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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Former Chief Derek Ryan signs deal with Edmonton Oilers

Calgary Flames center Derek Ryan warms up before the start of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers, Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Sunrise, Fla.  (Associated Press)
By Dan Thompson For The Spokesman-Review

Derek Ryan signed a two-year deal with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers when free agency opened on Wednesday, uniting him with fellow Spokane native Kailer Yamamoto.

Ryan, 34, played the previous three seasons with the Calgary Flames, Edmonton’s rival, and the two before that with the Carolina Hurricanes.

The deal Ryan signed is for two years at $1.25 million each season.

Primarily a third- or fourth-line center, Ryan adds a defensive focus to an Oilers team that finished second in the North Division during the 2020-21 season and scored the seventh-most goals in all of the NHL.

The 2018-19 season was arguably Ryan’s best, when he scored 13 goals and had 25 assists to go with a plus-21 rating, the highest of his five full NHL seasons. He missed 12 games last season, scoring two goals and adding 11 assists in 43 games.

Ryan played for the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League from 2004 to 2007.

Yamamoto, 22, played for the Chiefs a decade later and is one of the most prolific scorers in the team’s history with 105 goals in 230 games. He has 20 goals in 105 NHL games, all with the Oilers.

The Oilers are scheduled to play the expansion Kraken in Seattle on Dec. 3 and again on Dec. 18. Both teams will be in the Pacific Division this regular season, which will begin Oct. 12