4 Big Questions for the Edmonton Oilers in 2020-21

Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers.(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers.(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /
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2. Is Tyson Barrie the stud this Oilers defense needs in 2020-21?

The Edmonton Oilers will enter the 2020-21 NHL season without Oscar Klefbom, who is out for the entire year with a chronic shoulder injury.

It is a big loss for Head Coach Dave Tippett considering that Klefbom led the Oilers in ice time per game (25:25) in 2019-20, and he also ranked first among all team defensemen in scoring with 34 points (5 G, 29 A) in 62 games.

Elite at quarterbacking the power play too, Edmonton will need someone to step up and fill the void left by Klefbom offensively.

While Ethan Bear will likely see an increase in his minutes and play in all situations, as I wrote about here, Tyson Barrie is the offensive juggernaut that the Edmonton Oilers will really need to step up to the plate in 2020-21.

After a failed cup of coffee with the Toronto Maple Leafs last year, where he put up 39 points (5 G, 34 A) in 70 regular-season games but found himself earmarked as the latest Leafs defenseman to become the scapegoat for the team’s postseason failures, Barrie signed a one-year, $3,750,000 prove-it deal with the Oilers during the offseason.

It was a smart pickup by Edmonton, especially in the light of the Klefbom news, and Barrie will be motivated to restore his reputation while helping his new team back to the postseason.

An offensive defenseman who can log big minutes, Barrie can easily put up 50 or more points in a single season and he will be given every opportunity to do so in Edmonton.

An elite quarterback on the power play too, the 29-year-old should only help to maintain a PP unit that ranked first in the National Hockey League last year (29.5).

And, if Tyson Barrie can reach the peak of his powers again and become the offensive juggernaut he was with the Colorado Avalanche, then it will be good news for his future prospects and good news for the Edmonton Oilers’ hopes of being a Playoff team again.