Welcome back, Drake! The Edmonton Oilers have announced that they have signed forward Drake Caggiula to a two-year, two-way contract carrying an AAV of $775K.
Drake Caggiula career overview
Caggiula is a familiar face to the Oilers organization as he spent the first two and a half seasons of his professional career in Edmonton. In those seasons, he played 156 games and recorded 49 points mostly playing in a third-line or depth role, averaging 13:31 in ice time per game.
After leaving the Oilers as a part of the trade package when Edmonton brought in Brandon Manning, he spent the next couple of seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks. Caggiula put up 27 points in 66 games there.
He split the next season between the Arizona Coyotes and Buffalo Sabres, spending the following season in Buffalo as well.
As it looked like his NHL career was fizzling out, he signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins organization for the 2022–23 season. He only played in four NHL games and had zero points. But for the first time in his career, Caggiula played mostly in the AHL, where he scored 53 points in 65 games.
Where does Drake Caggiula fit in the Edmonton Oilers lineup?
It is always a bit easier to bring in players who are familiar with the team, the systems, and the people within the organization, so Caggiula’s transition back into being an Oiler should be quite seamless. Especially given his friendship with Connor McDavid, dating back to their high school days.
Caggiula does not slot into the NHL lineup at this time, as the depth chart above him is too strong. Thus, he will more than likely start the season with the Bakersfield Condors and, barring injury, spend most of the season there. He should be fairly high on the call-up priority list due to his experience with the team, however.
He is a small but feisty and energetic forward who has never quite figured out his game at the NHL level. A career-high of 13 goals and 20 points with the Oilers back in 2017-18 puts him no higher than the fourth line in any depth chart. He has the offensive instincts and skating ability to be a contributor, however.