Edmonton Oilers

Best player to wear each jersey number for the Edmonton Oilers: #81 to #90

We are in the homestretch now.

For the most part, every name on this list should be semi-recognizable. The dog days of the #40’s to #70’s have ended and we started to get back into some of the more popular numbers. That isn’t to say that all of these players will be recognizable, but there is at least one player here who defined an entire decade of Edmonton Oilers hockey.

Let’s get into it….

#81 – Yohann Auvitu

Okay, so we aren’t off to a great start in the recognizable category.

Yohann Auvitu appeared in 33 games with the Edmonton Oilers, all of which came in 2017–18. He was brought in to be a depth defender and ended producing at a decent rate for a player getting minimal time. Nine points in 33 games isn’t that bad for a player like him.

The Oilers, however, didn’t find it worthwhile to hold onto him after that season and cut him loose. He has since bounced around Europe playing in the KHL, Swedish Hockey League, SM-Liiga, and, most recently, the Swiss-A league.

#82 – Caleb Jones

The case of Caleb Jones is a curious one that still gets discussed by the fanbase nowadays.

A 2015 fourth-round draft pick by the Oilers and the younger brother of NHLer Seth Jones, Caleb held quite a bit of promise for a while in Edmonton.

He certainly paid his dues, playing in over a 100 games in the AHL before breaking into the league as a full-time player. He was a part of a group of young Oilers defenders—which included Ethan Bear—that looked impressive at the NHL level despite having little to no experience.

The areas he thrived in the most was moving the puck and being a mobile defender. Apparently it wasn’t enough to warrant the team seeing him all the way through and he was traded to Chicago Blackhawks in the summer of 2021 in exchange for Duncan Keith.

Jones played two seasons in Chicago and signed with Carolina Hurricanes earlier this month.

#83 – Ales Hemsky

For a good while, Ales Hemsky was the most exciting player on the Edmonton Oilers.

Arriving in Edmonton as a fresh-faced Czech as a 13th overall pick in 2001, Hemsky would go on to have an 11-year career with the Oilers. His first two seasons with the club were about what you would expect from a young forward finding his way, putting up around just over 30 points.

It wasn’t until 2005–06 that Hemsky really put everyone on notice. His point totals more than doubled in the regular season with 77 to lead the team. He then followed that up with 17 playoff points in a Stanley Cup Final run. Perhaps the most memorable of those points were the two goals he got to tie and win Game 6 against the Detroit Red Wings that completed a shocking upset and put the Oilers into the second round.

We also can’t talk about Hemsky without mentioning the goal he scored in the dying seconds of a regular season game against Dallas following the infamous empty net miss by Patrik Stefan. A truly incredible moment in modern Oilers history.

Hemsky had a way about how he scored goals. There were moments of pure magic that he had with the puck that nobody else on the Oilers could quite replicate. When Ales Hemsky was feeling good, he was an absolute wonder to watch on the ice.

For a young kid getting into hockey, Hemsky wasn’t my favourite player, but he was my favourite player to watch on the Oilers.

In total, Hemsky ended his Oilers career with 477 points in 652 games with the team. He managed to do that with some of the worst teams in franchise history.

Though it is incredibly unlikely he will ever be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, he is certainly one of the unsung Oiler greats.

#84 – Oscar Klefbom

Ah yes, I won’t go in depth into Klefbom since he was already featured in the #77 spot in the last installment.

He is easily the best player to wear #84 as well.

#85 – Petr Klima

Petr Klima is an interesting player in Oilers history.

He spent the beginning of his NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings after becoming the first Czech player to defect to the league and making his debut in 1985–86. He scored at a good clip with the Red Wings but was dealt to Edmonton in 1989 blockbuster that saw Jimmy Carson go to Detroit.

In all, Klima appeared in 274 games over five years playing in Edmonton. He put up 209 points in that span and was a key player in the 1990 team that won the Stanley Cup. The most famous contribution came in the form of a triple-OT game-winner in Game 1 of the Final against the Boston Bruins.

Sadly, Klima passed away earlier this year at the age of 58.

#86 – Philip Broberg

The jury is still out on Philip Broberg.

There has been plenty of questions surrounding Broberg since he was drafted eighth overall by the Oilers in 2019. Those questions have only intensified as Matt Boldy, Trevor Zegras, and Cole Caufield, all taken after Broberg, have become established stars in the league.

Now, there is still time for Broberg to emerge as a good NHL player. He has shown some good ability and has decent analytics when played in a sheltered role but, as the team enters the season as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, he might not get the luxury of figuring it out.

The Oilers do not have the time to slowly develop Broberg and nudge him into the NHL. It has become a sink or swim situation which will dial up the pressure.

Broberg has an interesting toolset that includes an incredible range of motion and some sleek skating. It will be interesting to see where he plays the majority of his hockey this upcoming season.

#87 – David Musil

This is another one of those numbers that you don’t see too often nowadays simply because nobody wants to take it away from Sidney Crosby. For whatever reason, David Musil wore it in four games with the Edmonton Oilers in 2014–15.

Drafted 31st overall by the Oilers in 2011, Musil was beefy defender at 6’4″ and more than 200 lbs. You’d expect more than four career NHL games from someone picked that high but, unfortunately, he just couldn’t put it together.

He toiled around in the AHL for awhile and has been in the Czech league since 2017–18.

#88 – Brandon Davidson

The story of Brandon Davidson is one of perseverance.

A sixth overall pick from 2010, Davidson was diagnosed with testicular cancer in just his first year of pro hockey. He was able to beat cancer and then beat the odds shortly after by getting onto the NHL club is a fairly permanent way in 2015–16.

He was never a huge point producer—he had just 17 points in 114 games with Edmonton—and instead slotted in as a depth defender for the club. Though young and showing promise, the Oilers decided to trade him to the Montreal Canadiens at the 2017 Trade Deadline for David Desharnais.

From there he has toured the NHL playing for New York Islanders, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks, and Buffalo Sabres. As of late, he has had a hard time getting back into the NHL as he spent the last four seasons in the AHL and has seemingly moved over to the Swedish Hockey League.

#89 – Sam Gagner

Sam Gagner‘s story in Edmonton may not be over quite yet.

A first-round draft choice by the Oilers in 2007, Gagner immediatley jumped into the NHL following his draft. This is most often talked about as a mistake on the organization’s behalf, as it thrust a young player into a spotlight role in a rather doomed situation.

It didn’t seem to faze him, as he put up an impressive 49 points in that rookie year. He then went on to spend seven more seasons as a reliable 40-point scorer, mostly as the team’s second-line centre. It might not be the production you expect from a high draft pick but it was certainly better than a lot players as well.

Unfortunately, Gagner played for a terrible team for that entire tenure and eventually saw himself traded to the Arizona Coyotes. His production fell off a tad and he bounced around teams, including Columbus where he put up a career-high 50 points in 2016–17, before being traded back to Edmonton in 2019.

That stint lasted only 61 games before he was once again traded, this time to Detroit for Andreas Athanasiou.

His Oilers totals are currently 317 points in 542 games with rumours swirling that he may be coming back to Edmonton for a third time on a PTO.

#90 – (Vacant)

Nada. Zip. Zero.

No players have worn #90 in NHL regular season action for the Edmonton Oilers.

Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire

Read more: #1-10 | #11-20 | #21-30 | #31-40 | #41-50 | #51-60 | #61-70 | #71-80

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