The Boston Bruins thought they could slide Colby Cave through waivers this week, but with the Edmonton Oilers looking for any sort of forward help it wasn’t to be so. The Oilers have claimed Cave, meaning he will join their NHL group and likely get another chance to establish himself at the highest level.
It’s not the first time this season that the Oilers have taken a stab at a young forward on waivers, given their dramatic need for help in the bottom half of their lineup. Cave played 20 games with the Bruins this season and actually impressed many with his unending work ethic and two-way ability. The 24-year old recorded five points in those games but has also dominated the AHL level this year with 18 points in 15 contests for the Providence Bruins. There’s little reason to believe he can become a top-six forward for Edmonton, but they’ve struggled so much to create any offense outside of their top few players that even a professional fourth-liner may be an upgrade.
The Oilers have just four forwards with at least five goals this season—not counting Drake Caggiula who recorded seven before being traded away—and amazingly fewer with even 25 points. Jujhar Kaira’s 13 points puts him fifth among all forwards, a production level that is not possible for a team expecting to challenge for the Stanley Cup. Cave should immediately challenge for a full-time role in Edmonton, and could even push out some of the more veteran options.