The Oilers are expected to have to sign Evan Bouchard to a short-term bridge contract to fit him within their cap structure. On the latest 32 Thoughts podcast (audio link), Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggests that the deal might fall within the $3.5MM to $4MM range. For comparison, Colorado’s Bowen Byram inked a two-year bridge deal with a $3.85MM AAV and Bouchard has more than twice as many games played as points as Byram. The 23-year-old is coming off his second straight regular season of at least 40 points and led all NHL blueliners in playoff scoring with 17 points in just 12 contests.
More from the Western Conference:
- The Stars haven’t given up on pursuing outside help defensively via the trade route, relays Saad Yousuf of The Athletic (subscription link). However, they are prepared to enter next season with what they have now with the hopes that Thomas Harley and Nils Lundkvist can take a step forward in their development to help bolster the depth of their unit. Dallas has been quiet with their back end this summer with their only NHL-related moves being the trade of Colin Miller to New Jersey, the signing of Gavin Bayreuther, and the re-signing of Joel Hanley.
- Coyotes prospect Logan Cooley told Jenna Ortiz of the Arizona Republic that he’s not putting a timeline on when he turns pro. The 19-year-old was the third-overall pick last year and had a standout first season at Minnesota, putting up 60 points in 39 games to finish second in NCAA scoring while also averaging two points per game at the World Juniors. As it is, some feel that Cooley doesn’t have much left to prove at that level so while he’s not willing to put a firm expectation in place for when he turns pro, it certainly feels like that should be happening when his college season comes to an end either next March or April.