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Zach Hyman: A Great First Impression

Before Joining The Oilers

On July 1st of 2021, the Oilers opened up free agency by announcing the signing of Zach Hyman, a Toronto Maple Leaf for the previous six seasons. In the NHL Entry Draft, Hyman was drafted 123rd overall by the Florida Panthers. Leading up to the draft, Hyman played in the Central Canada Hockey League, where he played for Hamilton, scoring 35 goals and 75 points.

After being drafted, Hyman would go to the Ontario Junior Hockey League, where Hyman would once again play for Hamilton and thrive, scoring 42 goals in 43 games and finishing with 102 points. The following two years would see Hyman play for the University of Michigan. The first season was an adjustment period for Hyman, as he scored seven goals and 17 points in 35 games. The following season would be Hyman returning to form, as he scored 22 goals and finished with 54 points in 37 games.

Hyman would then be traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he would start in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies. Hyman would play 59 games with the Marlies, scoring 22 goals and 37 points, before being called up to the Toronto Maple Leafs and getting his first look on NHL ice.

The next five seasons for Zach Hyman would see a consistent rise in his PPG:

2016-1 7(82GP): 10-18-28 (0.34 PPG)

2017-18 (82GP): 15-25-40 (0.48 PPG)

2018-19 (71GP): 21-20-41 (0.57PPG)

2019-20 (51GP): 21-16-37 (0.72PPG)

2020-21 (43GP): 15-18-33 (0.76PPG)

After that strong 2020-21 season, Zach Hyman would head to the market and join former teammates Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci in Edmonton, signing a 7-year, 38.5 million-dollar deal with the club.

Being An X-Factor

When Zach Hyman signed with the Oilers, the buzz around the fanbase was pure excitement, as the Oilers would finally bring in a forward to solidify the top 6 and McDavid’s line. It didn’t take long for Hyman to get used to playing with McDavid. In their first pre-season game against the newly formed Seattle Kraken, Hyman would score off a beautiful setup by Connor McDavid and Jesse Puljujarvi.

This would continue onto the season opener against the Canucks. On the powerplay, Zach Hyman would tap in his first official goal as an Edmonton Oiler in the 2nd period off a slap pass from Leon Draisaitl. The early success would keep on going. Through the first 12 games, Hyman would score eight goals and 11 points. The Oilers would also go on a hot run, as they won 9 of the first ten games and went 16-5-0 through the first 21 games. Surely nothing could go wrong.

Although it was a hot start for both Hyman and the Oilers, the struggles were shown on both player and team after the hot start. It all went wrong. The Oilers lost 13 of the next 15 games, and Hyman would only score in one of the next 17 games (2 goals against the Montreal Canadians). It was a tough time for the Oilers, as it pushed them from 2nd in the Pacific Division all the way down to 5th and out of a playoff spot. This would lead to the firing of Head Coach Dave Tippett and Assistant Coach Jim Playfair and the hiring of Jay Woodcroft and Dave Manson out of the Bakersfield Condors.

It was a coaching change that needed to happen, as most players seemed to be very confused about their role under Dave Tippett, who seemingly provided little detail and structure to the roster. Derek Ryan was asked about the team’s defensive structure (This comes a week and a half after hiring Woodcroft): “Yeah, I think we’re just so much more detailed than we were earlier in the year. I think everyone is just on the same page… it just felt like earlier in the year, guys were [kind of] panicky. Didn’t really quite know where to go…”.

After hiring Jay Woodcroft, the Oilers would go 27-11-3 and finish 2nd in the Pacific Division. Zach Hyman would also bounce back strong under the new coach, as over the next 41 games, Hyman would score 14 goals and 29 points to finish off his first season with the Oilers.

Where It Matters Most

Come to the post-season, and the Oilers were the favorites in the first round against a young LA Kings team, who was more than ready to prove to everyone that they could skate with the Oilers and even beat them. Both teams snagged a win through the first two games, but Hyman didn’t produce any points. This would change by Game 3. In Game 3, Hyman would score two goals and finish the game with 3 points, helping the Oilers gain a 2-1 series lead. The Kings would bounce back immediately, winning the next two games, pushing the Oilers to the brink of elimination. Although the Oilers would win games 6 and 7, Hyman would only produce one point in the final four games.

The second round is where Hyman would show that he’s not there to be a passenger in the Oilers success and have an awesome five games against the Flames, being a key factor in the Oilers victory over the Flames. Through 5 games, Hyman would record 8 points and score six goals, including a goal in every game. Without the help from Hyman, there is a small chance that the Oilers will get out of the 2nd round.

Come the 3rd round, it was all offense from both sides, but the Oiler’s run would end by a sweep from the hands of the Colorado Avalanche. Through the four games, Hyman recorded a point in 3 of them, finishing with three goals and 4 points. A great run came to an end.

All In All

Zach Hyman quickly became a fan favorite in Edmonton, not only for his skill and work ethic but also for how much of a role model he is off the ice. Hyman has his golf tournament called the “Zach Hyman Celebrity Classic,” where he takes the donations and puts them towards two charities: the Sick Kids children hospital and the UJA Federation (United Jewish Appeal).

With training camp only two weeks away, hockey is right around the corner, and it’ll be exciting to see what kind of season Hyman can put together this time around.

Trade Season is Approaching Cue’ the Duck Boats Pod

The boys squeak in an episode before Jake heads off to Florida. They touch on the Bruins' recent milestones, especially Bergerons 1000 points. They head over to the metro to see can Pittsburgh and Washington turn things around before heading out west to take Shane Wright and the Seattle Krakheads.Thanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Trade Season is Approaching
  2. Interview W/ Bruins' Johnny Beecher
  3. Everybody's Upset
  4. The Reverse Retro Review W/ @Garth_wickham
  5. Early Season Surprises

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