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21 goals in his last 23 games: Zach Hyman is the best signing of the summer of 2021
The Edmonton Oilers had us all on tenterhooks.

First of all, with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in the lineup and other great players, Edmonton was expected to have a big season.

Unfortunately, the Alberta team got off to a rocky start, as did McDavid, who was slow to produce at the pace to which he has become accustomed.

And let’s not forget Jack Campbell, who was placed in the waivers and sent down to the AHL due to his poor performances. He was signed for $5 million per season, for five years, in the hope of solving the famous problem in front of the net.

In mid-November, head coach Jay Woodcroft was fired, to be replaced by Kris Knoblauch, who has done very well since his arrival.

Indeed, the Oilers were 3-9-1 with Woodcroft behind the bench, and now Edmonton boasts a 20-15-1 record, with 17 wins in its last 23 games.

Not only has McDavid found his usual rhythm, but there’s also Zach Hyman, who has been everything and more to the Oilers since Knoblauch’s arrival, according to Pierre LeBrun.

As mentioned by the renowned insider, Hyman is one of the best free agent signings of the last decade.

He’s always been used to being positioned in the pay zone to collect loose pucks in the slot, but lately he’s really expanded his arsenal to score more goals.

He’s moving around more, varying his positioning in front of the net, passing in front of the net to block the goalie’s view, and positioning himself to deflect pucks or take shot returns.

In the last 23 games, Hyman has scored no fewer than 21 goals, in addition to collecting nine assists.

Incredible. He goes way too under the radar for my taste, but the right-handed forward is tied for fourth on the scoring list with Artemi Panarin at 25 goals.

At this rate, Hyman could easily pass the 50-goal mark, as he’s on his way to a 58-goal season (0.71 goals per game).

In Daniel Nugent-Bowman’s article on The Athletic, he demonstrates how the 31-year-old striker defies the aging curve among players.

Many people think that when a player passes his thirties, he starts to regress, which makes sense, but it doesn’t apply to all players.

As Zach Hyman told The Athletic, every player takes care of his body differently.

“I’ve always hated the term for a player falling off a cliff when they’re 30. Many players regress at 30, but there’s nothing stopping you from getting better.” – Zach Hyman

Hyman spoke briefly about Sidney Crosby, who is having another excellent season at 36. Last year, he amassed 93 points and is now at 41 points in 38 games.

Tim Thomas, Martin St-Louis and Brad Marchand are also players who have enjoyed very good seasons well into their thirties.

Hyman signed a seven-season contract in the summer of 2021, for an annual salary of $5.5 million.

This signature was definitely better than Jack Campbell’s, but it’s not that hard to beat.

I’d even go so far as to say that #18 is the best signing of the summer of 2021.

We can think of Phillip Danault and Philipp Grubauer, who signed with a new team that summer, but there’s also Frederik Andersen, who was a good signing for the Carolina Hurricanes, despite the injuries in his case.

Aside from the contribution to their respective teams, if we take into consideration the average annual salary of these signings, Hyman at $5.5 million and his 25 goals in 35 games make him the best signing in the free agents.

On the other hand, if we look at the Oilers’ roster, we can all agree that they are in dire need of a top-notch goaltender, or at least more depth on defense.

When the team tries to solve the goaltending problem, they sign Jack Campbell for several seasons, only to have him play in the AHL. And I’m not saying he does well in the AHL.

This signing is clearly good for the Oilers, as Hyman was the missing piece on the top-6 attack, but you’re not going to go far in the playoffs with a young Stuart Skinner and Calvin Pickard.

At the deadline, it will be important for Edmonton to get at least one good veteran in goal to back up Skinner and give themselves the best possible chance of winning the Stanley Cup.

Breaking news

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