Saturday was a fun day for Edmonton, but unfortunately, not so much fun for Anaheim.

The Oilers went on an afternoon duck-hunting excursion and it was successful. Even before their final regular-season meeting, Connor McDavid made it quite clear Edmonton would not take Anaheim lightly. He said they played the Oilers hard in their previous meeting and he added how there was pride and employment opportunities on the line for the visitors.

The captain wasn't wrong, but it wasn't enough to keep the Oilers from finding the 'quacks' in the Ducks' defence.

It seemed inevitable thinking of what was on the line for Edmonton – two more points for them and who knew how many more for McDavid. The Oilers did get their two points, while their captain had three. It at least temporarily put him in the NHL scoring lead as he shared the Oil production spotlight with Mattias Ekholm. It's been said over and over repeatedly, but it was a monster deal by Ken Holland and his staff to get the swashbuckling Swede from Nashville at the trade deadline in 2023. It's turned into an absolutely amazing trade.

Ekholm puts one through traffic for his eighth goal of the season

With baseball season underway, you could easily call it a home run. In fact, let's take it a step further by saying it was a grand slam. Instead of clearing all the bases, he's covered all the bases since arriving in Edmonton. He has been a sure-fire leader with Stanley Cup experience. He and his wife Ida have immersed their family into the community. He's helped make Evan Bouchard a better player. He's been a mountain of strength defensively for Edmonton. He's been putting up points at a career-best trajectory.

Wait a minute... I didn't have that on my Mattias expectations list. Shame on me. 

When you are on a team with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Zach Hyman, Evan Bouchard, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Adam Henrique and Evander Kane – after that you will find Ekholm's name on the Oilers scoring list. He is tied with Kane in points and two up on a career-setting season for Warren Foegele. The attention normally given to Ekholm would revolve around his second-best in the NHL plus/minus of 40, which is only back of Gustav Forsling's plus-46 in Florida. I guess when you hear Mattias Ekholm, it might seem natural to think about what he does at his end of the ice. Instead, attention should certainly be paid to what he's doing at the other end.

Ekholm scores his second of the night on a monstrous slap shot

On Saturday afternoon, the smooth Swede tied a career-high with a plus-5 rating. He also put up a goal and two assists. It was the eighth time this season Ekholm turned on the red light and the 30th and 31st time this season he has helped set up a teammate. His 39 points have him 30th in blueline scoring just ahead of Brent Burns and others like Moritz Seider and Alex Pietrangelo – names that might be considered more offensive-minded than Ekholm, but aren't producing more offence.

It doesn't hurt that he plays on a team with players like those listed above, but like Zach Hyman, who has earned his 50-plus goals and counting, so does Ekholm with his points push that is closing in on a career-high territory. The best the former Predator ever provided in a season was during the 2018-2019 season. He put up 44 points (8G, 36A). The 36 assists are a career-high, while it was in a different season where he hit double digits in goals with 10.

Speaking of 10, but that's how many games remain. He has a chance of setting career highs in all three categories. It's been that kind of run as Mattias, both on and off the ice, has made himself right Ekholm in Edmonton.