It is time. The regular season is just days away, the final cuts at training camps around the league are impending, and fans are breaking out the jerseys for another season of action.
In anticipation of the start of another exciting season of hockey, one that comes with huge expectations for the Edmonton Oilers, we are previewing each player and taking a look at what is expected of them for 2023–24.
A key theme for Kane from last season was health. He missed significant time with a gruesome wrist injury that continued to impact his game even after returning to play. Then he suffered a rib injury later in the season that he played through, but it also limited him in his physical play.
The Oilers need Kane to be healthy to be as effective as he possibly can be. He provides a little bit of everything. High-end scoring with the ability to score 30+ goals. The ability to keep up in the top-six. And he can provide an all-important physical presence that is otherwise difficult to find in that spot in the lineup.
Kane is expected to start the season on the top line, and as long as he stays healthy, he should be more than capable of hitting 30 goals and 60 points, and could very easily surpass those totals and set new career highs.
Kane 2023–24 prediction: 32 goals, 30 assists, 62 points
Over the past few seasons, McLeod has turned himself into one of the team’s most dependable and reliable two-way forwards. His numbers defensively show that he has developed that side of his game incredibly well. And if that is the niche he has found for himself on the team, as a defensively-minded third-line forward, the Oilers will be very happy.
But one of the things that has held Edmonton back at times is the lack of depth scoring, which is an area that McLeod will be looked at to contribute to. The offensive side of his game has gotten better, he had a career-high 11 goals and 23 points in 57 games in 2022–23. That is a solid pace from a depth forward, so the Oilers will be expecting him to keep that up into the coming year.
He has shown promise with his speed and ability to create chances, but doesn’t seem to have hit his full offensive potential as of yet. With the rumours and suggestions of creating a new kid line with McLeod, Dylan Holloway, and Raphael Lavoie, a couple of more offensively inclined players than he is used to playing with, maybe this is the season he reaches that next level.
McLeod 2023–24 prediction: 15 goals, 25 assists, 40 points
Foegele’s 2023–24 season will be crucial for determining his fate with the Oilers. In his tenure with the team thus far, consistency and the ability to regularly make an impact on the ice have been concerns surrounding his game. For every week he is an offensive threat and physical presence, he has another two weeks where he disappears.
With competition from players like Lavoie, who are rising within the organization’s depth charts, he is going to need to step his game up to remain with the team. Or else the Oilers, who are extremely tight to the cap, might not feel the need to retain him when he hits free agency next offseason.
Last season, Foegele tied a career high with 13 goals and his 28 points was two shy of his career best. He is a reliable 10 goal, 25 to 30-point scorer and that should be exactly the range he falls within again this season, as it is unlikely his role within the team changes.
With it being a contract year, Foegele should ultimately be extra motivated to succeed and establish his presence in the lineup. With the hype surrounding the roster and his personal situation, it could be time for him to just set a new career high in points.
Foegele 2023–24 prediction: 12 goals, 19 assists, 31 points
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