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BREAKING: Oilers Sign Yohann Auvitu

The Edmonton Oilers have signed another defender, this time agreeing to a one-year contract with Yohann Auvitu. Auvitu, a native of France, played last season in the New Jersey organization, split between their NHL and AHL clubs.

After two successful seasons in the Sm-liiga, Auvitu crossed the pond last summer and signed with the Devils. He appeared in 25 NHL games for the club, posting 2-2-4 and a +1 rating. Auvitu also appeared in 29 AHL games for Albany, posting 5-8-13.

The 27-year old is a left-shot defender that measures in at 5’11” and 191 pounds. He’s largely an unknown commodity, but overall he showed well in his first North American season and could very well be a diamond in the rough a la Jan Hejda way back when.

Auvitu is also a favorite of the stats community, having posted a 55.5% Corsi-for percentage during his 25 NHL games a year ago. Some other five-on-five numbers include a 54.1% Fenwick For and 99.9 PDO, just a hair under average.

Where Does He Fit:

Auvitu very well could end up on the NHL roster come opening night, especially with Andrej Sekera being on the shelf. While not ideal in my mind, it’s possible that the plan is for Kris Russell to stay on the right side and for Darnell Nurse, not Matt Benning, to jump into the top-four with Russell. It’s also possible that Auvitu simply opens the season as the seventh defender.

Regardless, this appears to be a low-risk signing. Auvitu looks to be an NHL defender to my eye, and he is poised to provide the club with some much needed depth at the position.

As was the case with Jussi Jokinen last Friday, this could be an astute value signing for the club. It’s another low-risk deal that I’m fully on board with.

The Scouting Report:

Assets:
Is a supreme puck-moving defenseman with a dynamic element to his game. Can be an asset on the power play. Also owns a solid lower base. Can produce good offense.
Flaws:
Needs to continue to work on his play without the puck, which takes a backseat to his puck-moving skills. Also, he lacks a physical dimension to his defensive game.
Career Potential:
Solid offensive defenseman.

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