Out of Control
If you are a diehard hockey fan, the offseason might be the best part of the season besides the playoffs. Storylines are created, rosters are shaped and new hope is given. Listed are three major storylines going into the Edmonton Oil Kings 2021-2022 WHL Season
The Oil Kings over the past two seasons have been hands down the best team in the WHL Central Division, however, have not been able to go on playoff runs due to COVID-19. Truthfully, this Oil Kings team has been good enough to be a Memorial Cup contender the last two seasons.
2019-2020 the Oil Kings posted a .734 winning percentage off of a 42-12-10 record, securing first in the Central Division by 9 points over the Medicine Hat Tigers. They were second in the entire WHL, only behind the Portland Winterhawks with 97 points.
2020-2021 a COVID shortened season where most teams played 24 games, the Oil Kings finished with a stellar 20-2-1 record for a .891 winning percentage. Ahead of every other team in the WHL. However, it is worth mentioning that there was no out-of-division play as the Oil Kings trounced the Central.
It’s been unfair that they have not been able to push this roster to the limits, but more important things have been going on in the world. That brings us to this offseason, optimistically it seems everything is back to normal. The Oil Kings still have a strong roster and they are ready to push for that Memorial Cup.
The 2021 NHL Entry Draft was a good one for the Edmonton Oil Kings, sporting two first-round draft picks and five players in total. These picks are going to be expected to carry the load in 2021-2022 as they will all be eligible to play.
Jalen Luypen led the class in points in the 2020-2021 season with 29 in 23 games, but Dylan Guenther had the most points per game, with 24 points in 12 games. Guenther was selected 9th overall by the Arizona Coyotes. He will be entering his fourth WHL season but has only played more than 12 games once. A healthy, older Guenther with a full season should be able to put up the best season the Oil Kings have seen since Trey Fix-Wolansky.
Sebastian Cossa, in my opinion, was the best goaltender in this NHL Draft. Detroit thought so as well, as Cossa was the first goaltender taken off the board at #15. Cossa went insane last season, playing 19 games with a 17-1-1 record, posting a .941SV% and 1.57GAA. Cossa will be the starter for the Oil Kings next season and will be expected to carry a big load and take the team deep into the playoffs.
Carson Latimer, Jakub Demek, and Jalen Luypen also got selected. Selected #123, #128 and #216 respectively. Will all be integral parts of the team this season.
Fans are Back
Home ice advantage is huge and the Oil Kings haven’t had fans in the building in over two seasons. Edmonton averages the most fans in the WHL and the importance of having those fans back in the building can’t be overstated. Health restrictions willing, we will have a full season of WHL hockey. The Oil Kings are going to be one of the best teams in the WHL and the City of Edmonton is itching for a deep playoff run. Unlikely of the Oilers doing it any time soon, the Oil Kings are the best chance of that.
Life is back to normal, the Oil Kings have an amazing roster and it’s time for them to chase a Memorial Cup again. Follow along with 12oz Sports as we will be covering the Oil Kings all season.