Travis Yost wrote a very revealing article a couple days ago. The link to it can be found here:
Here is the short and skinny; the Oilers wingers are really really bad. I know most people don't think an article needed to be written to know that but Yost delves much further. Looking at G/60 (goals per 60 minutes of play in all situations) the Oilers sit dead last in the league.
Let's go back to everyone's favourite water cooler topic, the Taylor Hall trade. Chiarelli gambled the Oilers could afford to lose Taylor Hall if it meant acquiring what he believed (jury is still out) a top pairing defenseman and Milan Lucic.
The following year he traded Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome and the elite "Cap Space." He also bought out Benoit Pouliot and replaced him with Jussi Jokinen.
Chiarelli and the Oilers Think Tank believed their forwards would continue to improve on last years success, and players like Puljujarvi, Slepeshev, Caggiula, Jokinen and Strome would be enough to replace the production lost... Clearly that has not been the case.
Puljujarvi has been a great story for Oiler fans as he has shown great chemistry with McDavid and Khaira has produced strong numbers considering his more limited ice time/linemates but things fall off a cliff after that. Lucic has returned to his old 5 on 5 scoring average but at best he is a good second line winger. Maroon started the year strong but has scored 1 goal in his past 15 games. Jokinen was gone before the ink dried on his contract and Caggiula and Slepeshev are at best fringe players.
Here is another way to compare it. I took all the Oilers wingers this season: Lucic, Maroon, Puljujarvi, Caggiula, Slepeshev, Khaira, Cammalleri, Kassian, and Pakarainen and added all their goals together to get 44 goals.
The Calgary Flames have a total of 62 goals from their wingers. Ferland, Gaudreau, and Tkachuk alone have 41. The Jets have 52 goals between Wheeler, Laine, and Ehlers. The Vancouver Canucks have 41 between Boeser, Granlund, and Vanek. I can keep going but I think the point is clear.
It's not all doom and gloom for the team. Yost also shows the Oilers have the 5th best production from centres in the league. The future down the middle is bright between McDavid, Draisaitl, and Nugent Hopkins. Unfortunately as much as they have tried, they cannot drive the offense alone with passengers flanking them from both sides.
Chiarelli gambled that the team could lose two top line talents in Hall and Eberle and use the assets gained in those deals to put build a supporting cast around it's core. It was the same logic he used when trading Kessel, Wheeler, and Seguin. As with most of those trades, the Oilers have very little to show for those deals. While it's not wise to build an NHL team from the wings out the lack of NHL talent on the wing is one of the many things that is hurting this team.
Thanks for reading.