This past Tuesday, the Edmonton Oilers signed forward Brandon Sutter to their first professional tryout of the offseason. He hasn’t played an NHL game since 2021 due to battling long COVID. He’s a right-handed center that the Oilers would still like to add to the bottom six. I’m just not sure he’ll be healthy enough to make the team after two long years. Even if he looks okay, can he take a fourth line/13th forward job from Mattias Janmark or Lane Pederson? Can he take one from prospect Raphael Lavoie, who Oilers fans feel could make the team this year?
In his last NHL season, the COVID bubble year, he put up 12 points in 43 games. In a full 82 game season, he’d have been on pace for 23 points. His best season still goes all the way back to his sophomore year in 2010, when he put up 40 points in 72 games played. If he impresses the coaching staff in training camp, then who knows? He could perhaps be well enough to put up the decent numbers he had before his COVID illness. This PTO is a low-risk, low-reward decision in the dog days of summer.