The Edmonton Oilers could have exceeded the price to acquire Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar Sunday night, but general manager Ken Holland held back his first round selection and various prospects for today or down the line. My guess is either Holland never pursued Hall, or that the Sabres wanted that first-round pick badly. Either way, there are limited options available in the trade market today.
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.
- Lowetide: What would the Oilers sacrifice if they traded their 2021 first-round pick?
- DNB: A year without Colby Cave
- DNB: To play them together or not? 97 and 29
- Lowetide: Are the 2020-21 Oilers better than the 2016-17 team?
- DNB: Q&A: Oilers GM Ken Holland on trade deadline needs
- Lowetide: Evan Bouchard’s season of inactivity — what is the risk for the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Oilers futures watch — how new arrivals are making an impact at AHL Bakersfield
- New DNB: What I’m hearing about the Oilers ahead of the trade deadline
- Lowetide: The Oilers’ big decision on defence — Caleb Jones or William Lagesson?
- Jonathan Willis: Finding the ideal centre for the Oilers at the trade deadline
- Lowetide: Oilers March report card
- Jonathan Willis: Who says no? NHL execs evaluate your Oilers trade proposals
- 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: How will Oilers GM Ken Holland make room in the lineup for Evan Bouchard?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ top 20 prospects, trade deadline edition
- Lowetide: Why are some Oilers fans hesitant to give Darnell Nurse his due?
- Lowetide: Top trade targets for the Oilers at the 2021 deadline
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers 2021 trade value rankings
- Lowetide: Is this peak Connor McDavid?
Anders Bjork is a player I’m familiar with, having tracked him as a Bruins prospect and then watched him push toward an NHL career as a regular. His five on five scoring is shy, per 60 minutes her has delivered 1.36 pts-60 so far in his NHL career.
To give you an idea about what that represents, Joakim Nygard has produced 1.33 pts-60 in his 33 games with Edmonton. Drake Caggiula delivered 1.50 pts-60 during his career with the Oilers. These are not difficult players to find.
Bjork played just 29 AHL games before elevating to the Bruins, owing partly to his turning pro at 21. His pts-game number in the AHL (.759) is shy of Ryan McLeod’s totals this season (.917 pts-60) at age 21.
I don’t know, because Buffalo may love Bjork’s skill set, but my guess is McLeod will have a more substantial career than Bjork. Reasons include speed, position (McLeod is a center) and draft pedigree.
So, Holland could have acquired a 2021 second-round pick by trading a prospect (one of the LHD prospects, like Dmitri Samorukov) and Edmonton’s fourth-round pick in 2021 for something inside the top 60.
Trading McLeod and a second-round pick acquired for Samorukov is a dear price. Taylor Hall is worth that price.
Conclusion? Holland didn’t pursue Hall to the point of exhaustion. Was it a mistake? If Holland doesn’t make a deal before the deadline, I’ll call it opportunity missed.
I wrote about Edmonton’s LW options at The Athletic this morning, TSN’s trade board includes several of the names I mentioned plus a few more interesting names. I expect the fourth-round pick in 2021 is headed out, and there’s a small chance a bigger deal arrives but this could be quiet.
THE 2021 TOP 21
At this point in the season, the Oilers first-round selection is No. 21 overall. Here are the 21 best players in the 2021 draft.
- RW Dylan Guenther, Edmonton Oil Kings.
- LC Mason McTavish Peterborough Petes.
- LD Owen Power, Michigan Wolverines.
- RD Brandt Clarke Barrie Colts.
- LW Matthew Beniers, Michigan Wolverines.
- LD Luke Hughes, U.S. National Development Team
- LC Zachary Bolduc, Rimouski Oceanic.
- RW Chaz Lucius, U.S. National Development Team
- LW William Eklund, Djurgardens.
- RC Ryder Korczak, Moose Jaw Warriors.
- LC Cole Sillinger, Sioux Falls Stampede
- LW Kent Johnson, Michigan Wolverines.
- LW Zachary L’Heureux, Halifax Mooseheads
- G Sebastian Cossa, Edmonton Oil Kings.
- LD Daniil Chayka Guelph Storm.
- LW Fedor Svechkov, Ladia Togliatti.
- LC Francesco Pinelli, Kitchener Rangers
- LD Simon Edvinsson, Vasteras IK
- RC Xavier Bourgault, Shawinigan Cataractes
- G Jesper Wallstedt, Lulea.
- LW Brennan Othmann, Fint Firebirds
Othmann has a great shot but doesn’t use it enough. Sounds like an Oilers forward to me! I think there’s a chance Edmonton picks a goalie this year, and there are tons of blue near the top this season. A reminder that European players on my list spike late, as I always get around to those leagues last.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we continue the trade deadline on TSN 1260. Guests include Jason Gregor, Jason Strudwick, Matt Kassian and others as we head toward the deadline. I’m not certain we’ll see anything more than the fourth round pick for Luke Glendening, but we’ll have fun and hope you join us. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.