Numbers in this range are always the most fun.
It seems as though most NHL clubs reserve middle of the pack numbers for their most obscure players. These are the numbers that get doled out at training camp because nobody else wants them—numbers that are worn by rookies for a year or two before being swapped out as they get more established.
Now, that isn’t always true, I know that, but I think it makes excersies like this series a lot more fun. We are going over almost a hundred players and not all of them are going to be notable at all. There have already been a few of them covered so far, but as we get into the proverbial “dog days” of this series, they will take up large swaths all at once.
While there are some notables on this edition, it’s the first time to look at a name and wonder “Who is this guy?” on more than a few occasions.
Let’s take a closer look at some of those players on the Edmonton Oilers.
#41 – Mike Smith
To counteract my initial prologue is perhaps one of the most memorable Oilers in recent history.
Edmonton was Mike Smith’s second stop on his Alberta tour, signing with the club in the summer of 2019 after two seasons with the Calgary Flames.
The move was controversial at the time, but it ended up working out fairly decently in Edmonton. Smith had the exact swagger and look to make him a fan favourite in the city, and he backed that up with some stellar regular season results.
In 99 appearances with the Oilers, he posted a 56–27–10 record alongside a solid .913 SV%. Among his most memorable moments was fighting, former Oiler, Cam Talbot in a fiery Battle of Alberta in April 2020.
Schmiddy was certainly a tough customer and one that played well for the Oilers.
#42 – Josef Beranek
Calling Josef Beranek an obscure player doesn’t feel right, but I had never heard of him before putting together this list.
Beranek was drafted by the Oilers in the fourth round of the 1989 draft and ended up playing in 513 NHL games over the course of his career and scoring a total of 262 points during that time.
Just under half of those points (102) were scored with the Oilers in 208 games. Those are solid numbers for a fourth rounder and an overall great career for a player.
Unfortunately, my age and a rather forgettable era for the team prevents people from talking all that much Beranek. Let this designation of the best #42 in Oilers history be his calling card from this point on.
#43 – Jason Strudwick
This is a unique case of a player that got more popular after he retired.
Jason Strudwick had a long 14-year career as a defensive defenceman in the NHL, the last three of which he spent in Edmonton from 2009 to 2011.
His time here was uneventful and not overly productive, scoring just 17 points in 186 games.
In retirement, the Edmonton native stuck around and became a regular host on, the now defunct, TSN 1260 sports talk radio station where he has been the subject of constant listener harassment regarding his stat-lines.
Luckily, he now has the honour of being the best #43 to play in the city to chirp back with.
#44 – Chris Pronger
It didn’t last long, but boy was it something.
Chris Pronger only spent a single season with the Oilers, but he left a lasting impression.
Acquired from the St. Louis Blues in the summer of 2005, Pronger helped lead a rag tag team of players all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
He scored 56 points from the blueline during the regular season and added 21 more in the playoffs.
Unfortunately, personal reasons prevented him from staying with the club and he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks the following summer.
He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015 and though there was some bad blood when he left, even the most spiteful fans can recognize just how good he was for the Oilers.
#45 – Toby Petersen
I won’t lie, there isn’t a lot here to work with.
Petersen came to the Oilers in 2005 but didn’t appear in uniform until the 2006–07 season where he put up 15 points in 64 games.
That is about all I can muster for interesting things in his Oilers career. It was otherwise under the radar as he would leave the team after that season.
Overall, he played in 398 games in the NHL, most of which were with the Dallas Stars in the years after he left Edmonton.
#46 – Zack Stortini
Every era of the Oilers had their own version of the enforcer. The 80s had Dave Semenko, the ‘90s had Kelly Buchberger, and the ‘00s had Zack Stortini.
Drafted 94th overall by the Oilers in 2003, Stortini was never the most skilled player. Rather, he made up for that in his work ethic and willingness to do whatever it took to help out his team. He was a captain for the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves for that very reason.
Stortini continued to embody this mindset when his chance at the NHL came about and it helped him stick. He played in 256 games with the Oilers over the course of five seasons. He only ever put up 41 points during that span but amassed 725 penalty minutes as well, the most in a season being 201 in 2007–08.
For newer fans he would be relative unknown, but for those who grew up in the decade of darkness, he’s an early staple.
#47 – Marc-Andre Bergeron
Despite filling the role as a decent offensive defenceman on the Oilers 2006 cup run, Marc-Andre Bergeron will only be remembered for one thing: The Roloson moment.
Yes, it was this #47 that rode Andrew Ladd into Dwayne Roloson in the final minutes of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. The play resulted in Roloson getting injured and missing the rest of the series—a moment that many point to as something that lost the Oilers the cup.
But if you take that one play away, Bergeron was a pretty decent player for the Oilers. He was a rather consistent scorer on the team, scoring 20+ points in his all three of his full seasons with the club. In the lead-up to the cup run, he came second in defensive scoring on the club with 36 points behind only Pronger.
He was eventually traded to the New York Islanders in February 2007 in exchange for Denis Grebeshkov. What he left behind in Edmonton was a complicated legacy.
#48 – Ryan Hamilton
Ah, another player where there is not a whole lot to talk about.
Ryan Hamilton was signed by the Edmonton Oilers in 2013 after spending time with in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. He was never viewed as much more than an AHL call-up option and only played a grand total of 18 games with the Oilers where he put up two points.
He did however, become an important part of the Oilers AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors. He served as the team’s captain from 2015 to 2018 and put up 90 points in that span.
Hamilton did not have much of an NHL career but carved out a nice role in the AHL.
#49 – Theo Peckham
Theo Peckham is another player that is relatively obscure despite having played a decent chunk with the team.
Again, it was during the height of the team’s mediocrity in the early 2010s and he was mainly in the NHL due to his high work ethic on the ice. I don’t think Peckham would have spent as much time in the league if he was playing in a contending organization. It was a bit of a perfect match as Peckham got NHL time and the Oilers got a player who went to war for them night in and night out.
Peckham was a very tough player for the club and while he might not have scored all that often (he had four goals in 160 games), he wasn’t afraid of doing the dirty work. That fact is accentuated by 180 PIMS in 2010–11.
It’s nice to see a player like Peckham get some recognition in a list like this.
#50 – Jonas Gustavsson
Ah yes, the ill-fated flight of “The Monster” in Edmonton.
The Oilers signed Jonas Gustavsson in the summer of 2016 with the hopes that he would be a suitable backup for Cam Talbot. Gustavsson was coming off a decent season backing up in Boston and the hope is that he would be able to fill in every once in awhile.
It didn’t go well, as he only appeared in seven games and held a 1–3–1 record along with a dismal .878 SB%. He was demoted to the AHL where he also struggled and played out the rest of his career in Sweden.
Not the greatest bet by the Oilers, but he earns this spot by being the only player to wear 50 for the Oilers in NHL games.