EDMONTON, AB - Forward Josh Archibald is ready to make his mark.
The 5-foot-10, 176-pound right-winger put pen to paper on a one-year contract with the Oilers on Tuesday with the intention of making the most of opportunity in Blue & Orange next season.
"Coming into a new organization with a new GM and a new head coach, I think I have a lot to prove," Archibald said. "I have to prove to them they made the right decision in signing me, and at the same time that healthy internal competition is what makes teams better and what makes players better. I'm really looking forward to that and getting to training camp to prove myself there."
Across four seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Arizona Coyotes, the 27-year-old already has a Stanley Cup to his name and 36 points (20G, 16A) in 121 games at the NHL level. The winger makes up for his smaller stature in the speed department, but has no qualms about punching above his weight class in more ways than one.
"I think just a solid two-way player," Archibald said, describing his on-ice approach. "I take care of the defensive zone, but I can chip in offensively. I think one of my biggest assets is my speed.
"I may be small, but I like to play bigger than I am. I use my body, I don't take anything from anybody, and just try to go out there and do everything asked of me."
Conversations with Oilers General Manager and President of Hockey Operations Ken Holland for Archibald included ways of transferring that tenacity towards maximizing his offensive output that yielded 12 goals and 10 assists in 68 last campaign.
"We had some really good conversations," he said. "Obviously something that gets brought up with any team is scoring goals and having someone pitch in offensively as much as possible, but they were really good conversations about what's expected of me coming in there and the type of player they think I am and want they want me to be."
With everything on the ice, comes everything off it. Archibald brings with him his two-year-old son Brecken, six-month-old daughter Beauden, and wife Bailey - the former of which could well be the first child to ever be baptized in the Stanley Cup back in 2017 during his day with the hardware.
"We went over everything," Archibald said of his talks with Holland. "I have a young family, two young kids, so we went through the whole family situation, living situations, the rink, and kind of everything like that."
For Archibald, hockey's way through his family runs more ways than one.
Despite representing the United States at the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship, Archibald spent the first 15 years of his life growing up in Regina before moving to Brainerd, Minnesota in 2007 and bursting onto the United States High School hockey scene. His father, Jim, also played parts of three seasons with the Minnesota North Stars from 1984-87.
"With my wife and the great support system I have at home, things will be a lot easier," he said. "It's tough moving from one country to another, and it's kind of a new area for both of us. I did grow up in Saskatchewan for 15 years, so I do have a lot of family up there. My whole dad's side basically still lives in Regina, and we actually have a few around the Edmonton area, so I think having that family connection there will help a lot and make the transition a little bit easier."
"This organization takes care of everybody. It's not just the players - it's their family members as well. My wife and I are really excited to get up there and settled in."