EDMONTON OILERS: WHO IS YOUR SURPRISE OF THE SEASON? | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

EDMONTON OILERS: WHO IS YOUR SURPRISE OF THE SEASON?

I don't believe the Oilers to be done for the summer, but we can realistically suggest that most of the heavy lifting is complete. Once the team looks relatively set, half the fun is in prediction.


How will the Oilers perform? Better yet, how will some of the performances of the individuals on this team look? Health and longevity will play a large role as will chemistry with new linemates and new roster additions. 

Who flies under the radar? Who outperforms their contract? Who comes exactly as advertised? Over the next couple weeks, we'll be taking a look at a number of players on the roster and making predictions for the upcoming 2016-17 season. We start with Leon Draisaitl. 

Leon Draisaitl "The Player"

Who is Leon Draisaitl? What exactly can we expect from this player? 

Draisaitl performed well last season -- 19 goals and 51 points in 72 games, but had elements of streakiness to his play. There was a point when he played alongside Taylor Hall that Hall and Draisaitl were Edmonton's best players, definitely their best duo. However, toward the end of the season, Draisaitl's shooting percentage came back to reality and while he was a effective player, didn't produce at the same level. 

Still, he's a big, skilled playmaking center/winger who can play in multiple roles and in multiple situations. 

Deployment

How Draisaitl is deployed this year will have a lot to do with how well he produces. With the center depth in Edmonton, will he be a center or winger? If he's slotted in a position on one of the top-two lines, he'll likely play a lot on the wing. 

If Todd McLellan instead chooses to use Draisaitl in a third line scoring role, Leon will be more a third- line center with some additional powerplay time. 

Prediction

I like Draisaitl a lot as a player and while the sample size of his work is too small to really know how consistent he'll be with the Oilers this year, I predict he has his best season to date. I have him pegged for 23 goals and 37 assists for 60 points. This might be a stretch without Taylor Hall (who he played so well with), but Draisaitl is a determined young man with something to prove.

This is an important year for Draisaitl as it's a contract year and a good season means a big payday.


After all, who cares what I think right? For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.





Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about Oilersnetwork.com founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.



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