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Trade Talk Pt. 2: Trade Targets

The Oilers will have a variety of options to look at on the trade market this year....but will they bite?

(I’d highly suggest checking out part one of this series to get a better idea of my thought process in this one!)

Yea, so the plan for this series was to space out part one and two a week apart....but then I got extremely lazy over the holidays and procrastinated, so here we are. The first draft of this article included a deep dive into the Taylor Hall trade to Arizona and why Ken Holland decided against the asking price....but that is old news now and I don’t want to hammer the Taylor Hall narrative any more than it already has been.

In the first part of this series I covered a few players on the current roster who could net the Oilers a high return without necessarily creating a huge hole on the roster. Those players were Adam Larsson, Darnell Nurse, Zack Kassian, and Caleb Jones. The bulk of those players are, obviously, defence-men which is a testament to the club’s current depth at the position. The youth movement of Ethan Bear, Evan Bouchard, William Lagesson, and potentially Dmitri Samorukov have allowed the team to explore these possibilities.

Using these potential trade chips (and maybe a few others that come to mind) I wanna make some mock proposals on some players that the Edmonton Oilers could acquire to bolster their lineup for a 2020 playoff push.

That should be enough exposition....let’s get to the good stuff!

Chris Krieder:

It seems as though Chris Krieder’s time in the Big Apple is finally coming to an end and with Taylor Hall off the market he becomes the premier trade target in the NHL.

The Rangers are in the market to move the forward as they are set up to be one of the more prominent sellers at this year’s deadline. Krieder will be their biggest trade chip and will attract a lot of attention from NHL teams, Edmonton included.

The most attractive thing about his game is his ability to blend skill with size. Krieder is a punishing forward that will grind out opponents on a daily basis but also put up points in the process. Through 40 games this season he has put up 12 goals and 25pts, something that Edmonton could use in the top 9 or potentially even in the top 6.

The possibilities that open up for the Oilers if they acquire Krieder are seemingly endless. They could finally try to successfully split up McDavid, Draisaitl, and Nugent-Hopkins in an attempt to set up 3 scoring lines or they could absolutely load up the top 6 with 4 proven NHL scorers. The problem is what New York will demand in return.

Krieder is not the type of player that you give up the farm for. He’s a gritty skill guy that is on the verge of reaching his 30s and a sharp decline could come quick. If I were Edmonton I would try dangling Puljujarvi and a conditional third round pick (the pick becomes a second if Edmonton makes the playoffs). This might entice the Rangers as they could potentially have a replacement for the disgruntled Lias Andersson with Puljujarvi.

I definitely wouldn’t dangle the likes of Larsson and Nurse. Including Kassian in a deal for Krieder seems counter-productive for Edmonton and I don’t think the Rangers would have much interest in Zack. I also recognize that my deal might not jive with the Rangers...I am just spitballing here.

JP Pageau:

Jean Gabrieal Pageau has become a sort of media darling in the eyes of Edmonton sports writers this season. There have been a few times that I spotted media members mentioning Pageau as being a perfect trade target for the Edmonton Oilers....and I agree. Pageau has been a bright spot on an otherwise dismal Ottawa Senators team and it is very likely he gets dealt before the season ends.

So far this season JP has managed to put up 18 goals and 29pts in 41 games played so far. He’s still in the prime of his career at 27 and is arguably more skilled than Chris Krieder. He would immediately slot in as Edmonton’s third line centre and would allow the Oilers the keep their current top-6 intact. He would bring speed and depth to an organization that craves both. The problem once again becomes the asking price.

It is of my belief that Pageau will be this year’s most sought-after trade target so it will be easy for Ottawa to demand a lot for him at the deadline. The fact that he is a centerman makes him that much more valuable than Krieder so I think any deal that the Oilers make for Pageau will have to surpass my proposed deal for Krieder.

I still think Puljujarvi is the most valuable asset to the a rebuilding Senators team and perhaps if Edmonton were to add in a guy like Cooper Marody and a 4rd rounder? Marody has struggled to become a full-time NHLer so far and the clock is definitely ticking on if he can do it with the Edmonton Oilers. A move to the Senators might allow him a better opportunity to rise as a regular and I think Ottawa would gladly try him out.

In this deal the Oilers solidify their centre depth while Ottawa gets 2 young players who have the ability to become regulars in the next few years.

Mike Hoffman:

My personal favourite on this list is, San Jose legend, Mike Hoffman. Much has been said about Hoffman’s time in Ottawa and the exploits of his girlfriend with the Karlssons but that does not change the fact that Mike Hoffman is still one of the premier shooter in the NHL. He is coming off a career year with the Florida Panthers last season where he put up a career high in points (70) and goals (36). He is a bonafide top 6 winger that can hit the back of the net on a nightly basis.

It might seem like the Florida Panthers would want to hold on to a guy like Hoffman but, if they fall out of the playoff race in the next month or two, they could be due for another roster shake-up. As it stands right now the Panthers are 4th in the Atlantic and trail the Philadelphia Flyers by 3pts for the final wildcard spot. Hoffman has done well so far this season, notching 15 goals and 32pts in 43 games which is good for 5th in scoring for Florida.

Ken Holland would have to get creative with the cap if he were to acquire Hoffman as he carries a price-tag of 5 million dollars. Money would definitely have to be moved out and in any deal involving Hoffman and I think that could take the form of a certain Oilers defender.

Let’s say that the Oilers move out Adam Larsson, Zack Kassian, and a third round pick for Mike Hoffman and a 4th? Edmonton moves Larsson to make room for their younger defenders and open up a spot for Hoffman beside McDavid by moving out Kassian. It may seem like quite a bit to give up but Hoffman is a consistent 50+ point player that could finally give Edmonton a legitimate top 6.

Honorable Mentions:

A few other names that I could see Edmonton having interest in:

  • Tyler Toffoli - reliable top 9 forward who has fallen out of favour with LA
  • Sami Vatanen - A good top 4 defender who could be poached off of New Jersey
  • Melker Karlsson - Bottom 6 forward who could add some depth scoring
  • Andreas Anthanasiou - SPEED, SPEED, AND MORE SPEED.

In Conclusion:

Am I an idiot? Probably. Am I off-base with all these proposals? Perhaps. Was it fun to think about? Absolutely!

I love writing these sort of pieces just to let my imagination run wild with potential trade opportunities that may or may not exist out there. The Edmonton Oilers are performing much better than many people anticipated this season and it is time that we seriously entertain the idea of this club being a buyer once the Trade Deadline arrives.

I look forward to seeing you guys blast me (or praise me?) in the comments below! I’ll stick around and reply to comments as much as I can to see if we can find some common ground!

As always, Go Oilers Go!