Three Former Oilers Are Having Good Years. 3 Others Who are Struggling

Many times, Edmonton Oilers players go on to improve their play. Many of these players have experienced this; unfortunately, some of them have had to deal with difficult 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 have good seasons while others are in trouble.

A Good Season: Jordan Eberle (Seattle Kraken)

Jordan Eberle’s best years were as an Oiler. He scored 20 goals in five out of seven seasons. He was traded to New York Islanders in 2017-18, and his offensive output plummeted on a team that is extremely defensive-minded.

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

Eberle was the most recent selection in the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft. He is one of the top leaders on the new franchise. Eberle has scored 12 goals and 24 point in 33 games for a team that has struggled. 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 currently on pace for scoring just below 30 goals, which would be the second-most goals in his career. If he continues to do so, it will also make him the most prolific goal scorer of all time. Eberle leads the Kraken in points, while he plays on the top line. He also has the second most goals behind Jared McCann.

Jeff Petry (Montreal Canadiens), Struggling

Jeff Petry hasn’t been with the Oilers since the 2014-15 season, but he has enjoyed a real emergence on the Montreal Canadiens. His progression was evident when he was with Oilers. However, it took too long and they had already moved away from him. In five seasons, he scored seven goals and 25 point in the most offensive games of a season. In 295 games, he scored just 74 points.

Petry has enjoyed stellar numbers since joining the Canadiens. This is even more impressive than when he turned 30 years. He has 223 points in 468 games with them, while he’s also received Norris Trophy votes in two different seasons. His career highs are 13 goals and 46 goals. However, he also holds the record for most goals scored and points earned.

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. While almost all players are having a terrible season, two assists in 28 is still a great deal compared with the offensive seasons Petry has had in recent years. 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 shown some success on the power play throughout his career but nothing has happened in this regard.

Pat Maroon (Tampa Bay Lightning), a Good Season

Pat Maroon‘s best years of his career came when he was part of the Oilers. While it’s great to be on a line together with Connor McDavid and to have his scoring ability, you can also point to his finishing ability. He had the best career ice time in Edmonton with 49 goals and an 86 point record in 154 games.

Related: Evander Kane Signing is Worth It 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)

Justin Schultz (Washington Capitals), a struggle

Justin Schultz began his career in Edmonton. He was regarded as an offensive powerhouse, but he never reached the level of excellence that the Oilers were able to offer. After three and a quarter seasons with the Oilers, things went south. Schultz was traded the Pittsburgh Penguins to where he won backwards Stanley Cups in the first and second half of his season. He also broke out in his entire year with the Penguins.

Justin Schultz Washington Capitals
Justin Schultz Washington Capitals (Photo: Sara Schmidle/NHLI via Getty Images).

After one great season, Schultz saw things improve and everything was back to normal. This offensive defenseman with the Washington Capitals has had an awful year offensively in his second season. 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.

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

David Perron started his career in St. Louis, where he spent six seasons before moving to Edmonton. There, he was immediately successful scoring 28 goals and 57 point in his first season. He was only allowed to stay for one more season before he was released at the deadline.

Perron, five seasons later, is back with the Blues in his third stint, and he’s thriving on a strong team. He has missed some time, but in the 25 games he’s played in, eight goals and 20 points is very respectable. Perron contributes on the power play as he has done throughout his career. Nearly half of his points come there. (from “With David Perron returning to the Blues’ lineup, the question becomes: When do they re-sign him?”, [Update News], Dec. 29, 2021)

Jujhar Khaira (Chicago Blackhawks), Struggling?

After Jujhar Khhaira’s noticeable decline over the past several seasons, the Oilers granted him free agency. He was drafted in the third round by Edmonton in 2012. He spent six seasons with 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, who signed in Chicago, has scored just three goals in 24 games while also averaging nearly one minute per game. The Blackhawks have struggled, and his numbers have been an indication that he’s followed suit. Khaira missed a few games due to a hit which caused him the need to be removed from 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 were Oilers fans’ favorite when they were playing for 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.