The Edmonton Oilers have another good one coming as prospect Raphael Lavoie has transformed himself and become a very good young player. Drafted in the second round in 2019 by then-newly hired general manager Ken Holland, he has started to become the player the Oilers had envisioned he would be.
The best lineup to ice every night is a combination of experience and youth, and though the Oilers were lacking some high-end youth for a while, they got some this season, and Lavoie may be the next to make his mark in the NHL. We’ll look at the timetable for his arrival in Edmonton, how he has developed into one of the team’s top prospects, his short- and long-term fit, and what to expect.
Condors Head Coach Praises Lavoie
A few days ago, Bakersfield Condors head coach Colin Chaulk was a guest on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer and he revealed a lot about Lavoie that will answer many of our questions. At this time, Stauffer noted that Lavoie has 20 goals, 33 points, and is a plus-13 in his last 33 games at that point. Any point-per-game player in the American Hockey League (AHL) is deserving of at least a shot in the NHL, even if it’s not right at this moment for the young forward with the Oilers.
Chaulk said that, “One thing that he (Lavoie) has been doing very well is protecting the puck and using his big frame.” The coach mentions he plays like he’s 6-foot-4. This is good to hear considering not all big players play that way and it gets in the way of reaching their maximum potential. Chaulk also noted that until Christmas of 2021, Lavoie didn’t play like he was 6-foot-4. This was a reason for the uptick in performance in the second half of last season. The start of this season got derailed by injuries, but we are seeing the type of player Lavoie is going to continue to be now when healthy. He has been called a streaky scorer, but injuries may be a reason why. When he’s playing to his size and doing all the key things right, that’s when he is the point-per-game player we’re seeing.
Diving a bit deeper into what Lavoie has been doing right, Chaulk also stated, “He’s holding onto the puck. Before, at times, he would throw things away.” Holding onto the puck is a sign of confidence and something the best players tend to do. They want to make things happen and be in control with the puck on their stick and are confident they can get it done. We see that in Edmonton with…
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