If Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland is anything, he’s loyal to his players and a man of his word. The veteran executive has shown that yet again today by extending forward Joakim Nygard. The move comes just weeks after a report emerged that Holland and company were happy with the play of their depth forwards and hoping to sign the impending UFA’s in that group. Zack Kassian was re-signed days after that announcement and now Nygard, one of the other players specifically named, can also be checked off the re-signing list. Nygard’s new deal is for the 2020-21 season and carries an $875K cap hit, per PuckPedia.
Nygard, 27, is in his first NHL season after signing with the Oilers this past spring out of Sweden. The left-winger had previously been a standout performer for many years for Farjestad BK of the SHL but decided to make the jump to the top level. So far, he has recorded nine points in 33 games, but has battled injuries along the way and is currently sidelined with a broken hand. At his best, Nygard has shown flashes of offensive pop and has even spent some time on Edmonton’s little-used second power-play unit. None of Nygard’s numbers this season really jump off the page, but clearly there was mutual interest in an extended relationship between player and team and at worst he is an affordable depth option, especially after taking a slight salary hit off of his $925K number this year.
With Nygard’s new deal complete, Holland can continue down the list. The other forwards named in the prior report include Josh Archibald and Riley Sheahan, who have both been valuable role players for the Oilers this season. At this rate, don’t be surprised to see both ink extensions by the end of the regular season.