Zach Hyman will be signed by the Oilers

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“The Edmonton Oilers can’t waste any more years of Connor McDavid’s career than they have already.”

“The truth is that Zach Hyman has always been the man who will take the garbage out without you asking. He is going to the net, that’s his value. When he’s not doing that, he’s digging in the corners retrieving pucks. As a player who plays a fully engaged game with no minutes off, he’s often seen as generically “gritty” and that is always assumed to be a player whose value is defensive. Hyman’s value is nearly all offensive, and on the offense-first Leafs (and now the Oilers) he’s allowed to get the most out of his skills.” pensionplanpuppets

So, why Hyman?

As UFA left-wingers go, Hyman is in the Top 3 this summer along with Taylor Hall and Gabriel Landeskog, should the latter get to free agency in Colorado. Landeskog will command a much higher AAV, however, while Hall is happy and set to re-sign in Boston. He and Edmonton are two ships in the night that simply will not pass again.

Hyman, meanwhile, represents exactly what is required on McDavid’s left flank. A right shot left-winger, Hyman has played more than 60 percent of his NHL minutes next to Toronto superstar (and McDavid friend) Auston Matthews, where he has thrived.

Hyman is a cerebral player who knows what his role is and how to maximize it. His points per game average has gone up in each of the past four seasons, and he was a leading penalty killer and first-unit powerplay player in Toronto.

While McDavid has become as adept at scoring as he is at feeding his wingers, Hyman has made a reputation as a guy who can do whatever is needed as well. The biggest addition to Edmonton’s Top 6 — and to McDavid’s line — is his ability to score down low. Garbage goals, rebounds, tap-ins…

Edmonton lacks that player. McDavid lacks that player.

Hyman’s nose is perpetually dirty, as they say, which makes him a nice fit across the rink from right-winger Jesse Puljujarvi, who can score from distance.

The term of the contact is terrible. However, what Hyman brings in his game is exactly what Edmonton needs.