When the Injuries Heal: Drake Caggiula | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

When the Injuries Heal: Drake Caggiula

The Edmonton Oilers lost their fourth straight game on Tuesday. They severely outshot the Anaheim Ducks and most of the possession numbers were in favor of Edmonton, however, they fell by a score of 4-1 and are now tied for first in the Pacific Division.

There are a lot of people who are suggesting that a couple changes are required. Maybe giving backup goaltender Jonas Gustavsson a start? Switching the lines up? Some have even gone as far as suggesting making a trade. For me, I look at two things.

First, the situation will change naturally. Edmonton is hosting one of the worst shooting percentages in recent NHL history and it's not bound to last over any lengthy period of time. If Edmonton keeps shooting, the goals will eventually come. Second, the Oilers are starting to really miss a player like Drake Caggiula.

Drake Caggiula

Caggiula was a free agent college signing this summer who came in to the Oilers organization with a clean slate. He was, for the most part, an unknown that had a few things going for him. He was fast, he was skilled and for a smaller sized player, he played a bigger style game.

He showed up at the Oilers camp and from day one, made positive noise. He was feisty, could be moved around the lineup and approached camp like it was his last, ready to do anything to make the team. Caggiula popped in a couple goals, but stood out in the Oilers camp games versus the University of Alberta and at rookie camp where Edmonton swept the tournament against the Jets, Flames and Canucks.

Nobody was surprised when he was announced as having made the NHL roster.

Where Caggiula Fits

When Caggiula went down to an injury in preseason, it was kind of a quiet thing. He hurt his hip and originally it wasn't talked about as being too serious. Then, he missed more and more games. It was a shame because Caggiula is a very versatile forward.

He can play center or wing and he can fit in the bottom-six or top-six alongside more skilled forwards. When the Oilers lost Kris Versteeg and then traded Nail Yakupov for peanuts, Caggiula really could have come in handy.

Today, and on this team, Caggiula is probably a third line center, potentially a second line winger. What he gives Edmonton is options. Options to do something like move Leon Draisaitl off the third line and into a wingers spot on the right side on the second line. It's a move the Oilers have discussed internally, but with a lack at center depth, have yet to try. Caggiula gives them the opportunity to.


Caggiula is definitely a long-term asset for Edmonton and a player their excited to have return. Some of the Oilers other injuries will cause debate about bringing them in and potentially moving out a quality player. Caggiula, despite not having played a single NHL game will not.

He's got drive, character, tenacity, skill and speed and the Oilers lack depth at positions he can play. He's young and he's on a friendly contract for two years. He's a player the Oilers want to come in and have immediately contribute.

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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