The Edmonton Oilers have just added a significant piece to their organizational depth by signing a young gold medalist to a new deal.
According to an official announcement from the Oilers organization, the team has signed 19 year old center Raphael Lavoie to his first National Hockey League deal, and as is standard this will be an entry level contract for Lavoie. Lavoie was the Oilers second round draft pick (38th overall) at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and he has since continued his career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Lavoie split his 2019 - 2020 regular season between two teams and quite frankly impressed with both squads during his time there. Lavoie started the season with the Halifax Mooseheads, a team he had previously played 3 seasons with in the QMJHL but would eventually join the ranks of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens later in the season. During his time with the Mooseheads he recorded 18 goals and 26 assists for 44 points over just 30 games played and finished there with a plus minus rating of +4 and 36 penalty minutes. He would then go on to play 25 games with the aforementioned Sagueneens and recorded 20 goals and 18 assists for 38 total points finishing his time there with 12 penalty minutes and a plus minus rating of +3.
Lavoie also brings with him some significant international experience as well due to his participation in the 2020 World Junior Championship tournament put on by the International Ice Hockey Federation each and every year. Lavoie, a native of Chambly, Quebec, Canada, represented his country alongside Team Canada at the most recent tournament and did his country proud by capturing a gold medal with that World Juniors team. Obviously given that he is now going to play in a Canadian market that will serve as a great way for Lavoie to ingratiate himself with the Oilers fan base, although he may not get his start in Edmonton right away.
The Athletic's Daniel Nugent-Bowman expects that Lavoie will begin his career with the Oilers as a member of the American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors, although it remains to be seen how that will all play out next season.