The Edmonton Oilers will bring back Patrick Russell for another season, signing the pending free agent Patrick Russell to a one-year contract. The team has not released financial specifics, but Mark Spector of Sportsnet reports that Russell will earn just $750K next season (Elliotte Friedman has it at $700K).
Now 27, Russell is an example of hard work and determination. The undrafted forward out of Denmark played a season in the USHL, two in the NCAA and three in the AHL before really getting a chance at the NHL level, where he spent 45 games this season in Edmonton. A strong goal-scorer at every level, that ability disappeared on Russell when he joined the Oilers. In 45 games he recorded just five assists, failing to score a single time.
Still, bringing him back on an inexpensive deal made sense for the Oilers as they look to retool for next season. Russell can play a depth role for the team, moving in and out of the lineup whenever necessary. Though it’s hard to imagine him providing a ton of offense in the NHL, he has improved tremendously in the second year at every level and could potentially take another step forward with some more experience, even in his late-twenties.