The Edmonton Oilers are keeping one of their best defenders in-house.
Over an hour after the market opened on Wednesday, the Oilers took one of their best remaining free agents off the board, agreeing to terms with defenseman Brett Kulak on a four-year contract worth an average annual value of $2.75 million.
The deal, which ties Kulak to Edmonton through the 2025-26 season, ensures that the Oilers retain one of their better deadline additions in recent memory while also keeping his cap hit at a reasonable rate.
And just like that, Ken Holland has put together a decent little offseason.
Getting Kulak re-signed is the cherry on top of a summer that has now brought Jack Campbell to Edmonton to solidify the crease while another top-six forward was re-signed earlier in the day, too.
Kulak is a very good second-pair defender with the ability to push possession and disrupt the cycle in his own zone. The 28-year-old racked up a decent five goals and 21 points for the Oilers and Montreal Canadiens last season, thriving in Edmonton after arriving at the deadline and playing key minutes for the team as they marched all the way to the Western Conference Final.
After sending Zack Kassian's contract to the Arizona Coyotes at the draft, Holland cleared just enough space to get all his free agents signed, with Kulak's being a priority given the retirement of Duncan Keith and the Oilers' already-thin defensive depth. With few key players remaining on the open market, Holland's focus can now turn to his RFAs, with Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi still in need of new deals ahead of next season.
Buckle up. The moves are not over.