Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton Oilers have re-signed defender Evan Bouchard to a two-year, $3.9M AAV contract

The Edmonton Oilers have announced that they have re-signed defender Evan Bouchard to a two-year, $3.9M AAV contract.

This much-anticipated contract announcement puts the minds of Oilers fans at ease knowing they have a couple more seasons of Bouch-bombs in store. It was the last major roster decision needed from this offseason after the re-signing of Ryan McLeod, who agreed to a two-year deal of his own.

Although everyone would have preferred a long-term deal instead of a bridge contract at this point, the Oilers did what they could within the limitations of their cap situation to make this work.

Bouchard 2022–23 review

Bouchard, typically an offensively-minded defender, regressed a bit last season until the Tyson Barrie-Mattias Ekholm trade at the deadline last season. After putting up 43 points in 81 games in his first full season in the NHL in 2021–22, he struggled to find the scoresheet at times in the first parts of 2022–23.

Despite the lower offensive output, Bouchard’s underlying numbers were consistently good and it indicated he was still performing well, just maybe more reserved and defensively sound. But after the trade that put him in a bigger role in the Oilers’ defence. Bouchard finished the regular season with 19 points in 21 games, and another 17 in 12 games in the playoffs, which turned out to be an historic pace.

Expectations for 2023–24

Expectations will be high on Bouchard heading into 2023–24, and he will have every opportunity possible to succeed. He, alongside Ekholm, is very likely to be on the Oilers’ top defensive pairing after how well they played together last season. And, Bouchard has taken over the team’s top powerplay unit as they look to defend their title as the best in the league.

Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire

Sean Laycock

Sean is a stubborn, lifelong Oilers fan who lives by the motto "There is always next year".

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