3 Upgrades Edmonton Oilers Need In The New Year

The Edmonton Oilers had a very tough start to the season in which every puck was finding the back of their net and the team was having a hard time scoring. That has since changed and they are right back in the mix for the playoffs. This team is far from complete, and if possible, need to make some changes and upgrade in three specific areas.

1B Goalie

By far the biggest need for the Oilers this season is a goaltender. After a terrible first season by Jack Campbell in 2022-23, he started this season arguably worse. This got him demoted to the AHL and he hasn't returned. Stuart Skinner has run with the starting job and Calvin Pickard has backed him up. Pickard is a backup at best, and what the Oilers need is someone to really take the load of starting 80%+ of the games off of Skinner. This has to be an actual upgrade, not just the Oilers going out to get a goalie just because.

Top-6 Winger

Connor Brown has not worked out as a top-six winger as imagined. This has forced the Oilers to look elsewhere on their roster and has led to Warren Foegele and Ryan McLeod moving up and both playing very well beside Leon Draisaitl on the second line. The first line should also not be touched anytime soon. While it seems like the Oilers don't need any help in the top-six, it's better to have that option to be able to alter lines when there's struggles. I don't think the second line is going to be able to sustain this level of dominance all season and Evander Kane is also an option to move up, but having a top-six winger be able to alternate between lines two and three would benefit the Oilers.

Top-4 RD

The Oilers have three legit top-four defensemen in Darnell Nurse, Evan Bouchard, and Matthias Ekholm. The other player in the top-four is Cody Ceci. I see him as a fifth defenseman at best or a fourth defenseman on a non-playoff team. He has held that top-four role on the Oilers too long since they haven't been able to address the need. If possible, they have to find a better option to play alongside Nurse because the pairing of Bouchard and Ekholm shouldn't be touched and the team isn't going to find the solution internally.

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