Greetings from vacation, as the Edmonton Oilers have made news for the first time since re-signing Ryan Strome about ten days ago. Today, the club made what seemed to only be a formality official, as they agreed to terms with 2018 first round draft choice Evan Bouchard.
The deal is a standard three-year entry-level contract, but the financial details have yet to be announced by the club. Club insider Bob Stauffer speculated on July 11th that Bouchard’s deal would include similiar bonuses to those of Mikko Rantanen and Tyson Jost’s ELC’s. Both Rantanen and Jost can earn up to $850,000 per season in bonus money.
As for base salary, Rantanen earned $832,500 per season during his three-year ELC, while Jost earned $807,500 in year one. He’ll earn $832,500 in years two and three of the contract. I suspect Bouchard’s deal will be similiar to that of Rantanen.
Will We See Evan This Fall?:
Odds are yes, we will see Evan Bouchard this coming fall with the Edmonton Oilers. He fits a major hole on this roster, a right-shot defender with exceptional puck-moving skills and the ability to run a powerplay. He’s not ready for a top-four role just yet, but I don’t think it is crazy to think he can handle a few games on the third-pairing, playing a powerplay specialist role of sorts.
Stauffer mentioned via Twitter just after the signing that he’d be “surprised” if we didn’t see Bouchard with the Oilers in Europe in late September. That would give Bouchard a chance to play the entire preseason with the team and the season opener against the Devils. With Edmonton heading to the east coast after that game, it makes sense to keep him around early.
I’m not sure Bouchard has the ability to stick around for the entire season, but he is one helluva prospect. I think a more realistic arrival is the fall of 2019, but it is possible the Oilers give him every chance to stick this coming October.
Bouchard fits Edmonton’s needs like a glove, he was an elite player in the OHL and he’s quite mature for a player that was drafted less than one month ago. There’s every chance he has a run with Edmonton just like Kailer Yamamoto did one year ago this fall.
I look forward to seeing Bouchard in camp this fall, as I think he’s the top prospect in Edmonton’s system, ahead of even Yamamoto.