Background and Introduction
The Edmonton Oilers recently signed Cooper Marody to an one year contract worth $750,000. Drafted in 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers in the sixth round, Marody is one of a limited number of players in the Top 25 Under 25 acquired by trade. Because let’s be honest, the countdown is normally filled with a variety of Oilers prospects from various drafts. Players the Oilers have recently trade for have been considerably… older. Let’s go with older.
Marody has spent the majority of the four years with the Bakersfield Condors. He had a stint in Austria in 2020 while the AHL was paused where he played 1 game, and the 2018-2019 season saw him play six games with the Edmonton Oilers, his only NHL call up. Arguably, his play last season would have merited a call up in any other circumstances. Marody joined the Condors in the 2017-2018 season after three years at the University of Michigan with an impressive 51 points in 40 games played in his last season. His rookie year saw Marody manage 61 points on 58 games played, but
The shortened 2021 season saw Marody return to previous offensive form. He had 21 goals and 15 assists for 236 points in 39 games played, a considerable step up from his 2019-2020 5 goals and 12 assists for 17 points in 30 games after returning from a concussion. Marody’s line was for a significant time the best in the AHL and eventually linemate Ryan McLeod was called up the Oilers where he acquitted himself decently.
Marody also, interestingly enough seems to have at least some musical talent. Marody released a song, Agape, in honour of teammate Colby Cave after his unfortunate passing during the summer of 2020.
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The Copper and Blue Staff have a slightly more optimistic opinion on Marody which is weird because people are always us that we’re just negative nancies.
Why He Made the List
Right… okay… the whole being one third of the best line in the AHL for a considerable period of time (like weeks not just like a period or two) really helped to solidify Marody’s position. He finished the 2021 AHL season as the AHL leader in goals scored.
His offensive output and strong play had many fans questioning whether or not he would see a call up as they Oilers struggled with injuries. Ultimately, that call up went to linemate Ryan McLeod but Marody’s obvious chemistry and success with McLeod and Benson was certainly a storyline for Oilers fans to follow this last year.
At 6’0” and 194lbs, Marody is not the Oilers most physical prospect, but he doesn’t need to be. The center is focused playing a smart and skilled game. He’s the type of player who would rather be creating something offensively than attempting to check the opposition. Which isn’t to say Marody neglects the defensive game, but to admit that the physical game isn’t Marody’s strong point.
Why He Made the List at 11
Marody is an interesting prospect… but different interesting than some of the names on this list. For one, the Oilers just resigned him to a one year contract after his ELC finished. At 25 years old, Marody (if I’m parsing waivers rules correctly) is eligible to be claimed by another team if he were to be sent to the AHL after an NHL call up. While this might not negative impact the Oilers at the NHL level, it could have some interesting effects at an AHL levell
Again, not being a player on his ELC places Marody in a little bit of a different category. He’s a known AHL performer, but his skating is considered a weakness. And let’s be quite frank Connor McDavid doesn’t need anymore anchors in his forward group. But as mentioned above, Marody had an impressive run with Benson and McLeod and there might be a niche for him in the Oilers bottom six as a depth player. The Oilers were lucky enough at points in the 2021 NHL season to have three decent scoring lines and it was a wonderful thing!
Marody also finds himself ranked 11 because he’s a more solid prospect than several of the younger players. At 25, the Oilers know exactly what they’re getting with Marody. He lacks the mystery of some of the younger drafted players who have more potential but also could be spectacular failures.
This next year will be make or break for Marody. Hopefully he challenges the Oilers bottom six forwards (such as they are) at camp. Marody has the potential to play NHL games this season, either as a result of injuries or based off a strong training camp performance. His 2018-2019 NHL games were in October and hopefully, Marody can replicate that success in the 2021-2022 camp.