Ken Holland is looking to add at the deadline, so chances are more picks will be heading out of town. However, there’s no reason he can’t also acquire picks at the same time. Are there any players with skills that are duplicated on the roster? Value deals that are expendable? Let’s have a look.
I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.
- New Lowetide: Oilers March report card
- Jonathan Willis: Who says no? NHL execs evaluate your Oilers trade proposals for Taylor Hall, John Gibson and more
- Lowetide: Lowetide’s Oilers trade deadline quiz: Test your knowledge
- Lowetide: Scouring the hockey world for a left winger for the Oilers’ skill line
- Lowetide: How the Oilers could benefit at the trade deadline from relaxed quarantine rules
- Lowetide: Every major transaction Ken Holland has made as Oilers GM
- Jonathan Willis: Five questions the Oilers need to answer by the NHL trade deadline
- Lowetide: Carter Savoie’s college season suggests Oilers could have a real goal scoring prospect
- Lowetide: Has Oilers goalie prospect Stuart Skinner turned a corner?
- Lowetide: Where does Zack Kassian fit on the Oilers, now and in the future?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ midseason depth chart informs their needs for trade deadline and beyond
- Jonathan Willis: A position-by-position look at the Oilers after 30 games
- Lowetide: How will Oilers GM Ken Holland make room in the lineup for Evan Bouchard?
- Lowetide: Are the Oilers and Elvis Merzlikins a trade match?
- Lowetide: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Dominik Kahun, Dylan Holloway and a perfect storm on the Oilers’ left side
- Lowetide: Why Oilers GM Ken Holland shouldn’t wait for the deadline to make a trade
- Lowetide: Three Oilers prospects form hottest line in the AHL
- Lowetide: Oilers’ top 20 prospects, trade deadline edition
- Lowetide: Why are some Oilers fans hesitant to give Darnell Nurse his due?
- Jonathan Willis: Can Oilers improve enough to beat TML it in May?
- Lowetide: Top trade targets for the Oilers at the 2021 deadline
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers 2021 trade value rankings
- Lowetide: Is this peak Connor McDavid?
ASSETS OUT FOR PICKS
Elliotte Friedman mentioned in his most recent 31 Thoughts that the Oilers were looking for a checking center. Sutter in Vancouver, Ryan in Calgary and Glendening in Detroit were mentioned. Those men are likely to get dealt in the coming weeks, for depth picks. Edmonton has its own fourth this year, probably get one or two of those names for that selection.
Edmonton owns (approximately) picks No. 18, 121 (the fourth), 183, 185 and 214. If Holland deals 121 for Glendening, then the draft is basically four picks long and the scouts can watch Godfather 1, 2 and 3 plus the entire Star Wars series between the first and second Edmonton picks.
What to do? First, let’s have a quick look at the three players mentioned by Friedman.
- RC Derek Ryan Five on five: 1.70 pts-60, 55 pct shots, 60 pct goals. PK: 1:50 5.32 GA-60
- RC Luke Glendening Five on five: 1.19 pts-60, 46 pct shots, 44 pct goals. PK: 2:24 11.41 GA-60
- RC Brandon Sutter Five on five: 0.87 pts-60, 46 pct shots, 40 pct goals. PK: 2:39 5.16 GA-60
Ryan looks like the most promising of the lot, Glendening is the most likely to be an Oilers player April 12 based on last year’s deadline. Now, let’s do a list of Oilers who have their skills duplicated elsewhere on the roster:
- RW Alex Chiasson Five on five: 1.28 pts-60, 45 pct shots, 43 pct goals. PP: 3:21 3.43 pts-60.
- LC Jujhar Khaira Five on five: 2.17 pts-60, 43 pct shots, 50 pct goals. PK: 2:02 7.93 GA-60
- LW Dominik Kahun Five on five: 1.32 pts-60, 46 pct shots, 45 pct goals.
Each of these men has some value and a team looking for that specific skill set may be willing to move a pick to acquire the asset. Edmonton doesn’t need another first-round pick and this is a weird draft (scouting is difficult) so a fifth-round selection should have extra value. Ken Holland needs to add a couple of picks.
TRACERS: DAVE HUNTER
I think we can learn a couple of things about the current Oilers by having a long look at this player. Hunter became an Oiler during the WHA days, as the team signed him to a free agent contract on June 1, 1978. Hunter was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens two weeks later but would never play for them (that transaction came a year later as the Oilers entered the NHL: Montreal and Edmonton agreed that the Oilers would take Dave Hunter and Ron Carter in June 9, 1979 NHL Reclaim Draft in exchange for a promise that Edmonton would not take Bill Nyrop, Gilles Lupien or Rod Langway off Montreal’s roster in the NHL Expansion Draft on june 13, 1979. Edmonton completed the deal by drafting Cam Connor).
Hunter entered the WHA in the fall of 1978 (he played a half dozen minor league games before getting called up) and was inserted (by Glen Sather) on a line with young phenom Wayne Gretzky and veteran powerwinger Bill Flett. The big scoring line that fall was Stan Weir at center, with Brett Callighen and Blair MacDonald as his wingers.
Sather was looking for useful players and felt Hunter could fill a role. Quoting the December 8, 1978 Hockey News:
- The rookie left winger, an accomplished checker despite his inexperience, moved into a position beside Gretzky and Flett and made sound contributions on almost every shift. It was clear that Hunter’s two weeks in Dallas (CHL) had restored his confidence. In that regard, his first pro goal helped too. “I was beginning to think I’d never score,” he said after beating Mike Liut with a high shot. “The longer you go, the harder it seems to get.”
Hunter would score 7 goals that first pro season, and then play an important role on the Stanley teams until he was traded in November 1987 in the Coffey-Simpson deal.
Hunter was a fine NHL player who landed on a great team and found a role that made him useful. He won Stanleys. He was not a burner, he didn’t have a monster shot, he wasn’t 6.04. He had to overcome some things.
You could pile a large number of young players in Edmonton, Bakersfield and Europe who are under the Oilers’ prospect umbrella and include them on a list of hopefuls with skill sets that resemble Hunter. The trick comes in identifying those prospects, which is impossible from here. In five years, we’ll know who is the modern Dave Hunter, the modern Tyler Pitlick and the modern Chris VandeVelde.
We can’t see them because it’s different shades of grey surrounded by luck and timing. That’s why having dozens of prospects is important. That’s why the Oilers need to add draft picks before the 2021 selection.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
The final show of the week is loaded with strong guests. TSN1260 at 10 this morning, we start with Frank Seravalli from TSN and talk trade deadline and Covid-19 in the North Division. Steve Lansky will pop in to talk about opening day baseball and why we value it so much, plus some of the great pbp teams the Expos and Jays provided us over the years. At 11, Kenny Ducey, Draft Kings MLB Writer, talks expectations and emerging stories in baseball this year. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.