Oilers President Jeff Jackson answering media questions
Photo credit: Wallaceburg News

Oilers President makes major statement on Draisaitl contract talks

Published January 29, 2024 at 2:21 PM
BY LIAM
     
The Edmonton Oilers have now reached the all-star break cruising on a sixteen game win streak, once again considered cup contenders after their poor start to the season. Now however, the team also needs to get down to the business of hockey and one of the most important decisions of the franchise in some time - and first on the list is an extension for Leon Draisaitl.

Draisaitl's contract will expire at the end of next season, making him an unrestricted free agent if he gets that far. However, as of July 1st this year, the Oilers are eligible to sign Draisaitl to an extension - and those talks must begin well in advance to not risk losing a player like Draisaitl to free agency. With this being one of the most critical contracts in franchise history, Oilers President Jeff Jackson was recently asked about his plans for negotiations in an interview with the Athletic.

«Once the end of the season rolls around, we'll talk to Leon and his agents to see what they're thinking. That's the plan. We haven't started to do any of that at this point. We're focused on what's happening now and don't want it to be any sort of distraction at all.»




Based on Jackson's comments and Draisaitl's from earlier this year, it's clear that negotiations haven't even begun between the two sides yet. Both parties seem interested in an extension, but also entirely non-committal. Earlier this year in an interview with Mark Spector, Draisaitl said the following:

«I know the situation come July 1. But there's another side to it as well. You know, the Oilers have a say in this as well. Come July 1, at least. After that, it's up to me.»

If the Oilers are going to keep their core players together and re-sign Draisaitl, he'll be due for a massive raise that will alter the complexion of the entire team. Currently, Draisaitl is on a bargain of a contract for only $8.5M annually. When he's 29 years old at the end of this contract, he'll likely be commanding a max term deal of years for a salary near $13M. Recently, William Nylander's contract extension of $11.5M essentially guaranteed Draisaitl would soar over that number come his contract extension.

As soon as this season ends, all eyes will be on the Oilers front office and President Jackson to put together a Draisaitl extension. Of course, it would be easier to sell Leon on a future with Edmonton if they win a Stanley Cup before his contract expires - because it's undoubtedly important to Draisaitl.
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Oilers President makes major statement on Draisaitl contract talks

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