I’ve been talking 3-for-1 trade ever since the world began. It makes sense to me that the pieces Edmonton needs now (basically 1D, 2C, 3L, 3R, G) will come via trade and free agency—it’s unlikely the problem gets solved for next year from the farm system/draft.
The key is to look for prospects with duplicate skills. If the Oilers are trying to pry a #1 NHL defenseman away from another team, the ask might be an established NHL defenseman (Petry) and a top-flight prospect, plus maybe a pick. What would the Canucks want for Edler?
- D Oscar Klefbom: You have to give to get, and based on all reports Klefbom has improved during the season. MacT might be trading 15 years of solid defense by sending him away, but the immediate need warrants drastic action.
- D Dillon Simpson: The young defender is developing very well and certainly has value. The things holding him back previously (foot speed, strength) have been solved through hard work and maturing. Simpson has value to the Oilers, but with LH’s Nurse, Marincin and Klefbom ahead of him Simpson might be available.
- D Martin Gernat: The same argument applies. Gernat can reasonably be considered to have the fifth best future among developing left handed defensemen, I’d rate him behind Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin and Simpson. It’s unlikely that all five develop, but Edmonton can certainly afford to send one away. Gernat has played well in Oklahoma City, but I don’t think it’s clearly established that he’s more NHL ready than Simpson.
- D Taylor Fedun: The older man of this group, Fedun has done everything he can to establish himself as a bona fide NHL prospect. A team looking for immediate plug-and-play help might feel Fedun can fill that role.
I don’t think it’s possible for all of Nurse, Marincin, Klefbom, Simpson and Gernat to play as Oilers long term. The Oilers don’t have to make a move, they can bring these kids up in an orderly fashion—stack ‘em and rack ‘em—but there’s a very real chance one of them is going in a trade.
As early as the deadline or the draft.
(Gernat photo by Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved)