Insider Has Intel On RFA Evan Bouchard's Impending Contract

Now that the Ryan McLeod contract has been settled for the coming season, the Edmonton Oilers have just one shoe left to drop on the RFA market, and according to NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman, Evan Bouchard's new deal should drop in short order. 

"I think the next one we could see among the RFAs is Evan Bouchard from the Oilers... Jeff Jackson (just named the new Oilers CEO of Hockey Operations) was Evan Bouchard's agent... And I think that's gonna get done for two years in the $4 million (AAV) range."

Before settling with Bouchard, the Oilers really had to wait on what McLeod's number wound up being, and after they settled at $2.1M AAV over two years a few days ago, the team then had clarity on what kind of wiggle room they'd have to get a deal done with Bouchard. 

Without being arbitration-eligible, and with the Oilers being strapped by cap constraints, the breakout defenseman didn't wield much power over the negotiations, even though he was worthy of a bigger extension. So a two-year bridge deal at $4M AAV is now seen as the most likely landing spot, as Friedman suggests. 

Bouchard emerged as a big-time force for the Oilers after he was paired with trade deadline acquisition Mattias Ekholm. In the playoffs, Bouchard also quarterbacked the power play and registered 17 points on 13 assists in 12 games. 

It sounds like an announcement on his new deal should be forthcoming. 

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