The Edmonton Oilers have rewarded Stuart Skinner with an extension, inking the goaltender to a three-year, $7.8MM contract. Skinner was set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season and will now be signed through 2025-26. The breakdown is:
- 2023-24: $2.3MM
- 2024-25: $2.5MM
- 2025-26: $3.0MM
Without Skinner, the Oilers wouldn’t be anywhere near the playoff race this season. The 24-year-old goaltender has been ultra reliable as Jack Campbell, the team’s big offseason free agent signing, continues to struggle. Through 19 appearances, Skinner has a .915 save percentage and a 2.83 goals-against average. Campbell, on the other hand, sits at an .875 and 4.04 through 14 games.
While the Oilers defense is certainly to blame for some of Campbell’s struggles, the former Toronto Maple Leafs netminder hasn’t been anywhere near worth the five-year, $25MM contract that Edmonton gave him in the summer. With a less capable backup, the team might have thrown away this season over the first two months. Skinner’s play has kept them afloat, even if there are still some obvious holes that need to be filled on the Oilers roster.
One might wonder why, then, the young netminder would agree to a multi-year deal at this point, knowing that he holds a lot of leverage after his early play. While the cap hit of $2.6MM isn’t outstanding, this deal will leave Skinner an unrestricted free agent at the age of 27, putting him in a great spot for a huge payday down the line. It also compares rather well to recent deals from other inexperienced goaltenders. Dan Vladar signed a two-year extension worth $2.2MM per season, and Pyotr Kochetkov signed a four-year deal worth $2MM per.
While his cap hit may be less than Campbell’s, realistically Skinner could be the team’s starter moving forward. The test for Edmonton now will be to try and get the veteran playing better, so they can share the net and the combined $7.6MM on goaltending doesn’t look like a huge waste of precious resources.