3 Former Oilers Having Good Years, 3 Who Are Struggling

More often than not, players who have played for the Edmonton Oilers go on and elevate their play. This has happened to many of these players; it just so happens some of them have run into tough times this season. I chose these six players because of the impact and performance they’re showing this season in relation to their careers. Some are having good seasons, while others are struggling.

A Good Season: Jordan Eberle (Seattle Kraken)

Jordan Eberle enjoyed his most productive years as an Oiler, reaching 20 goals in five of seven seasons. After being traded to the New York Islanders before the 2017-18 season, his offensive production went down on a team that is very defensive-minded.

Jordan Eberle, Seattle Kraken
Jordan Eberle, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He was most recently selected in the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft and is one of the leaders on the new franchise. Eberle has recorded 12 goals and 24 points in 33 games on a team that has struggled in general. Their offence wasn’t expected to be the best part of their team, but with the help of his production, it has also been the most unexpected. Eberle is on pace to score just under 30 goals, the second-most in his career if he keeps it up. He leads the Kraken in points while playing on the top line, while he also has the second-most goals behind Jared McCann.

Struggling: Jeff Petry (Montreal Canadiens)

Jeff Petry hasn’t been with the Oilers since the 2014-15 season, but he has enjoyed a real emergence on the Montreal Canadiens. You could see his progression when he was with the Oilers, it just took too long and they had already moved on from him. His highest offensive totals in a season were seven goals and 25 points across five seasons. Meanwhile, he recorded just 74 points in 295 games with the Oilers.

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Since joining the Canadiens, Petry has had stellar numbers, even more so since turning 30 years old. He has 223 points in 468 games with them, while he’s also received Norris Trophy votes in two different seasons. His career high now is 13 goals and 46 points, at the same time topping 10 goals and 40 points in four consecutive seasons.

Jeff Petry Montreal Canadiens
Jeff Petry, Montreal Canadiens (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

This year has been disastrous, as has the Canadiens’ season in general. Almost every player is having a bad season, but compared to the offensive seasons Petry has put together in recent years, two assists in 28 games is on another level. Nothing seems to be going right and he hasn’t scored, which is understandable because he is shooting a lot less frequently than he has in the past, with just over a shot per game. While with the team in general is struggling to score, assists haven’t come easy either. Petry has been effective on the power play in his career, but again, nothing has come from him in that regard.

A Good Season: Pat Maroon (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Pat Maroon‘s best years of his career came when he was part of the Oilers. It helps being on a line with Connor McDavid, but you can also attribute his success on a line with McDavid to his finishing ability and being able to always be in the right position to score. In Edmonton, he got the most ice time per game in his career, and in 154 games he recorded 49 goals and 86 points.

Related: Signing Evander Kane is Worth a Shot for the Oilers

Since being traded in the middle of the 2017-18 season, Maroon has enjoyed three Stanley Cups, one with the St. Louis Blues and two with the Tampa Bay Lightning where he’s currently playing. This season, even though he has found himself in a lesser role on every team he’s played for since leaving Edmonton, he’s found success as a depth and role player in Tampa Bay. Maroon already has three more goals than he did last season, and with injuries and COVID, he’s been asked to step up and fill in, which he has done a fine job doing. He’s not an offensive force by any means, but he has performed well to his standard of playing. (from “Lightning’s Patrick Maroon: Consistent performer”, CBS Sports, Dec. 19, 2021)

Struggling: Justin Schultz (Washington Capitals)

Justin Schultz started his career in Edmonton, and even though he was touted as having a ton of offensive potential, he never really reached that with the Oilers. Things went south, and after three and a half seasons as an Oiler, Schultz was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins where he won back-to-back Stanley Cups in his first season and a half, also breaking out in his full year with the Penguins.

Justin Schultz Washington Capitals
Justin Schultz, Washington Capitals (Photo by Sara Schmidle/NHLI via Getty Images)

Things for Schultz went back down and levelled out for him after one stellar season. In his second season with the Washington Capitals, this offensive defenceman has had a very down year offensively. This season he’s recorded just six points in 32 games while skating over two minutes less per game. On a Capitals team that has struggled with injuries this season and needed players to step up and play larger roles, Schultz just hasn’t.

A Good Season: David Perron (St. Louis Blues)

David Perron began his career in St. Louis and spent six seasons there before joining the Oilers where he found immediate success, scoring 28 goals and 57 points in his first season. He only ended up staying one more season until he was dealt at the deadline.

Five seasons later, Perron has found himself in his third stint with the Blues, thriving on a good team. He has missed some time, but in the 25 games he’s played in, eight goals and 20 points is very respectable. As he normally has in his career, once again Perron is contributing on the power play, with nearly half of his points coming there. (from “With David Perron returning to the Blues’ lineup, the question becomes: When do they re-sign him?”, The Athletic, Dec. 29, 2021)

Struggling: Jujhar Khaira (Chicago Blackhawks)

The Oilers let Jujhar Khaira walk in free agency after he has had a noticeable decline over the past few seasons. Drafted in the third round in 2012 by Edmonton, he spent parts of six seasons on the Oilers. He reached the 10 goal and 20 points marks in his first full season, but the following three progressively got worse until the team decided he wasn’t part of the future.

Khaira signed in Chicago and has just three goals through 24 games, while also getting the most ice time per game in his career by nearly a minute. The Blackhawks have struggled, and his numbers have been an indication that he’s followed suit. Khaira missed some games after a hit caused him to be stretchered off the ice. With no real depth scoring in the lineup for the team this season, there hasn’t been much help around him to kickstart his season on a new team.

Honourable Mentions

A Good Season: Ryan Strome, Taylor Hall, Dmitri Kulikov

Struggling: Cam Talbot, Tyler Pitlick, Laurent Brossoit

Many of these players, we as Oilers fans cheered for when they were contributing as part of the team. It’s always nice to see former Oilers do well in their careers after moving on, but there is also that feeling that they could’ve done this in Edmonton.