Could the Edmonton Oilers get burned on Evan Bouchard’s next contract?

The Edmonton Oilers recently signed defenseman Evan Bouchard to a two-year, $7.8 million bridge deal – a $3.9 million cap hit. They didn’t have the salary cap space available this offseason to fit in a big, long-term deal without moving out more salary.

What will this mean for Bouchard and the Oilers in the long-term? Could the bridge deal come back to bite them?

NHL News: Evan Bouchard Signs Extension With Oilers

TSN: Frank Corrado on what Evan Bourchard’s two-year bridge deal could mean in the long-term for Bouchard and the Oilers.

** transcription

Corey Warren: “It’s a new two-year deal with Evan Bouchard with the Edmonton Oilers. A $7.8 million contract which breaks down to $3.9 million per season. Your thoughts on this deal.

Corrado: “Well, it’s the nature of the beast when you’re a restricted free agent and you don’t have arbitration rights yet. But this could really work out in Evan Bouchard’s favor.

If I were the Edmonton Oilers, I would have wanted to have this deal locked up for a long period of time. Put a deal in front of Bouchard that says ‘I can’t turn this down,’ and hopefully by the end of that contract you see a lot of value out of it.

Now with this, it’s a two-year deal, he’s going to have arbitration and he’s going to play on the first power play unit with (Leon) Draisaitl and (Connor) McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the next two seasons and all he’s going to do is score goals and get points.

And guess what, the Edmonton Oilers, very good chance they can get burned on that next deal. We’ve seen some teams use this long-term contract early on in players’ careers. The Ottawa Senators have done it for a number of players.

Ideally, the Edmonton Oilers would have had the cap space to do it. They don’t have that cap space so now they’re doing a two-year bridge with Evan Bouchard and if he plays his cards right and he has two phenomenal seasons, he is going to cash in in a big way.

NHL Rumors: Unanswered question for the Central Division, and some Carolina Hurricanes decisions