The Oilers have made their first move of this year’s trade deadline. Edmonton will ship a conditional fourth round pick to New Jersey for defenceman Dmitry Kulikov. The pick will become a third round pick if the Oilers win a playoff round.
Kulikov, 30, is on an expiring deal valued at 1.15MM. A left handed shot, Kulikov would best be suited on the third pair. He’s a welcome option instead of Kris Russell, but there’s almost zero offense to his game. Kulikov will join the Oilers after his quarantine period, and could play as soon as Monday the 19th versus Montréal.
Kulikov a top pairing Dman in PK minutes in NJ this season.— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) April 12, 2021
Pairs with Larsson, pushes Russell to 3rd pairing with Bear.
Jones has proven 1 thing this season - that he's not ready yet.
There are two spicy takes in this take. Acquiring Kulikov ought to push Russell right off the roster, and really should have no bearing on whether or not Jones appears on the roster. Jones ought to be an every game player, it shouldn’t be up for debate at this time.
Kulikov has had some nice numbers this season pairing with P.K. Subban in New Jersey. Subban and Kulikov have worked well this year in that the two players are pretty much polar opposites of each other. Kulikov is a low event D man, and that could work fine if he’s paired with someone like Barrie.
This trade’s value depends on how Kulikov is deployed. A conditional fourth round selection is a good gamble. If Kulikov plays more than Kris Russell, it’s a win for the Oilers. If it pushes Jones off the roster, it’s bad business for the club.