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Expansion Opportunities

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.

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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.

Connor McDavid is having one of the best single NHL seasons ever


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?

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      but if a team like Columbus faces the prospect of not being able to protect Jenner and lose him for nothing to Vegas, then yes absolutely you trade him for a big and talented up and comer in Slepyshev, especially if you don’t have to protect him. as much as i do like Slepy, i like Jenner a whole lot more simply because he can score at the NHL level and Slepy hasn’t yet. we protect Jenner and not Letestu. even if Mark is available, i still think that Vegas takes a pretty much NHL ready Reinhart anyway. it’s a definite win/win for the Oilers as it is for Columbus if you think about it.

  • chuckcouples

    Those deals make no sense for the simple reason that every team is going to lose one player. So the deals end up being, for example, Zucker AND Scandella for Slepyshev assuming Vegas wants Zucker 1st and Scandella 2nd.

    Smart teams are going to be trading for expansion eligible players instead of trading them away since every team will lose 1 and only 1 player. Players that can’t be protected will be available for lower than normal market value so now would be the best time to acquire them for smart teams.

    • Pono

      I think your logic is flawed. Columbus option 1: loose Jenner to LV. Columbus option 2: Trade Jenner for Slepy and lose Scandella to LV. Effectively, Columbus is trading Scandella for Slepy. They lose Jenner in either case.

  • madjam

    Doubt Vegas will have enough time after lists are given to them to do much more than take best player available from each team depending on positional requirements . Their best avenue is to take that best player , and worry about dealing after the draft is done , not during or before then . Why after ? Because you could then have multiple bidders on several of your acquisitions rather than just probably one , making your return even better .

    Here is my list of players they might choose : 5 goalies : Fleury , Bishop ,Neuvirth ,C.Pickhard and one of Miller , Markstrom or Howard . One can only imagine what they might pry if they traded two of them .
    10 defense : Franson ,Oduya , Murray , Hamhuis , Demers , Dumba , Ellis , Hamonic , Methot , and Orlov . Once again whom might some of them get Vegas in trades ?
    15 forwards : Silferberg , Vrbata, Stafford , Frolic, Stempniak , Helm , Pouliot, Radulov or Plecanek , C.Smith , K.Palmieri , M.Grabner , M.Boedker , R.Reaves , A .Killorn , Komarov , S.Mathias . Once again some used for trade .

    I think Vegas can get better draft choices (more value ) with lineup of taking best players , and dealing some of them after the draft .

  • testyesty44

    Guys appreciate the work your doing leading up to the expansion but George McPhee is a terrible gm. Nothing to worry about and to be honest I’m excited for the tire fire that will be some of their ridiculous selections. Oilers are in great shape sit back and enjoy. It’s not like anyone we trade for we can protect.

    • Shameless Plugger

      I completely agree. Any trade involving the Oilers screws the protection scheme. I don’t need see transaction occurring until after the expansion draft. Just looking to drum up conversation in the off-season. Anyone else notice how every article ends with “let me know what you think in the comment section” or something to that effect ?

  • McPlayoffs

    I think it would be awesome if somehow McPhee overpaid for Ovechkin and his buddy Kovalchuk’s NHL rights. Now that would be a tire fire.
    I like Sleppy also but I’d make all 3 of those trades.