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Edmonton Oilers News & Notes: Un-signed Chaisson, Ennis & Yamamoto

In Edmonton Oilers news, a number of former players remained un-signed. What will happen with Alex Chaisson, Tyler Ennis and Kailer Yamamoto?

In this edition of Edmonton Oilers News & Rumors, I’ll share news about three Edmonton Oilers’ players from last season who remain unsigned – Alex Chiasson, Tyler Ennis, and Kailer Yamamoto. As training camp looms, something – one way or another – will happen with these players. What will happen isn’t clear.

Related: Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers’ Greatest Player of All-Time: A Look Back

Item One: Will Alex Chiasson Be Back with the Oilers This Season?

The problem isn’t that the Oilers don’t want Alex Chiasson in their lineup, the problem is that there might not be room. That said, the Oilers’ general manager Ken Holland reported that he talked with Chiasson’s agent this week. However, Holland said that he doesn’t know if the team has enough room on its roster at the moment for the forward.

So there Chiasson sits waiting. He’s still an unrestricted free agent and unless he finds a landing spot might become a potential PTO (professional tryout) signing. That’s one of the issues with the flat salary cap that’s come from playing within the shadow of COVID-19. Quality players such as Chiasson might not be able to play. Last season, Chaisson scored nine goals and seven assists (for 16 points) in 45 games with the Oilers last season. 

The jury remains out on whether he’ll land anywhere this season. As Jim Matheson noted, it’s crowded on the right side. Chiasson has 78 points in 183 games with the Oilers (including 42 goals), but nobody’s signed. He’s a strong fourth-liner and has value on power play because of his net-front ability. (from “Oilers Notes: Yamamoto has no leverage in negotiations,” Jim Matheson, Edmonton Journal, 11/09/21).

Item Two: Tyler Ennis Remains a UFA

Tyler Ennis is one of my favorite players, and I would be sad to see him not play. However, there he remains – an unrestricted free agent. However, the word is that he’s been skating with his (former) Oilers’ teammates preparing for the season. Similar to Chiasson, it will be interesting to see if Ennis gets invited to camp even on a PTO. In 30 games for the Oilers last season, he scored three goals and added six assists (for nine points).

Kailer Yamamoto Edmonton Oilers
Kailer Yamamoto Edmonton Oilers

Item Three: Kailer Yamamoto Still Working to Prove His Worth

Given how general manager Holland has engaged the offseason with the big-splash signing of former Toronto Maple Leafs’ Zach Hyman, there’s still work to do signing Kailer Yamamoto. As a result, the landing spot might be that Yamamoto signs a short-term bride deal as a way to prove his value to the team as a top-six winger.

Holland noted recently that he believes “we’ll find a solution, but as you get closer to camp there’s a little more urgency on both sides. It’s not good for anybody to miss the start of camp, for anybody, especially young players. If you’re not there, you’re falling farther and farther behind.”

Yamamoto, who seems to me to be value-added on Leon Draisaitl’s wing, scored eight goals and 13 assists (for 21 points) in 52 games last season. For a smaller player, he also engages physically. He totalled a hit each game for 52 overall.

Related: Jaromir Jagr, Wayne Gretzky and Other Great NHL Mullets



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