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2017

BY CHRIS WESCOTT

2017was a year filled with exciting moments for the Edmonton Oilers franchise. Take a trip down memory lane at some of the defining moments for the team with our Year in Review In Depth. Spoiler alert, there were a lot of great post-season moments.

BIG NIGHT FOR BIG RIG

January 5

Patrick Maroon started 2017 off with a bang, leading the way as the Oilers escaped Boston with a 4-3 victory. Maroon recorded his first NHL hat trick, and his performance gave him a career-high 14 goals at the time.

Connor McDavid had two assists on the night as well and the win would launch a stretch of games in which the Oilers would win nine of 12, putting them in prime position for a playoff berth.

The win was Edmonton's first regulation victory in Boston since November 7, 1996.

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CLINCHED

March 29

The decade-long drought came to a crashing halt for the Oilers on March 29, as the club edged Los Angeles 2-1 to clinch the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

McDavid opened scoring in the first, but it was Eric Gryba who potted the game-winner and clincher at 7:03 of the second period.

Cam Talbot made 34 saves on 35 shots as the Oilers closed out a signature win of 2017.

RECORD BREAKER

April 6

Talbot logged his 41st win of the season against San Jose on April 6. His 13 saves on 15 shots etched his name in the Oilers record books.

The victory helped him pass Hall of Fame goaltender Grant Fuhr for most wins in a single season all-time by an Oiler netminder.

THE CENTURY MARK

April 9

McDavid recorded two assists in the Oilers 5-2 stomping of the visiting Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place. In doing so, the captain reached 100 points and secured his place atop the NHL scoring race.

He became the first Oilers player to record 100 points since Doug Weight in the 1995-96 season.

With the win the Oilers secured their third straight to end the regular season. They finished 2016-17 on an impressive run of 12 wins in their final 14 games.

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THE RETURN

April 12

The Oilers made their return to the playoffs by hosting the San Jose Sharks on April 12. Oscar Klefbom got Rogers Place rocking at 6:44 of the first, and then Milan Lucic sent the crowd into a frenzy with his goal at 17:07, which gave the home team a 2-0 lead.

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Unfortunately, the seasoned Sharks played with a poise that comes with much playoff experience. San Jose scored three unanswered goals, including the overtime winner, on their way to a 3-2 victory and 1-0 series lead.

Despite the loss, the Oilers return to the playoffs was a night to remember.

FIRST WIN

April 14

The youthful Oilers bounced back in Game 2 against the Sharks, shutting them out 2-0. The lone goals came shorthanded for the Oil, as both McDavid and Zack Kassian scored on separate penalty kills in the second and third periods.

Kassian was like a one-man wrecking crew in the game. Not only did he score on a breakaway 42 seconds into the middle frame to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead, but he brought a ton of energy. He finished the game with six hits, including a massive collision with Brenden Dillon and another with Logan Couture. The hits brought the fans to their feet and showed the Oilers meant business.

OVERTIME WINNER

April 20

Trade deadline acquisition David Desharnais lifted the Oilers to a 4-3 overtime win against the Sharks, securing a 3-2 series lead heading back to San Jose.

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Klefbom's goal at 17:14 of the third tied the game, but it was Desharnais who sealed it at 18:15 of OT. The elation from the 18,000+ fans in the building was electric. The crowd outside the arena in Ford Hall shook the press box with their celebrations.

SERIES WON

April 22

McDavid's empty-net tally with one second remaining put the icing on the cake as the Oilers closed out their first series win since the 2006 Western Conference Final. Edmonton beat the Sharks 4-2 in six games to advance to the second round, where they'd face the Anaheim Ducks.

YOUR FAVOURITE MOMENTS

THE ANTHEM

April 30

A technical malifunction turned into a moment that went viral around the hockey world. Canadian country music star Brett Kissel was all set to sing the American National Anthem ahead of Game 3 between the Oilers and Ducks.

His microphone would not work, and so Edmontonians rose to the occasion. The entire crowd at Rogers Place sang the anthem together in an incredible display of respect and sportsmanship. It was a powerful moment that was talked about for days after.

Goosebump city.

THE CELLY & HATTY

May 7

There are moments in sports, like the aforementioned anthem, that are organic, unscripted, but very powerful. Such was the moment Kassian had with one particular fan on the night of Game 6 against Anaheim.

Kassian scored to open up a 4-0 lead over Anaheim and then, in pure jubilation, the Oilers forward locked eyes with Brad Ferguson in the stands. The two then mirrored each other's screams of celebration, sharing a moment that the fan - and even player - won't forget.

Leon Draisaitl added to the celebrations with his stellar individual performance. The Oilers winger scored three for the team's first playoff hat trick since Bill Guerin and Weight did it against Dallas in 2000.

The Oilers won 7-1 to force Game 7.

GREATEST TEAM

June 5

The 1984-85 Oilers team was voted the Number One Greatest NHL Team of all-time, as part of the League's Centennial celebrations.

Votes were cast by fans over a six-week period beginning at the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Oilers will be holding a celebration of the team on February 11, 2018 at Rogers Place.

TAKING HOME THE HARDWARE

June 21

McDavid had a breakout campaign in 2016-17, finishing with 100 points (30-70-100) to win the Art Ross Trophy as the League's scoring champion.

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He collected two other trophies at the 2017 NHL Awards in Las Vegas. In addition to the Art Ross, McDavid brought home the Hart Trophy, judged the League's most valuable player to his team, and the Ted Lindsay Award, as the most outstanding player in the regular season.

Odds are there will be many more where those came from, as McDavid is off to a bright start to his career.

THE TRADE

June 22

Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli, for the second year in a row, executed a big trade near draft time.

Chiarelli moved long-time Oiler Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders, in exchage for Ryan Strome.

THE DRAFT

June 23-24

The Oilers made seven picks at the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago, beginning with the offensively dynamic Kailer Yamamoto at 22nd overall.

Early returns from the draft class have been good. Yamamoto, third-round pick Dmitri Samorukov, and fourth-round pick Ostap Safin are all representing their countries at the 2018 World Juniors.

Safin is off to a monster start to his first QMJHL season, while fifth-round pick Kirill Maksimov is lighting it up in the OHL.

There's a lot of promise up and down the list in what appears to be a deep draft class.

MCDAVID SIGNS

July 5

McDavid got locked up to an eight-year contract extension, worth $100 million, on July 5.

"I'm so excited to wear the Oilers jersey for the next nine years of my life," he said.

The 2015 first-overall pick is a franchise player, and this particular franchise was ecstatic to get the deal done when they did. They'd then continue on with inking another of their young talents.

SEMENKO REMEMBERED

July 6

Oilers fans, friends, former teammates and family members gathered at Rogers Place to pay their respects to Dave Semenko, who passed away on June 29, 2017 after a battle with cancer.

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READ: IN DEPTH | This is Dave

In a beautiful ceremony, stories of Semenko's sense of humour, cheerful personality, and compassion were shared.

It was a fitting way to remember an Oilers legend who left his mark on a fan base, an organization, and a city.

DRAISAITL'S TURN

August 16

Following McDavid's contract extension, the Oilers were zeroed in on Draisaitl. On August 16, the club announced they had signed Draisaitl to an eight-year, $68 million contract.

"For me, it was never a question of going anywhere else or signing anywhere else," said Draisaitl. "That never even crossed my mind. I wanted to stay in Edmonton, I feel very comfortable there. I think we have a great group of guys and we're building something special."

Draisaitl was coming off a career 2016-17 season, in which he scored 29 goals and had 77 points.

OPENING NIGHT PARTY

October 4

The Oilers opened the 2017-18 regular season with a bang, shutting out their rivals, the Calgary Flames, 3-0.

McDavid opened the season just about as well as you could have expected, scoring all three of the team's goals.

Cam Talbot stopped all 27 shots he faced, and Rogers Place was rocking.

WELCOME TO THE LEAGUE

November 14

The Oilers welcomed the League's newest team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, to the NHL with an 8-2 beatdown at Rogers Place on November 14.

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Edmonton scored the game's first four goals, while six different Oilers put the biscuit in the basket. McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each potted two.

It was one big party for the 18,000-plus in attendance.

NUMBER 10,000

December 18

Strome buried a feed from Draisaitl against the San Jose Sharks at Rogers Place, recording the 10,000th goal in franchise history.

That 10,000 includes all regular season goals in regulation, as well as overtime and game-winning shootout goals.

 

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