Connor McDavid Jack Campbell Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers are excited to have Jack Campbell join their squad next season.

The 30-year-old goalie signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Oilers on the opening day of free agency earlier this month after spending the previous three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Oilers captain Connor McDavid said that if you can find success as a goalie in the pressure cooker that is Toronto, you can find it anywhere.

“If he can be a starter for Leafs, he can be a starting goalie anywhere,” McDavid told the media at the third annual Zach Hyman Celebrity Classic Charitable Golf Tournament in Toronto on Monday. “Obviously this is the hockey hotbed and there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on whoever fills that net.”

Former Leafs teammate Zach Hyman signed with the Oilers last off-season and spoke to Campbell before he made the decision to head west.

“It’s tough. I went through the same sort of decision the year before and everybody thinks it’s so exciting and amazing,” said Hyman. “And it is, but there’s also the element of uncertainty and to going to a new environment, so I just tried to convey my experience as best as possible.”

The Oilers advanced to the Western Conference Final last season where they were swept by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche. Veterans Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen as well as rookie Stuart Skinner shared the net for the Oilers last year.

Campbell, selected 11th overall by the Dallas Starts in the 2011 draft, had a career season in 2021-22, posting a 31-9-6 record with a 2.64 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage alongside five shutouts over 49 games .

“It seems like a real positive guy that brings a lot of good energy,” said McDavid. “His on ice game speaks for itself. It’s taken him a little bit longer than some to get to this position, but there’s not anyone more deserving than him. He’s put a lot into it. I’m sure he’s going to be great for us.”

Darnell Nurse and Campbell played together on the Ontario Hockey League’s Soo Greyhounds during the 2011-12 season. Nurse says he could tell at that time Campbell had what it took to excel at hockey’s highest level.

“He’s a competitor. You could tell when he was in junior,” explained the Oilers defenceman. “It didn’t matter what was going to be in front of him, he was going to work his way past it. That’s why he’s had the success that he’s had.”

The Oilers also brought back forward Evander Kane, signing the 30-year-old winger to a four-year, $20.5 million contract.

Kane scored 22 goals and 17 assists in 43 regular season games with the Oilers after he was signed mid-season following the termination of his contract by the San Jose Sharks due to violation of COVID-19 protocols in the American Hockey League.

“To have him back is really exciting for our team. Exciting for me personally,” said McDavid. “I really enjoyed playing with him. He’s a great player on the ice and I’m happy to have him back.”

Kane added 13 goals and four assists over 15 playoff games.

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