Huskies Lose Forward Patrick Russell to the Edmonton Oilers

Patrick Russell and Kale Kossila dig for the puck in front of the UND goal (photo prout)

Patrick Russell and Kalle Kossila dig for the puck in front of the UND goal (photo prout)

Wishful thinking had Junior-to-be forward Patrick Russell returning to help re-build the SCSU Huskies offense in 2016-17. However, it was not to be as Russell was signed to a two-year entry level contract by the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL on May 9. Having performed well in the Anaheim Ducks summer camp in 2015, word was that the Ducks were interested in signing Russell prior to the 2015-16 season. But, Russell returned to the Huskies putting together an outstanding season with 20 goals and 21 assists for 41 points in 41 games for the top-ranked Huskies. In two years, the power forward scored 30 goals and had 66 points in 81 games.

The 23-year-old received a maximum two-year entry level deal from the Oilers with contract years for 2016-17 and 2017-18. The 6’1 and 205 pound forward has the size, style of play and toughness coveted by the NHL in addition to a heavy shot. Russell joins University of North Dakota star Drake Caggiula who also recently signed with the Oilers. This is a particularly tough loss to the Huskies who have now lost six of their top scorers from the 2015-16 Frozen Faceoff Championship squad. Russell finished third on the team in scoring and is the second underclassmen to depart joining goaltender Charlie Lindgren who signed with the Montreal Canadiens in April.

Although the SCSU coaching staff was most likely preparing for this departure, this will be a difficult forward to replace considering the element of play and offensive production  Russell brought to the lineup. Also, this departure may require the Huskies to move ahead the timeline of several forwards they would have preferred to play another season of junior hockey.

Details on the signing per Cap Friendly are as follows:

Signing Date: May 9, 2016

2016 -17: NHL Salary – $925,000 | AHL Salary $70,000 | no performance bonuses | Signing Bonus – $92,500

2017-18: NHL Salary – $925,000 | AHL Salary $70,000 | no performance bonuses | Signing Bonus – $92,500

Edmonton Oilers Release

 

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