3 Oilers With The Most To Prove In 2023-24

The Edmonton Oilers have another strong team that should contend for the Stanley Cup this season, but they are not without their flaws. There were some down or off seasons in 2022-23 by some of the players being paid a significant amount. We will see if they can change the narrative in Edmonton with a better performance.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell had a really tough start in Edmonton after signing a five-year deal. Fortunately Stuart Skinner stepped up and was very well. Campbell is still expected to bounce back for what he is being paid, and at this point the Oilers are prepared to move him this season if he can't do so. He played well in the small amount of time he got in the playoffs, but has a long way to go to rebound from last season and prove he can start.

Evander Kane

Evander Kane suffered a freak injury last season that kept him out for half of the games. While his scoring was elite in Edmonton in the second half of 2021-22 when he joined the team, he struggled to produce those same numbers upon returning to the lineup. He can provide many things for the Oilers, including physicality. But as a top-six winger, he has to be able to finish at a higher rate than last season. I think he will be able to now that he's back at full health and has a fresh slate for the new season, but he has to prove it.

Darnell Nurse

There has been a lot of heat on Darnell Nurse since he became one of the highest paid defensemen in the league. He can do it all, but lots of criticism comes from not putting up 60-plus points a season as a number one defenseman. Without the help of the power play, that won't happen. He still logs a ton of minutes, doesn't have the best defense partner to help him out, and plays hard and at an intense level at both ends of the ice. With a potentially new partner and more relief with Mattias Ekholm also on the left side, he can really have a strong season. It likely won't erase the hate for him though, but he does have something to prove on the ice.

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