EDMONTON OILERS: UTILIZING BRANDON DAVIDSON | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

EDMONTON OILERS: UTILIZING BRANDON DAVIDSON

On Sunday, a few Edmonton Oiler fans got themselves into a tizzy because the hot RFA commodity of the summer, Tyson Barrie, was re-signed by the Colorado Avalanche and essentially taken off the market. Reaction ranged from a kind of what are we going to do now? response to a who's left that Edmonton can add to make this a better team?

Edmonton needs a quarterback on the powerplay. It's the reason there seems to be love for unsigned and recently injured James Wisniewski. Wisniewski would be a gamble, but he has a bit point producing history. When a need is strong, as it is in this case, fans seem to be ok with the risk and Wisniewski would be a viable option. There is, however, another option few people seem to be considering. Perhaps it would serve the Oilers well to like right under their own noses at a player like Brandon Davidson. He might be the solution to a number of problems.

http://www.metronews.ca/content/dam/thestar/uploads/2016/2/29/brandondavidson.jpg.size.xxlarge.promo.jpg

Brandon Davidson


Davidson is 6 foot 2 inches tall and weighs 210 pounds. He shoots left (something the Oilers have a lot of is left-handed defensemen), but he offers something that some of his left-handed teammates do not — a decent shot from the point and an ability to up the level of his linemates.

In 2015-16 Davidson posted some of the best underlying numbers of any defenseman on the team. He did so while being one of the lowest paid players, playing some of the highest minutes. In his over 19:00 minutes per game, had had a CF% of 52.1 and a CF% rel of 3.2. In short, Davidson made every player he played with elevate their game. They were better when he was on the ice with them.

While Davidson plays little on the powerplay, he is a penalty killing machine. He's averaged some incredible minutes a man down and there was a stretch last year where Edmonton was killing 6:19 straight short-handed and Davidson was on the ice for 5:06 of that time. That said, his penalty killing isn't what has me the most interested.

Davidson, despite not getting many chances to show it, can be and is effective on the man-advantage. He was actually first among Edmonton defenders in 5x4 situations with 2 points in 22 minutes. And his cannon of a shot is something the Oilers need to take better advantage of. (click on link to video at around the 1:59 mark)



With Oscar Klefbom and Andrej Sekera as your one and two left-handed defensemen, Davidson is sort of in limbo. His stats show he is a better player and puck-mover than a third-pair lefty, but there isn't really a way to slide him up unless he plays his off hand. Now that Edmonton hasn't landed that right-handed blueliner they may have been searching for, it makes sense to me to try him out as a first and second unit powerplay option. Adding those minutes to his third-pairing left blue minutes may be a great fit to start the season.

Davidson started to surprise many who had no idea what the Oilers had. A late round draft choice in 2010, he was undiscovered talent until some roster changes and injuries gave him an opportunity. I think if another opportunity comes knocking (and it may have with the signing by Colorado of Barrie) Davidson will make the most of it.

But 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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