Leon Draisaitl's tenure in Edmonton coming to an end this summer?

Ryan Smitheram
June 26, 2024  (12:52)

Leon Draisaitl's decision a hot topic around the NHL
Photo credit: USA TODAY SPORTS

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl's future may be in doubt in Edmonton following a soul-crushing loss in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Fresh off of missing out on his first Stanley Cup, Leon Draisaitl was asked about his future with the Oilers as he is eligible to sign an extension in less than a week. He reluctantly answered:
"You're one period, one shot, away from maybe winning the thing, and now you've got to go through 82 regular season games again and play well enough to even get a kick at it. It's hard right now."

TSN and The Athletic's Chris Johnston revealed that the Oilers themselves do not intend to let Draisaitl simply play out the final year of his contract, which could mean that a trade is on the way if an extension cannot be reached.
"Edmonton is not inclined to let the 28-year-old center simply play out the final year of his contract and walk directly into free agency," wrote Johnston.

Essentially, the Oilers could be facing a similar scenario to the one Leafs GM Brad Treliving was presented with before he traded Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers, back when he was GM of the Calgary Flames.
Johnston stated that the Oilers want to avoid a "double whammy" situation if Draisaitl were to play out the final year of his deal as Connor McDavid is eligible for an extension next off-season. Johnston believes that the fates of these two players are entirely intertwined and that losing Draisaitl may also cost them McDavid.
Draisaitl spoke with the media on Wednesday, but preached patience, which likely means that an extension will not be announced on July 1st, which certainly is understandable given the fact that only a couple of short days have passed since the Oilers' loss to the Panthers in Game 7.
"It's going to take to time to figure out what I want and what the Oilers want."

With just five days until free agency, the Oilers have lots of work to do and it will be interesting to see just how fast they get an answer from Draisaitl about his future plans. If his plan is to not sign an extension in Edmonton, he'll rocket to the top of nearly every team's wish list.
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Leon Draisaitl's tenure in Edmonton coming to an end this summer?

Will Draisaitl stay in Edmonton long-term?

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