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New Faces, New Lines: Oilers’ Projected Forward Combinations 2024-25

New Faces and New Lines: Projecting the Edmonton Oilers’ forward combinations to start the 2024-25 NHL season.

After a Stanley Cup finals appearance, the Edmonton Oilers have made a few oil changes to their lineup this offseason. Despite being one of the only teams without a general manager (CEO Jeff Jackson is filling in as the acting GM), the Oilers still made noise during free agency. With many new faces and some beloved players departing, the 2024-25 Oilers forward group will have quite a new feel. 

As Ryan McLeod and Warren Foegele depart the Oilers, some brand-new line combinations are inevitable. According to Bob Stauffer, the top six will have a much different look.

Meanwhile, the bottom six grows into arguably one of the most depth-filled teams in the NHL. Stauffer projects the top line will consist of Jeff Skinner, Connor McDavid, and Zack Hyman. With the addition of Skinner, the top line gains another explosive goal scorer with impressive edgework. 

Similarly, Stauffer predicts another new face on line two. Previously, the Oilers held a second line that was quite fluid. A revolving door of Adam Henrique, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Evander Kane, Foegel and Dylan Holloway made up that line on any given night. Things can always change, but the Oilers might have something more stable now. A solid, fast-paced, clever second line with the ability to score some impactful goals is important and Edmonton has it.

Currently, Stauffer predicts a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl, and Viktor Arvidsson will make up that line. As Arvidsson slots into place, his addition brings another exciting new dynamic. A tenacious forward who is willing to get into the dirty areas. Arvidsson is not one to shy away from a physical game, a trait necessary for a Stanley Cup contender team. 

What do These New Additions do to Change the Oilers’ Bottom Six?

As for the bottom six, much of it remains a mystery. Jackson made what many consider a minor trade, but long-term could be a blockbuster. He traded away Ryan McLeod and Ty Tullio for 2022 ninth-overall pick Matt Savoie. Whether Savoie makes the team out of camp and slots in higher or lower in the lineup is still up for debate.

Related: Oilers Land Matthew Savoie in Trade with Sabres for Ryan McLeod

Prior to the trade, Stauffer predicted a third line of Mattis Janmark, Henrique, and Connor Brown. As for the fourth line, Stauffer predicted a Dylan Holloway-Mcleod-Corey Perry/Evander Kane. It seems that Savoie will replace McLeod on the fourth line if he makes the team. Again, things are flexible in the bottom six but options and competition for jobs is good. With a group filled with talent and tenacity, the bottom six could grow into what seems to be a powerhouse. 

Matt Savoie Jeff Skinner Viktor Arvidsson Oilers

As it’s still early into the offseason, much is subject to change. Nevertheless, the moves made so far for the Oilers have been excellent. As the depth of the Oilers has spread out through all four lines. After a successful season with a heartbreaking ending, the hunger to win has only grown into an immeasurable emotion for the Oilers. Can this new forward group of the Oilers bring the Stanley Cup back to Edmonton for the first time since 1990?

Next: Draisaitl’s Agent to Play Big Hand in Contract Talks with Oilers

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