Niklas Hjalmarsson has been mentioned a few times on the radio in the last few days as a possible Oiler target. I imagine the price would be steep. He’s a stay-at-home shutdown type whose style and bio is similar to Ladislav Smid’s. He isn’t going to be an offensive dynamo but would give Edmonton a nice trio for the left side of the blueline.
- Ladislav Smid 20:54 TOI (17:28EV; 3:22 SH)
- Niklas Hjalmarsson 20:10 TOI (17:42EV; 2:22 SH)
- Nick Schultz 19:42 TOI (16:45 EV; 2:25 SH)
None of these players would be considered for the PP on any team. I think that’s a pretty nice EV and PK trio, and the Oilers would be a better team in those disciplines by adding Hjarlmarsson.
For our purposes, I’d ask you to ignore Oduya on this list. He played fewer than 20 games with Chicago so shouldn’t be part of the conversation. Qual Comp tells us the young man was the #4 defender for the team, ahead of O’Donnell and Montador (plus John Scott). He and Leddy are well back of the thoroughbreds but that’s still a nice number.
Man it must be nice to watch this team every night, the playing field is well better than level. I think his number here is fine, third toughest (remember Oduya) in the group despite being 52% offensive.
What an interesting chart. Hjalmarsson ranks lowest but the range is narrow (10 points, basically) and show nice quality and depth.
You may have another view (and please share) but Hjalmarsson looks like a worthy defender to me and a player Edmonton would certainly be able to play in their top 4D this coming season. If they could find a way to keep him without trading away another defensive asset, that would represent a clear improvement.
The Oilers need (again imo) a player with a wide range of skills this summer, but they are difficult to acquire. If they end up adding a strong puck mover for the right side (to go in between Petry and Whitney) and acquire Hjalmarsson from the Hawks I think we can conclude the defense will be more airtight in 12-13.
WHAT WOULD IT COST?
He’s a 3.5M cap hit (and that’s a lot for this player type, Schenn-range) and defensemen cost a lot on the trade market–usually more than they’re worth. He’s also a free agent in 2014 so the team runs the risk of losing him after two seasons.
I’d guess the cost would be too dear–something in the Sam Gagner range with maybe an asset coming back to Edmonton.
I like the player, but wouldn’t make that deal. What say you?