Oilers News & Rumors: Broberg, Neal, Draisaitl, McDavid, More

In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, Leon Draisaitl was announced as a Hart Trophy Finalist, but his teammate isn’t sure he’ll win the award. James Neal says he feels better than he ever has, the Oilers loan out a defenseman, and Philip Broberg has made the bubble for the Oilers and will officially join the hub team.

Leon Draisaitl Finalist for Hart Trophy

After being named a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award the Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl has been named one of the three finalists for the Hart Trophy as well. In fact, all three of the nominees for both awards stay the same.

While the Ted Lindsay Award is the most valuable player as voted upon by that player’s peers, the Hart Award winner is chosen by the professional hockey writers. As such, while Draisatil probably should win based on the season he had, there is some concern, including from his teammates that he might get overlooked.

Connor McDavid wrote, “”I think the players will get it right, I don’t have the same faith in the media.” Writers like Joe Haggerty of the Bruins said he was ok with not voting for Draisaitl because of his minus player status. He wrote:

Hey, I’m okay with being one of the voters that wasnt going to award the Hart Trophy to a minus player (Draisaitl, minus-7) for the first time in NHL history. Part of the reason he dropped him to No. 2 on my ballot

This is what McDavid is talking about. He’s under the impression certain media will find a way to overlook Draisaitl’s accomplishment because of what many feel is a antiquated statistic that doesn’t accurately reflect Draisaitl’s value.

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Neal Healthy and Ready to Go

James Neal says he couldn’t feel better. With a chance to rest an ankle injury that plagued the last part of this year’s regular season, he wasn’t able to close the campaign the way he started it, scorching teams for goals after coming over in a trade during the summer.

James Neal Edmonton Oilers
James Neal, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Neal said:

“The break gave me a chance to heal, ankle injuries, hand, those nag at you quite a bit. I did everything I could to get back when I did. I don’t think the body’s been this healthy or this refreshed ever going into the playoffs. I think a lot of guys around the league can say that.”

source – ‘James Neal leads Edmonton Oilers in NHL playoff experience’ – Jim Matheson – Edmonton Sun- 07/18/2020

The Oilers are hoping that rest will lead to huge production and some are wondering if Neal could be the underdog star of the postseason for Edmonton.

Neal has been partnering on the team’s third line with Alex Chiasson and Jujhar Khaira but there is some expectation that he’ll get plenty of power play time when the series starts on August 1.

Theodor Lennstrom Being Loaned to SHL

It’s not getting front page coverage, but the Oilers loaned defenseman Theodor Lennstrom to Forlunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League for the 2020-21 season. An undrafted 25-year-old, he hasn’t played in North America and any staop with the Oilers will have to wait.

Lennstrom signed an entry-level contract on April 29th of this season and this isn’t the first time the Oilers have loaned out players. They did so with Dmitri Samorukov, who the team loaded to the KHL’s CSKA Moscow for the 2020-21 season.

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Broberg Makes Bubble Team

Oilers GM Ken Holland told reporters today, including Mark Spector of Sportsnet, that the team will be taking defensive prospect Philip Broberg into the Phase 4 bubble instead of returning him to his Swedish club. This is great news for the team and fans who were wondering how Broberg has been progressing.

Philip Broberg Oilers Draft
Philip Broberg, Edmonton Oilers, 2019 NHL Draft (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers

Originally, it was only expected the blueliner would be with the team for Phase 3, but he’s been so strong and impressed at camp to the point he’s potentially outplayed Evan Bouchard and the Oilers want to keep Broberg around.

Could he play? It’s hard to know, but if he does, the Oilers will have to consider that if he plays more than 10 games, he’ll burn a year off his entry-level deal.

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