Edmonton.

It would be one of the most popular free agent signings in Oilers history.

Oil producers

Edmonton's third and fourth lines have been one of the most impressive things about the 2022-2023 season. Three veterans contributed, all free agents this summer.

It's unlikely the Oilers can afford all of them, but they're worth noting.

statDirk RyanMatthias JanmarkNck Bjugstad





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X-goal Share




All numbers five against five

Dirk Ryanis an important part of the success of the bottom six lines. His five-on-five goal share (31-24) shines like a beacon compared to the Oilers' forward depth over the last decade.

Matthias Janmark(30-30) inchesNick BjugstadHe also impressed (10-6).


The Oilers need to reset the right wing depth chart, withKailer Yamamotocan leave the system. He would join Puljujarvi in ​​a revision on the right side.

Zac Hymanis the number 1 right winger and the second in the division right winger must be from the list above.

Fast looks like a perfect fit, with all the quality picks from Barbashev, Killorn and Hathaway.

Defense is tough because it's a mediocre free agent class and the prices will be expensive.

There's a chance Edmonton ends up with no one on defense and Ceci returns.


If management can sign two of last season's three attacking depth players, the impressive display from the bottom six forwards will be repeated again in 2023-24.

(Photo by Ivan Barbashev: Stephen R. Sylvanie / USA Today)


Who are the free agents signed with the Edmonton Oilers? ›

THE PANEL | Free Agency 2022

Oilers Group 3 Free Agents: Josh Archibald (signed with Penguins), Derick Brassard, Evander Kane (re-signed with Oilers), Mikko Koskinen (signed with HC Lugano), Brett Kulak (re-signed with Oilers), Kris Russell, Colton Sceviour (signed with SC Bern), Kyle Turris (retired), Bogdan Yakimov.

Who is left in NHL free agency? ›

Here's a look at seven significant names that are still on the free agent market with less than a month before the start of training camps.
  • P.K. Subban, D. Age: 33 | 2021-22 cap hit: $9 million.
  • Evan Rodrigues, C. ...
  • Keith Yandle, D. ...
  • Joe Thornton, C. ...
  • Sonny Milano, LW. ...
  • Danny DeKeyser, D. ...
  • Zdeno Chara, D.
Aug 31, 2022

Did Jesse Puljujarvi get traded? ›

Edmonton receives prospect Puistola for forward

Jesse Puljujarvi was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes by the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday for forward prospect Patrik Puistola.

When can NHL free agents talk to other teams? ›

UFA's are free to sign with any team, and their previous team receives no compensation. UFA's can begin meeting and interviewing with all teams on the day after the Entry Draft (or June 25 at the latest).

Who are the two good players Oilers waive? ›

This in from the Edmonton Oilers, news that they have placed forward Mattias Janmark and defenceman Dmitri Samorukov on waivers for the purpose of assignment to the Bakersfield Condors.

What happens if a free agent doesn't get signed NHL? ›

If the player rejects a qualifying offer, he remains a restricted free agent. If the player does not sign before December 1, he is ineligible to play in the NHL for the remainder of the season.

Who has the biggest free agent contracts in the NHL? ›

To this week's NHL Power Rankings!
  • Johnny Gaudreau, Columbus Blue Jackets (seven years, $68.25 million). ...
  • Claude Giroux, Ottawa Senators (three years, $19.5 million). ...
  • Darcy Kuemper, Washington Capitals (five years, $26.25 million). ...
  • Frank Vatrano, Anaheim Ducks (three years, $10.95 million).
Jul 19, 2022

Who had the best NHL free agency? ›

The best NHL free agents still seeking new contracts
  • P.K. Subban, D, New Jersey Devils. ...
  • Evan Rodrigues, C, Pittsburgh Penguins. ...
  • Phil Kessel, RW, Arizona Coyotes. ...
  • Patrice Bergeron, C, Boston Bruins. ...
  • Johan Larsson, C, Washington Capitals. ...
  • Tyler Motte, C, New York Rangers. ...
  • Sonny Milano, LW/RW, Anaheim Ducks.
Aug 1, 2022

Who will be the last NHL player without a visor? ›

Zach Bogosian, 32, Tampa Bay Lightning.

Is Phil Kessel still a free agent? ›

34-year-old forward 'very motivated' after he had 52 points with Coyotes last season. Phil Kessel signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday. The 34-year-old forward was an unrestricted free agent.

Did Tyson Barrie get traded? ›

It was an emotional moment for Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tyson Barrie when he received the call from Oilers General Manager Ken Holland informing him that he had been traded to the Nashville Predators.

Is Jaylen Smith a free agent? ›

Jaylon Smith signed a 1 year, $220,000 contract with the Green Bay Packers, including an average annual salary of $220,000.
Contract:1 yr(s) / $990,000
Free Agent:0 /
4 more rows

Who is a free agent wide receiver? ›

Honorable mentions: Sterling Shepard, Mack Hollins, Deandre Carter, Jarvis Landry, Randall Cobb, Nelson Agholor, Julio Jones, Greg Dortch, Demarcus Robinson.


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