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Evan Bouchard Signs Entry Level Contract

NHL: NHL Draft Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The news of the day is some general housekeeping. The Oilers have signed 1st round draft pick, Evan Bouchard to an Entry Level Contract.

Because of his late birthday, and the fact that he signed his deal prior to September 15th, his contract can slide a maximum of twice. Realistically, that’s not going to happen unless something goes very wrong. He should be seeing regular NHL time next year.

He is expected to show up to camp and make a statement. Either he’ll be sent down after nine games, or he’ll have given the Oilers absolutely no choice.

It’s been almost 30 years since the Oilers have kept an 18 year old straight out of Junior beyond top-6 draft choices, so I think it’s quite unlikely that it happens here. However, I would really like to see those 9 games dragged out through December, have him practice with the big club, and go to the World Juniors prior to officially being sent down.

He was an incredible offensive defenseman in the OHL last year. His first pass is second to none, and he takes at the same rate as a frat boy. He really needs to get his skating looked after. For the record, Leon Draisaitl being kept up as long as he did in his first year was something that really helped his skating. Having not done that, he might not be the same player he is today.

It’s nice to see the Oilers take care of the low-hanging fruit with this, but it’s really time they settle Darnell Nurse.