Oilers sign head coach Jay Woodcroft to 3-year contract extension

The Edmonton Oilers agreed to a three-year contract extension with head coach Jay Woodcroft, the team announced on Tuesday.

Woodcroft had been serving as the Oilers' interim coach after taking over for Dave Tippett in the second half of the 2021-22 season.

Edmonton turned its season around under its new bench boss, going 26-9-3 over its final 38 games. The team improved at both ends of the ice over that span, posting a plus-40 goal differential that ranked second among all NHL teams.

The Oilers sat outside of a playoff position when Tippett was let go in February, but finished as the second seed in the Pacific Division thanks to their impressive run with Woodcroft at the helm. They kept up their momentum in the playoffs, reaching the Western Conference final before getting swept by the Colorado Avalanche.

The 45-year-old Woodcroft previously served as a video coach with the Detroit Red Wings, then took on a larger role in 2008 as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks under Todd McLellan. He became an assistant with the Oilers in 2015, once again serving under McLellan. Woodcroft was named the head coach of the Bakersfield Condors, the Oilers' AHL affiliate, in 2018, where he remained until taking over for Tippett in Edmonton.

The Oilers turned their season around under head coach Jay Woodcroft. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Oilers turned their season around under head coach Jay Woodcroft. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images) (NHLI via Getty Images)

Locking up Woodcroft was a key piece of business for Oilers general manager Ken Holland, who has a busy summer ahead. Edmonton must decide whether to bring back Evander Kane, who had a successful campaign once joining the team but comes with noted off-ice issues.

The goaltending situation remains a huge priority. Mike Smith is under contract for another year, but does not look like a legitimate No. 1 goalie at this stage of his career. Mikko Koskinen signed in Switzerland earlier this month after four frustrating seasons in Alberta's capital.

Edmonton's notable restricted free agents include Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto and Ryan McLeod.

More from Yahoo Sports