EDMONTON, AB – Viktor Arvidsson already envisioned the many ways he could fit with the Oilers before signing a two-year, $4 million AAV contract on July 1 to bring his offensive presence to Edmonton's top-six forwards.

In this case, 'many' is certainly not an exaggeration.

Along with first-hand experience over the past three seasons of facing the Oilers as a member of their Pacific Division rivals the Los Angeles Kings, including two first-round defeats in the 2023 and 2024 playoffs, the first-hand convincing from former Nashville Predators’ teammate and fellow Swede Mattias Ekholm had a major impact on his decision to join the Oilers.

The advice of his countryman helped guide the 31-year-old down the road of signing on the dotted line to come to Oil Country – a landing spot he and his family knew entering unrestricted free agency would be an ideal scenario both in terms of community and Stanley Cup championship potential.

“First of all, I'm happy to be an Oiler and it's going to be really fun,” Arvidsson said via video call on Monday. “I think the group is great and they have something really great going for them here.

“The process was pretty straightforward. I had a few teams [interested], but I’ve known Ekky for a long time and our families know each other well. He convinced me pretty early and I think that was a big part of it too, so I'm happy and our family is really happy to join the team.”

Viktor speaks to the media after signing with Edmonton

Arvidsson shared a dressing room with Ekholm in Nashville for seven seasons from 2014-2021, including their trip to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final where the Predators were ousted in five games by the Pittsburgh Penguins. The two Swedes and their families have a close relationship dating back to their time together in Nashville, with both Arvidsson and Ekholm having conversations about their potential of being reunited in Edmonton.

A native of Kusmark, SWE – a town north of Skellefteå, which is the birthplace of both Philip Broberg and former Oilers defenceman Adam Larsson – Arvidsson watched from afar these past few months as Ekholm and the Oilers went all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final after eliminating the Kings for the third straight season in the First Round.

"I talked to Ekky a little bit and it's awesome to see that you can go that far, and I've done it once," Arvidsson said. "That's a great feeling."

"He probably didn't want to play against me again, but, we were competitors," Arvidsson said with a laugh. "We battled a lot in practices before, so that's just a part of the game. He just told me it's a great place to be and where the team is heading, and he was really excited for me to come to Edmonton, so that helped a lot. Our families know each other well too."

Along with Ekholm, Arvidsson has an affinity for the Edmonton climate, having spent his entire career in Nashville and Los Angeles but growing up in the colder setting of northern Sweden.

"Well, I'm raised like that from where I'm from," he said. "I bet you all know Adam Larsson, he and I are from the same city, so I'm raised like that with a lot of snow and cold winters. So living in Nashville and then LA, I think something that we kind of missed a little bit as a family was all four seasons and stuff like that, so I think it's going to be fun and exciting to have some snow again."

Swapping sides felt like an even easier decision for Arvidsson when looking at who he could line up next to up front, with Leon Draisaitl looking the likeliest of options on the second line as another potent scoring option in Edmonton's top-six forwards.

"Obviously, that's a huge opportunity for me to play with such a great player," he said. "Like I said, I think the team itself is built really well and they have something going for them. I feel like they were really close this year and I hope I can help the team move even further.”

Arvidsson was limited to only 18 games during the regular season in '23-24 due to injury but was productive when he was on the ice, contributing six goals and nine assists for 15 points after off-season back surgery forced him to miss the first 50 games. Upon returning, the Swede thought it was some of the best hockey of his career to date, even despite missing half the regular season and eventually more time because of a lower-body issue.

"Obviously I want to get better every year. I think all hockey players want to do better every year and every shift," Arvidsson said. "I only played 18 games and I felt like those were probably my best 18 games from years past too, so I think when I played, I did a great job."

The winger scored 52 goals (123 points) in 161 games for the Kings when healthy and believes his injuries are behind him, allowing him to get back to the productive ways that made him a consistent offensive threat in Los Angeles with back-to-back 49 and 59-point seasons.

"I like to have the puck and play offence, so I think that's going to fit me," he added. "I think that's what the team does, and creating offence and great scoring chances, I think that's my game. I play a 200-foot game – even that too – so I think I just saw a great opportunity for me to be successful and for the team to be successful."