For all of the great young prospects in their organization, few have proven to be as frustrating for the Edmonton Oilers as Magnus Paajarvi. After a rookie season that saw him score 15 goals and 34 points, he has struggled to produce, managing just two goals and eight points in 46 more games for the Oilers. The team recalled him from the AHL Oklahoma City Barons heading into Monday night’s meeting with the Vancouver Canucks, as an injury replacement for Eric Belanger.
Now in the final year of his entry-level contract, Paajarvi is set to be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. His scoring totals in the AHL have been respectable, but nowhere near the expectations for a former 10th overall draft pick. In 34 games for the Barons last season, he scored seven goals and added 18 assists, which put him seventh on the team. A chance to be a main contributor for the Barons this season was thwarted by the lockout and the arrival of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, but Paajarvi still managed four goals and 20 points.
The Oilers have a lot of young talent, and as many expected, the season has been a little up-and-down so far, but with a 4-3-1 record they are sill in a competitive spot in the Northwest Division. If Paajarvi can make the most of this call-up, he should be competing for time in Edmonton the rest of the season. If he fails to produce, he may very well end up heading elsewhere at the end of the season.