The Edmonton Oilers signed Joey Laleggia to a one-year deal on July 12th. According to Spotrac, the terms of the deal include $700,000 for the defenseman, just better than the NHL's league minimum. Laleggia, now 25 years old, is out of Burnaby, British Columbia. He was drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers. Looking at what he has done in the AHL in recent seasons, he does look like he's ready for a trial period in the NHL next season.

Laleggia has done well in AHL

Laleggia, who has yet to make an appearance in the NHL, has been a part of the Bakersfield Condors for the last two seasons, Edmonton's AHL affiliate.

As a defenseman, he had 27 points in the 2015/16 season in 63 games. That points tally wasn't impressive. However, he did go +38 on the season for plus/minus. Last season, in 2016/17, he showed major improvement in his scoring statistics. He had a goal-heavy 38 points in 67 games, good production for a player in his position. A 20-goal season as a defenseman is also very impressive. Lastly, he stayed very positive on the plus/minus side of things, going +30 over the 67 games. At the end of the 2017/18 season, Laleggia will become a restricted free agent.

Laleggia is a part of a deep cast of prospects that all promise to make the final roster spots for Edmonton's 2017/18 team very competitive.

The Oilers are also in a good position when one looks at their salary-cap space. Laleggia certainly doesn't hit that space hard with his $700K contract. Furthermore, recent signings of Johanna Auvitu and Jussi Jokinnen didn't hit Edmonton hard either.

Oiler fans waiting for Draisaitl news

But the big news that Edmonton fans are awaiting - and possibly the big cap hit - is what is going to happen with Leon Draisaitl.

The German player has proven his talent in the NHL and could command a huge contract. Last season he had 77 points in playing a full 82-game season. While Laleggia's contract isn't a game changer, everything has to be viewed in context. Edmonton has made some signings lately at cheap prices for players that don't look bad at all.

With Connor McDavid playing one more year at a budget price before his big contract kicks in, Edmonton is well positioned to do major damage in the upcoming season. Not surprisingly, the Oilers are the outright favorites to win the Pacific Division (source: Betway Sportsbook). After almost winning the division last season, they'll be looking to end a major drought from that point of view, one that extends back multiple decades.

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