The Edmonton Oilers have inked another top goaltending prospect, this time signing Olivier Rodrigue to a three-year entry-level contract. Rodrigue played this season for the Drummondville Voltiguers, and could return to the CHL next season to continue his development.
Rodrigue, 18, was a second-round pick of the Oilers in 2018, the fifth year in a row they selected at least one goaltender. He follows the likes of Stuart Skinner, Dylan Wells and Shane Starrett into the pipeline, creating a depth chart that is actually quite formidable, as prospects are concerned. That pipeline will have to prove it can start producing polished NHL talent, but the Oilers have loaded up at a position they’ve struggled at recently in hopes that they can find their next star goaltender.
It very well could be Rodrigue, who went 35-9-1 for the Voltiguers this season before suffering a core muscle injury and being forced out of the lineup for six weeks. He returned in time to help Drummondville push the Halifax Mooseheads to six games in the QMJHL semi-finals, but was unable to get them a shot at the championship. Still, it was a positive season for the young goaltender, who lowered his goals against average and posted that excellent record despite a small decrease in save percentage.
Given his age, Rodrigue will not be eligible to play in the AHL next season meaning he’s likely ticketed back to the junior ranks. The Oilers will hope he can take another step forward physically and really dominate the league before they get him into the professional minor league system, but there is still a long way to go before he can be a contributor at the NHL level.