Drake Caggiula returns to Edmonton on two-year deal

Jul. 1—GRAND FORKS — After Drake Caggiula led UND to the 2016 NCAA national title and was named the Frozen Four's Most Outstanding Player, several NHL teams tried to lure him.

Caggiula, an undrafted free agent, took visits to several of them.

In the end, he chose Edmonton.

Caggiula spent two-and-a-half seasons (156 regular-season games) with the Oilers before he began bouncing between NHL teams — the Chicago Blackhawks (66 games), Arizona Coyotes (27 games), Buffalo Sabres (29 games) and Pittsburgh Penguins (four games).

As an unrestricted free agent searching for a new home this summer, Caggiula landed on the same conclusion as 2016. He has once again signed with the Oilers.

Caggiula's contract is a two-year, two-way deal, meaning his salary will be depend on whether he's in the NHL or American Hockey League.

If he's in the NHL, his salary will be $775,000. His AHL salary is $500,000, according to CapFriendly.

Caggiula has played 282 NHL games since graduating from UND in 2016. He played in the AHL for the first time in his pro career last season for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where he tallied 22 goals and 53 points in 65 games.

Edmonton's top minor-league affiliate is the Bakersfield (Calif.) Condors.

As of July 1, there are 20 former UND players under NHL contracts for 2023-24.

They are Jacob Bernard-Docker (Ottawa), Brock Boeser (Vancouver), Caggiula, Judd Caulfield (Anaheim), Derek Forbort (Boston), Rhett Gardner (Philadelphia), Tyson Jost (Buffalo), Matt Kiersted (Florida), Tyler Kleven (Ottawa), Paul LaDue (N.Y. Islanders), Brad Malone (Edmonton), Zane McIntyre (Minnesota), Brock Nelson (Islanders), T.J. Oshie (Washington), Tucker Poolman (Vancouver), Jake Sanderson (Ottawa), Nick Schmaltz (Arizona), Cole Smith (Nashville), Troy Stecher (Arizona) and Christian Wolanin (Vancouver).

There are 10 former Fighting Hawks who are unrestricted free agents after being on NHL contracts last season: forward Collin Adams, goalie Aaron Dell, forward Grant Mismash, forward Zach Parise, forward Austin Poganski, defenseman Colton Poolman, goalie Adam Scheel, forward Jonathan Toews and forward Jasper Weatherby.