Oilers Entertainment Group announced Thursday morning that Jeff Jackson has been named Oilers CEO of Hockey Operations, effective August 3. The now former agent from the Wasserman Group will also serve as Alternate Governor on the NHL Board of Directors and oversee all aspects of the Oilers’, Bakersfield Condors’ and Edmonton Oil Kings’ hockey operations.
Ken Holland will be staying in his role as President of Hockey Operations and General Manager of the Oilers, but will now report to Jackson instead of Daryl Katz. The 67-year-old executive’s future is uncertain as he enters into the final season of a five-year, $25M contract.
The release also outlines that Paul Coffey, who has served as a Special Advisor to Daryl Katz for over a year, will remain with the club after being part of the recruiting efforts to bring Jackson into the fold. His new official title is now Special Advisor to Owner and Chairman.
It had been reported this spring that Bob Nicholson was looking to take a step back. In a corresponding move, Nicholson’s new title will now be Special Advisor and Alternate Governor, Hockey Operations while Jackson takes the lead for the organization.
Jackson has served as a NHLPA player agent since 2010, when he started his own agency. Starting with former Oiler Sam Gagner as his first client, the agency grew and merged into what is now the Wasserman Group. Prior to the move, Jeff Jackson himself represented for a total Average Annual Value of 40.5 million and nearly 220 million in total value of contracts. From an Oilers perspective, he most notably represented Connor McDavid and new Oiler Connor Brown. Other high profile clients included Alex Debrincat, Aaron Ekblad, Quinton Byfield and Jamie Drysdale. Also of note is that restricted free agent Evan Bouchard is represented by David Gagner, who is part of the Wasserman Group.
Before his time as an agent, Jackson spent 4 seasons with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, working as the Maple Leafs Assistant General Manager and Director of Operations while also serving as the General Manger and Governor of the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.
Oilers owner Darryl Katz was quoted in the press release, “This is a big commitment to the long-term success of our organization. Jeff has well-established relationships across the NHL, including a strong relationship with Ken Holland. He brings tremendous industry insight, knowledge and leadership built through a unique career experience that is ideal for this leadership role at OEGSE. He understands what it takes to build an elite organization for the modern NHL and will work closely with Ken and our whole team to put the Oilers in the best possible position to win.”
Holland had this to say, “This is an exciting day for Oilers fans and the organization. Jeff is highly respected across the NHL and brings unique experience as a former player, Assistant General Manager and, most recently, as one of the most influential agents in the business. It is a real coup for Oilers fans to have Jeff join the organization and I look forward to working closely with him as we continue our drive for a Stanley Cup.”
Jackson meanwhile seems extremely excited to be joining the organization, stating, “I can’t think of a more exciting franchise to join or a better opportunity for me to put into practice everything I have learned during the past three decades in and around the NHL. Daryl Katz, Ken Holland, Bob Nicholson, Jay Woodcroft and the entire group have built an outstanding foundation for success. I’m privileged to join Daryl, Ken and the entire Oilers staff in the pursuit of a Stanley Cup championship in the short term and in realizing the full and exceptional potential of the entire organization in the long term. On behalf of my family, I also want to say how thrilled we are to join the Edmonton Oilers organization and the Edmonton community. I am very appreciative of the opportunity to help lead such a storied NHL franchise.”
It’s a huge leap to think that the move will increase the Oilers’ odds at re-signing Connor McDavid when his current 8 year, 100 million contract expires in 3 seasons with his former Agent now being employed as the lead of hockey operations in the whole organization. Based on their chemistry on and off the ice, McDavid could also convince Leon Draisaitl to stay in Edmonton, keeping the league’s most dynamic duo in orange and blue for year’s to come. McDavid was quoted in the release saying, “Jeff and I have had a long and fruitful relationship, and I have witnessed his care, relentlessness, and obvious knowledge of the game and industry firsthand. I look forward to working with Jeff in his new role, and am excited about what this means for the future of the Oilers.”
McDavid will continue to be represented by Wasserman Group, with Judd Moldaver taking over as his agent with Adam Philips remaining as his day-to-day manager. McDavid joins Moldaver’s star studded roster, including Auston Matthews, Zach Werenski, Roman Josi and Carter Hart. ‘
Jeff Jackson’s contract terms have not been reported at this time.