The Edmonton Oilers have been desperately searching for answers and on Saturday Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli made what appears to be a desperation move as he attempts to inject some life into his line up.
According to a report from Sportsnet's National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman the Oilers have claimed Russian forward Valentin Zykov off of the waiver wire after the young man was placed on waivers by the Hurricanes on Friday. The move now makes Zykov an Oiler, at least for the time being, but you have to wonder how much of a role he will get on the Oilers roster moving forward. The Oilers biggest need at the moment, at least as far as their forwards are concerned, has been offensive production and Zykov has not shown a knack for putting up points, at least not at the NHL level, thus far.
The 23 year old former 2nd round pick ( 37th overall ) of the Los Angeles Kings organization in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft has now played in parts of 3 seasons for the Hurricanes but has never truly found himself a consistent spot in the line up. Through his 25 career games at the NHL level he has 4 goals and 7 points for 11 assists, and although those numbers may not sounds too bad his production is currently at an all time low.
Through his first 13 games of regular season action this year Zykov has accumulated no goals and just 3 assists for a total of 3 points and boasts a plus minus rating of -1 on the season. This would appear to indicate a significant step back from the 3 goals and 4 assists for a total of 7 points he put up in 10 goals the previous season, but both sample sizes are so small that it's hard to pass judgement on a player that young. Zykov has fared a little better at the American Hockey League level this season with 2 goals and no assists over a 6 game stretch but he also racked up a whopping 16 penalty minutes over that stretch and im not sure I would call that lack of discipline on his part an improvement.
It's unclear what Chiarelli see's in this move but Oiler fans will get the chance to find out sooner rather than later I'm sure.