Oilers sign left winger Adam Erne and Lightning sign left winger Austin Watson


The Edmonton Oilers added to their offensive group on Friday with the signing of left winger Adam Erne of  New Haven, Connecticut. They came to terms on a one-year, two-way contract worth $775,000. The Oilers are the third National Hockey League team for Erne, as he previously played three seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning (2016 to 2019), and four seasons with the Detroit Red Wings (2019 to 2023).

Speaking of the Lightning, Erne was one of two American left wingers to sign with a new team this past week. On Monday, Tampa Bay signed left winger Austin Watson of Ann Arbour, Michigan to a one-year deal worth $776, 665.

2022-23 NHL Statistics for Erne

In 61 regular season games with the Detroit Red Wings, Erne had eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points. He was a -12 with 21 penalty minutes, two game-winning goals, one shorthanded point, 55 shots on goal, 12 faceoff wins, 55 blocked shots, 160 hits, 16 takeaways and 17 giveaways.

Erne’s shorthanded point came in a 3-0 Red Wings win over the New York Islanders. It was a primary assist on a goal by Pius Suter of Zurich, Switzerland at 12:51 of the second period. At the time, the Red Wings went up 2-0.

Erne’s game-winning goals came in a 4-2 Red Wings win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 6 and in a 5-3 Red Wings win over the Boston Bruins on March 12. In the win over the Lightning, Erne scored from Andrew Copp of Ann Arbour at 16:22 of the third period into an empty net. At the time, the Red Wings went up 3-1. In the win over the Bruins, Erne scored from Jonatan Berggren of Uppsala, Sweden and Jordan Oesterle of Dearborn Heights, Michigan at 15:08 of the second period. At the time, the Red Wings went up 4-0.

Reason for the signing of Erne

According to Louie DeBrusk of Rogers Sportsnet, Erne was excellent in the locker room in the preseason, and got along great with his teammates. He was actually released by the Oilers after signing a professional tryout in the offseason, but brought back by Edmonton after the Oilers were clobbered 8-1 by the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday. In Erne’s debut with the Oilers on Saturday, he had one shot on goal and four hits in six minutes and 13 seconds of ice time in a 4-3 Oilers loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

Austin Watson

Watson is also joining his third National Hockey League team. He was previously with the Nashville Predators for six seasons (2012-2013, and again from 2015 to 2020), and three seasons with the Ottawa Senators (2020 to 2023). Last season with Ottawa, Watson had nine goals and two assists for 11 points in 75 games. He was a -7 with 123 penalty minutes, three shorthanded goals, two game-winning goals, 79 shots on goal, seven faceoff wins, 61 blocked shots, 165 hits, 19 takeaways, and 21 giveaways.

The game-winning goals both came in a four-day span in February. The first was on February 25 in a 5-2 Senators win over the Montreal Canadiens. Watson scored from Travis Hamonic of St. Malo, Manitoba and Derick Brassard of Hull, Quebec at 4:31 of the third period. At the time, the Senators went up 3-2. The second came on February 28 in a 6-1 Senators win over the Red Wings. Watson scored a shorthanded goal from Dylan Gambrell of Bonney Lake, Washington at 7:52 of the first period, which put the Senators up 2-1 at the time.


Arrow to top