For the second time in as many months, the Edmonton Oilers have doled out the big bucks for their own big-name player.

After locking up MVP Connor McDavid with a historic $100 million extension in July, the Oilers came through with yet another blockbuster deal Wednesday, re-signing restricted free agent and McDavid partner Leon Draisaitl to an eight-year, $68 million contract that should keep the 21-year-old forward in Edmonton through 2024-25.

This comes weeks after Oilers coach Todd McLellan countered reports of a negotiating “impasse” with optimism for a new deal between Edmonton and Draisaitl. And it proves the Oilers really are banking big — literally — on the Draisaitl-McDavid pairing. The team notably parted ways with Jordan Eberle in a salary-saving trade before announcing McDavid’s eight-year deal, and it is sacrificing some long-term money — and perhaps the freedom to go heavy on supplementary talent — in the name of securing its young core.

Who wins the $68 million pact between Draisaitl and the Oilers, then? Everyone.

Edmonton already committed itself to building around its two top players by dishing out a monster deal to McDavid, so it was only right for the franchise to follow suit and make sure that McDavid’s sidekick, a near-30-goal scorer in 2016-17, would also be in town for the long haul. And in Draisaitl’s case, where better to be than next to the upcoming face of the NHL in McDavid? After reportedly seeking something in the range of $9 million per year, a deal that’ll give him $8.5 million each season isn’t too bad of a consolation prize.


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