The Edmonton Oilers nabbed a player in free agency on Monday, one that might not be that bad of a pick-up. Calling Yohann Auvitu, the player Edmonton signed, a diamond in the rough in NHL free agency might go a little too far. However, Edmonton might have found some kind of less-precious metal in the rough as there is reason to be optimistic about what Auvitu can do.

Auvitu didn't do bad with New Jersey

Auvitu, a defenseman, is 27 years old and he doesn't have a lot of NHL experience. Last season he was with the New Jersey Devils. In 25 games. He had 2 goals, 2 assists, and went +1 for plus/minus.

The points-per-game production certainly doesn't jump out, however, the last statistic does jump out a bit. Keeping in mind that Auvitu is a defenseman without any known offensive punch, the Edmonton Oilers can only really be thinking about a player that adds to defensive depth in signing him.

Auvitu going +1 with New Jersey might hint at some ability. The Devils were the last-place team in the Eastern Conference last season. On goal differential, they went -61 and the plus/minus of their players generally took a beating as a result. Auvitu was one of only six players for New Jersey last season that ended up on the good side of the plus/minus stat. Plus/minus is a tricky stat and it reflects heavily on linemates and goaltending saves.

However, that Auvitu was positive on a team that was outscored by a ton is interesting. He was able to keep his head above water despite being surrounded by players that couldn't.

Auvitu's career prior to NHL

Auvitu also spent some time in liiga in recent seasons, the Finish elite league for ice hockey. He was in the league in 2015/16, the same season that Jesse Puljujarvi was last in that league.

Puljujarvi, as a forward, had 22 points in 50 games. Meanwhile, Auvitu had 21 points in 48 games which is practically the same scoring ratio. When you factor in that Auvitu is a defenseman there's another clue that this is a player capable of playing big minutes in the NHL. Puljujarvi is certainly the better prospect, due to age differences but Auvitu looks like a depth player that can help out in the NHL right now.

Signings always have to be evaluated in terms of the cost. Auvitu is inked to a one-year deal worth the minimum $650,000. This is a player that can log enough minutes, potentially without hurting the team, that can keep the top-line players fresh. Accordingly, this was a good signing at the league minimum price. The Oilers, at first glance, got the best of this signing.