A pretty light 24 hours in terms of Oilers news, so let me get out of the way here. Nobody needs to hear me talk at the best of times, but when there’s nothing to talk about? Yikes.
Now that Nik Ehlers is officially on TSN’s Trade Bait list, it seems imperative to me that Ken Holland trade Darnell Nurse (and add a pick if necessary, which it should be) to acquire him. Ehlers would tick a lot of boxes for the Oilers, and is cost-controlled for $6MM through his age 29 season.
He’s a 5v5 killer, and he’s added more value than Nurse in each of the last three seasons. That includes Ehlers’ worst season and Nurse’s best, in which Ehlers still provided more value to Winnipeg via SPAR.
Ehlers / Nurse, 2017-20:— CoppHall & Blueljujarvi (@CopperandBlue) September 1, 2020
Ehlers significantly better via RAPM.
Ehlers' worst season by SPAR over that span still added more value than Nurse's best season.
It's a no-brainer improvement, made even better by Jones' capability, IMO. pic.twitter.com/qrncD5jGfL
Some suggest that Nurse might hold more value than Ehlers league-wide. If so — and, even though it appears to be demonstrably untrue, it wouldn’t be surprising that the cabal of hockey men couldn’t get something so obvious right — the Oilers should use that leverage to get the Jets to throw in some draft capital in with Ehlers.
What they should NOT do, is use that extra leverage to get Patrik Laine instead. Check this out:
Quite clearly, Ehlers has been the more effective player at 5v5 over the last three seasons. Laine scores a bucketload of goals, sure, but otherwise offers very little at EV. The Oilers would demonstrate some real shrewdness here by targeting — and acquiring — Ehlers instead.
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