Khaira Leaves Michigan Tech, Signs Oilers Contract

Following his freshman season with the Michigan Tech Huskies, Oilers 3rd round draft pick in 2012, Jujhar Khaira, has elected to forgo his final seasons of collegiate eligibility to sign a contract with the Edmonton Oilers (via Michigan Tech Huskies). Interesting, to say the least, is why Khaira would see the need to do this as he’s not yet celebrated his 19th birthday (August 13th). And the short story is simply that Khaira looks/feels/seems like the power forward that the Oilers need. A Teemu Hartikainen 2.0.

He’s big, at over 6’3″ and 200+. He’s a strong, edgy, bristly forward from the left wing. Called a forward with “mental and physical ability beyond his years”, Khaira played two BCHL seasons and put up really strong offensive numbers. Listed below:

 2010-11  Prince George Spruce Kings  BCHL 58 10 32 42 21   |              
 2011-12  Prince George Spruce Kings  BCHL 54 29 50 79 69

In his draft year of 2012, he spent a full season with Michigan Tech where he scored six goals and nineteen assists in 37 games. Chris Dilks at Western College Hockey had this to say about Khaira:

Last season, as a freshman, Khaira scored 6 goals and 19 assists for 25 points for the Huskies, and the 6’3″ 194 lbs. forward developed a reputation as one of the heaviest hitters in the WCHA.

Offense wasn’t likely to be a big problem for Michigan Tech this upcoming season, but certainly losing a player of Khaira’s caliber so close to the start of the season is a blow to the Huskies, and hurts the reputation of the new WCHA in losing one of the league’s highest drafted players

Heavy hitter with offensive upside? Indeed, this is the player the Oilers have needed, but is Khaira really ready?

For the NHL, no he’s not. And although his rights remain in the WHL, he will most likely play in Oklahoma City as a Baron in the upcoming season. Why else would he throw away a couple more years of eligibility at the collegiate level?

This brings the potential forward list in Oklahoma City to nearly 20. That’s a sizable group headed to Bakersfield of the ECHL, and trust me when I tell you this, Khaira will play AHL minutes. MacTavish will make sure of that.