The NHL draft is just a few weeks away and based on online rumors teams are talking about making deals to improve their protected lists. For the Edmonton Oilers, the protected list is probably fairly easy to compile. Using 7-3-1, it’s reasonable to expect the following:
- Goal: Cam Talbot
- Defense: Andrej Sekera, Adam Larsson, Oscar Klefbom
- Forwards: Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Milan Lucic, Jordan Eberle, Patrick Maroon, Zack Kassian, Mark Letestu.
The Oilers get a tremendous break because so many of the team’s best players are ineligible for the draft:
- Connor McDavid, Darnell Nurse, Matt Benning, Jesse Puljujarvi, Anton Slepyshev, Drake Caggiula, Nick Ellis
This gives Peter Chiarelli an advantage. If he so chose, the general manager could shop an ineligible player of note to a team with too many players to protect. Let’s take Anton Slepyshev as an example. Here are a few deals worth considering:
- Slepyshev to Florida for one of Mark Pysyk or Alex Petrovic.
- Slepyshev to Minnesota for Jason Zucker.
- Slepyshev to Columbus for Boone Jenner.
Thoughts? Each of these teams may find a way to wiggle out of this expansion exposure, and one way to do it is by trading with Edmonton.
Trading for a defenseman would mean the Oilers would need to change things up from seven forwards, three defenseman and one goalie to the other format where four forwards and four defenseman are pulled back from the exposed roster.
One way around it? Make a trade with Vegas. The Golden Knights could take one of the Panthers defensemen mentioned above, and flip that player to the Oilers (for Slepyshev, in my example). An added feature for Vegas? Slepyshev will be one of the few players who won’t be waiver eligible if the club needs to send him down.
IS IT WORTH IT?
There are negatives to this idea, beginning with Slepyshev himself. He is a fine prospect, combining speed and size with skill, plus he’s not an expensive roster player. It’s worth thinking about, and discussing. Thoughts?