What on earth can Ken Holland afford to trade? As a man who believes in building through procurement, the draft offers some options (trading down) but the build in Bakersfield and the recent draft picks who are matriculating are needed in Edmonton. He can’t bodge the rebuild, but he also cannot bring the same bunch to camp this fall. Rock, meet hard place.
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group. INSANE OFFER IS HERE!
- New Lowetide: Trading for Loui Eriksson: What makes sense for the Oilers?
- New Jonathan Willis: Differing needs of Oilers, Jets could create a trade fit
- New Lowetide: How will Ken Holland build around Connor McDavid?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The top five players the Oilers could lose in the expansion draft
- Jonathan Willis: What a trade involving Edmonton’s No. 8 pick might look like given Ken Holland’s history
- Lowetide: Hard Target Search: Finding the Oilers a centre who can penalty kill, help shape a useful third line, and serve in a mentor role
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How a third-line grinder launched the star-filled Oilers to their first Stanley Cup and a hockey dynasty.
- Lowetide: Is Zack Kassian the answer for the McDavid-Draisaitl line?
- Lowetide: NHL Combine brings Oilers dual problems into focus for Ken Holland
- Lowetide: Analyzing the Oilers roster to see which players fit Dave Tippett’s ‘aggressive, fast team’ approach
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Dave Tippett’s coaching philosophy, how he relays information to his players and why information is king
- Lowetide: What will Ken Holland see in Evan Bouchard?
- Lowetide: Does Oilers’ signing of Joakim Nygard signal a measured approach to summer 2019?
- Lowetide: Dave Tippett’s roster deployment in Arizona and what it might mean for the Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: Why Ken Holland’s worst years in Detroit tell us the most about how he’ll fare in Edmonton
- Jonathan Willis: Three offseason scenarios and how each one would affect the Oilers salary cap
- Lowetide: Examining the Oilers’ goaltending options in free agency.
- Jonathan Willis: Every Oilers AHL prospect, rated by how close they are to the NHL
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Protector, supporter, confidant: Connor McDavid’s mom, Kelly, is his off-ice rock through good times and bad
- Lowetide: An offseason plan for Ken Holland to remodel the Oilers roster.
POSSIBLE NHL ASSETS OUT
The Oilers roster has a few pieces other teams might find attractive and in two cases the team should have enough depth to cover for the loss of the player. Matt Benning (70, 5-12-17, solid numbers and a legit RH defenseman), Kris Russell (72, 3-1-13, a reliable veteran) and Jujhar Khaira (60, 3-15-18) would garner interest from other teams, and Jesse Puljujarvi (46, 4-5-9) will fetch something should Holland decide to deal him. Milan Lucic (79, 6-14-20) also has a limited market.
There’s another area for Holland, coming from the group who represent future cap issues. We could include Adam Larsson (contract is up 2021 summer and he’ll be a free agent at that time), Darnell Nurse (RFA next summer and the expectation is a substantial contract) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (contract is also up 2021 summer, at which time he’ll be unrestricted).
POSSIBLE PROSPECT ASSETS OUT
If Holland feels he can sacrifice some of the depth Peter Chiarelli built up on defense, then names like Caleb Jones, William Lagesson, Ethan Bear, the rights to John Marino, Dmitri Samorukov or even Evan Bouchard could be in play. I don’t buy it, at least I don’t buy the idea of trading Jones, Samorukov or Bouchard. Does Bear have enough value built to move the needle? Lagesson? We can argue about it here amongst ourselves, but do these players represent enough value for an NHL team to move a roster player? We may find out this summer. I don’t think Holland can afford to trade a single forward with promise, Edmonton is so poor in this area. Maybe a goalie?
I don’t think you can trade picks and claim to be building up the system, so the picks currently owned by the Oilers are likely to be there on draft day. I could see Edmonton trading down in order to improve the current NHL team, especially if the picks are ‘shades of grey’ and the team doesn’t move down too far.
If I’m honest, I think Holland probably uses free agency to address a couple of roster issues (say, Brian Elliott and Alex Chiasson) and then deals Benning for Connor Brown and finds a way to acquire Jean-Gabriel Pageau or Riley Nash without blowing up the draft picks or the prospect pipeline.