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Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett

Storm Watchers

The Carolina Hurricanes are a franchise in flux and every fan base in the entire league is hoping their favourite team can take advantage of it. The Canes are so desperate to deal they couldn’t even wait for the playoffs to end to ship Marcus Kruger to the Coyotes.

A number of people have suggested that the Hurricanes and Oilers would make good trading partners. Let’s be honest here though, pretty much every team in the league would make good trading partners with a team in a desperate situation.

I’ve decided to take a look at five reasonable pieces from the Hurricanes that the Oilers could be interested in. I’ll leave the asking price up to you, that’s the fun part here.

Elias Lindholm (C/RW) – $2,700,000 RFA

81 GP – 16g – 28a – 44pts

Lindholm is a player that would fit in tremendously well on the Oilers. He’s a right-shooting forward who can play down the middle or on the right side, which gives Todd McLellan a number of options. The fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft has left the Hurricanes wanting more offensively but I still think there is another level to his production. Lindholm was one of the top three penalty killing forwards on the Canes this past season so there is no reason to believe he couldn’t do the same here in Edmonton.

Lindholm could play on the wing with either McDavid or Draisaitl and could very easily play the role of third line centre if Strome gets another look on the wing. With Lindholm’s current numbers I don’t think he’d command much more than $3,500,000 on his new deal.

Justin Faulk (D) – $4,833,333 UFA 2020

76 GP – 8g – 23a – 31pts

Here’s the obvious one. I’m not as crazy about Faulk as some others are but if the price is right I think the Oilers should explore it. He is still just 26 years old so you hope there are a few more good years on the way. After scoring at least 15 goals in three consecutive seasons, Faulk found the back of the net just eight times this season. Considering the issues he has in his own end he must produce at a high level offensively to make ends meet. With young defensemen already in the line up pushing Faulk for ice-time and more on the way now may be the time the Canes move him at a reasonable price.

Faulk could come to Edmonton and play on the second pair with Darnell Nurse, or the third pair, while at the same time become the power-play quarterback on the top unit. I’d consider Faulk but not at the cost of the 10th overall pick or Jesse Puljujarvi.

Noah Hanifin (D) – $925,000 RFA

79 GP – 10g – 22a – 32pts

Unlike Justin Faulk, I would be willing to pay the price for Hanifin. It seems like Hanifin has been a part of the Hurricanes forever but he is just wrapping up his entry level contract.

The Canes have already signed Brett Pesce (4.025) and Jaccob Slavin (5.3) to long-term deals. Based on his numbers, Hanifin will probably command something close to Slavin, maybe a little less. With Jake Bean and Hayden Fleury in the pipeline I do believe that the Canes will make at least one significant move on the blueline. The deal they make may come down to the higher return on one of Hanifin or Faulk.

Jeff Skinner (LW, RW) – $5,725,000 UFA 2019

82 GP – 24g – 25a – 49pts

Jeff Skinner has already been in the league for eight seasons, and in three of those years he scored at least 30 goals. He is scheduled to become a UFA at the end of next season. I’m not sure where Skinner’s value is right now considering he is coming off a 49-point campaign. The Oilers would have to be extremely creative with their own cap situation to make this work but if the price tag is reasonable it might be worth it to see if Skinner clicks with McDavid or Draisaitl.

Second Overall Pick

Bill Daly holds the card showing that the Edmonton Oilers will select 10th overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

I know this is highly unlikely and would come at a significant cost but I’d be willing to package up a bundle to get my hands on Andrei Svechnikov. The Hurricanes new ownership is considering everything, including moving this pick.

Pretty much everywhere you look Evgeni Svechnikov has separated himself from the rest of the pack as the second-best prospect in this draft. What more do you need to know?

From DraftAnalyst.com:

He’s a very good skater with speed and acceleration that can release a quick or heavy shot off the rush or standing still. A gifted scorer who can score from an assortment of shots, Svechnikov also owns a pair of very soft hands, which helps him corral tough passes and is extremely quick at transferring difficult or inaccurate passes onto his stick blade and into shooting position.

Svechnikov is a player who can play in your top six right now and, considering the talent the Oilers have down the middle, he’d be an impact player for a decade. Once again I’m not sure what the price tag would be but you absolutely need to explore it.

BONUS SLEEPER SUGGESTION

Janne Kuokkanen (C/W)

19-year old Janne Kuokkanen already has a year of AHL experience under his belt. He actually made the Hurricanes out of camp this past season but was sent down to Charlotte after four games.

This is the type of player you need to get your hands on for a decent price before he becomes an NHL regular. I could see him being close to a point per game in the AHL this year and then ready for top nine action in Edmonton for 2019-2020.

Recently by Dustin Nielson

  • Big Nuggets

    No to Skinner. Don’t pay for one year of a player when we have 8 years of McDavid. Especially considering we weren’t even close to the playoffs this past season. Once we are a playoff team then its okay to consider players on one year deals.

    Personally don’t see what assets we have to give up to acquire any quality players this offseason. Anyone we do acquire will come at the cost of selling low on roster players or draft picks and prospects which we will need in the coming years. If they get creative for a deal to get a Lindholm thats fine, and if they find a way to trade one of the NMCs that would be great. Otherwise I don’t think there is much to be done other than draft well and sign better depth.

  • Braindead

    Benning+2nd round pick for Faulk
    Klefbom+1st and 2nd round pick+ Conditional 2019 1st round pick for OEL.
    Sekera on IR or buy-out.
    Nurse-Larsson
    OEL-Bear
    Russell-Faulk

    • Big Nuggets

      Bear is not ready. No way I would give all that up for the chance to overpay OEL on his next contract. We have enough overpays on the roster, need more players developed in house to offset the overpays that we already have. Too early for a Sekera buy-out. Need to see how he plays this season.

      • Braindead

        OEL said his next contract wasn’t going to be about money but yeah why would he want to sign in Edmonton they’re not a playoff team.
        Bear is not ready but Benning is? At least Bear doesn’t have a glass leg like Sekera.
        What’s an Overpay? Oilers can’t develop their draft picks unless his name is McDavid. Look a Puljujarvi who can’t skate and then their is small fry Yamamoto.
        And that’s a big what if the Oilers are able to develope in house.
        The Oilers aren’t making playoffs this season if they don’t do anything.

        • Big Nuggets

          All the stats guys seem to be in agreement that Benning is indeed better than Bear, at this point in time. Not that I think Benning is great but I would like to see Bear developed properly which in my opinion means learning how to dominate the AHL before being thrown into the deep end on the big team. Also your appraisal of Bear contradicts your statement that the Oilers can’t develop.

          My point about developing our own players is that that is how you get cheap support players. We have more than one hole to fill and we have run out of cap space to throw free agents at the problem. I just don’t see much success for this franchise if they don’t begin grooming a crop of young talent.

    • FutureGM

      No way that gets you Faulk
      Big overpay considering the gap between KBom and OEL
      Sekera buyout would eat 2.75Mill for 6 yrs.
      No way you fit all those D, plus the Sekera hit under the cap
      Definitely braindead calls, props to living up to your name

    • fasteddy

      Faulk had 31 points, minus 26 or something…..barely more productive than Benning who was a plus player, hits, and is probably still developing. Faulk is a one trick pony; big shot when open on pp. Not worth the pain of his 5 on 5 play or the $. Not the kind of player you win playoff games with.

    • Rockinghockey

      Sekera can’t go on IR he is healthy and playing well at the Worlds
      You don’t buy a player out with 3 yrs remaining thatcan still help out the team.
      I would like to see a deal made moving Sekera and adding a good asset.
      I think Lindholm would be the perfect player to trade for to play with LD.
      But come expansion draft you would have to go 4 & 4 for protection.
      You won’t have to worry about Sekera or Russel as I think you could trade both of them.

  • bazmagoo

    The only guy that makes sense to me would be Lindholm, partly because the only piece that would be of similar value would be Strome imo.

    Both players could possibly use a change of scenery, and both teams could use a new look. If I’m Chiarelli and that’s on the table, I jump at it.

        • Big Nuggets

          That has not been the case for any of the players in the past that had this ‘addition by subtraction’ said about them. Puljujarvi had a better season than Slepy, caggy, Pakarinen and Jokinen. PJ should have spent some time in the AHL IMO, but this speaks to the teams incredible lack of depth. I would rather see the depth rectified with some good low key signings or trades rather than a blockbuster trade like people are itching for.

          • Moneyball

            I can agree with that except for caggiulla he shows some real strength and offensive ability from time to time. Caggiulla > puljujarvi IMO. Pj is a third liner who some think has top line potential. Trade him before that fades and get someone else. When he is on the ice the play dies. Just about anyone else would be better.

    • FutureGM

      Trading a 19yr old RHS on an entry level deal that loves to shoot when the team is desperately looking for a RHS on the PP seems asinine. What exactly are you looking to get for him?

    • Big Nuggets

      I have no problem with giving Caggiula one more season to figure things out. I can’t write off Puljujarvi yet as he is only 19 and has lots of room to grow. He is showing a few red flags but who knows how he will develop. Would have been nice to keep him in the AHL until he showed he’s ready.

      That is one of the most annoying things about how this team is managed. Gifting roster spots to rookies that haven’t shown they’re ready. Not only that but they seem dumbfounded when that plan predictably fails. We had Pitlick as a cheap option in the offseason and just let him walk. Obviously he doesn’t have the upside as Jesse but what he doea have is a more refined game from years in the AHL. That is always undervalued by this management who hasn’t learned, even after the Hall and Eberle era and the Gagner era, that young skilled players still need to learn how to compete in the NHL. Sorry, I’m starting to rant here, but it really is a massive pet peeve of mine. They just gifted a roster spot to a 19 year old that showed no signs the previous season he would be ready; ruining both his development and the competitiveness of the team. No contingency plan in place to the point that Yamamoto, a CHL player gets 9 games because there is no one else. Absolutely zero depth and managment doesn’t even seem aware that its an issue. When we have McDavid and Draisaitl the depth players don’t all need to be stars, but they do need to be actual NHLers.

      • Kepler62c

        Ya I’d hate to see them give up on Caggiula, everyone needs to temper the expectations there. He’s a cheap top 9 option moving forward and is only entering his 3rd season – he has the potential to be a cheap 15G scorer for several years here.

        • toprightcorner

          I think Caggiula is a fantastic 4th line guy or a decent but streaky 3rd line guy. I would like the Oilers to pencil him in to start the eason on the 4th line, add a veteran for the 3rd line and hope that Caggiula passes the vet by Christmas. Counting on young players to step up or even repeat is too risky for next year. I know he scored 12 goals, but he was so inconsistent in doing it. he played 25 games at 3rd line quality and the rest he was playing at a 4th line level.

          Put JJ and Caggiula on the 4th line to start and they have the ability to force their way to the 3rd line. That senario makes the Oilers a much better overall team.

      • Would probably help if the team scouts actually did some work and tried to find players outside of the first round, rather than giving themselves high fives and taking the day off for going for the BPA with the #1 overall pick.

    • camdog

      The only way that deal might get done is if PC is the GM of Carolina. Rick Dudley isn’t going to make that deal. Carolina’s franchise player right now is that number 2 pick. You want their franchise player you would have to trade a similar franchise player in return.

  • Orange nation

    Sekera+puljujarvi+10th
    Skinner+faulk+2nd
    Oilers take sekera’s $5.5 NMC off the books(he goes back to a familiar place so he’s happy with the trade) and replaces it with a $5725000 Skinner for one year. Edmonton can evaluate him for one year to see if he is the right fit. Edmonton gets there RH dman. Carolina gets there big LW fin. Spaces out entry level contracts for the oilers between puljujarvi and svechnikov, plus one less person to protect at the expansion draft. Edmontonds $5mill to there cap and gets the best forward prospect in this year’s draft. Should still have enough cap space to sign nurse and pickup a few more forwards to fill out the 3rd line/PK.

  • LordRuggles

    I would love to see Hanifin on the oilers. I dislike the Faulk option strongly. I doubt they would be interested, but warren Foegle is a good looking prospect, I would also be into trading Caggiula for Brock McGinn. I bet they would have interest in seeing if Puljujarvi could get his offendense sparked by playing with Aho again. I seriously hope Faulk retires in the offseason to breed pigeons, just so I don’t have to hear him suggested as a trade target again.

    • Crazy Pedestrian

      Why is everyone still trying to use 1st round picks to make trades? IMO, you should NEVER trade a 1st round pick unless a high-end established NHL player with a decent amount of team control or term, and cap friendly contract, OR flipping for a higher pick or possibly multiple lower picks in the same range as the original.

      • LordRuggles

        Teams with tradeable assets don’t need to utilize their 1st round picks, unfortunately that is a luxury the oilers do not have. The assets we did have we traded either while at their lowest value, or in lopsided trades.

  • teammate michael

    IF you really want move the gauge forward. Go all in on a Tavares offer. Deal out Leon and Klefbom and bring in Tavares Hanafin Svechnikovand Lindholm.

  • Kepler62c

    Lindholm isn’t the sexy name coming out of Carolina, but he’d be a great addition – would be interested to know what the asking price would be on him. Does Kassian + ??? interest Dundon? Love Kass but you’d have to consider it.

  • Arfguy

    If it’s possible to get Faulk, the only player I’d consider trying to trade is Sekera. You cannot do that in the off-season. If the Oilers want to get as much value as possible, they wait until the season is at least 15-20 games in. Sekera has to also consent to the trade. If Sekera consents, only Sekera gets what he wants. The Oilers will over-pay if the trade happens in the off-season. At this point, I don’t care if the Oilers miss the post-season if they are going to make poor trades.

  • Oil9744

    I like how people are under selling Faulk, the guy got 31 points on a bad year and that is STILL more points then any other Oiler defenceman got this season. Sekera got 35 points in 17 and everyone that he was our best defencemen all of a sudden, Faulk gets 31 in 72 games and he sucks?? Haa If we get Faulk he immediately becomes our best offensive dman, no question, and this is all before he gets to play with Connor McDavid, he’s definitely worth our 10th pick.

    • camdog

      Faulk had 12 even strength points. Nurse had 26 last year, Benning 19, Russell 19, Adam Larsson had 13. Faulk would help the powerplay, but other than that he’s a train wreck. Between the Oilers/Hurricanes his even strength points are bottom barell for the minutes heb played.

      • Oil9744

        In the last 5 season he’s got 32,49,37,37,31 points and in all that he only played a full 82 games once. Not to mention most of the points are goals, which is what Edmonton needs. He’s one season removed from scoring 17 goals in 75 games alone. Imagine he stayed healthy the whole time, or if he had Mcdavid playing with him, show me an Oilers defencemen who has put up number anywhere close to that, he’s a former 3 time all star and he’s only 26 and on a good contract. If he’s a train wreck what do you call the Oilers defence now??

  • TKB2677

    If you could find a way to get Lindholm who hasn’t lived up to the hype, I would do that all day long. He’s a right shot, I believe he skates really well, seems to have a good 2 way game, plays both special teams, for the last 2 seasons has been over 54% at faceoffs. He doesn’t score enough to be a top 6 center but would be a good 3rd line center.

  • Rusty

    Id pass on skinner. Asking price would be too high and his contract is a non starter for me. Lindholm and Hannafin is where the conversations would start for me.Both or either one. i dont know what the price for those players are but those are the ones i would target

  • TKB2677

    The thing with Hanifin is he’s left handed. The Oilers are already loaded on the left side. Taking out Sekera and Russell for a min, they have Nurse and Klefbom who are only a few years older than Hanifin so I don’t see how getting him even if you could helps the Oilers. Besides, I don’t see how Carolina would trade him. A 21 yr old dman coming off his ELC where he scored you 32 pts. Makes no sense.

    I think you would have more of a chance with Lindholm because he will be 24 and this next contract is his 3rd contract. He had he ELC, then signed a 2 year deal and he still hasn’t lived up to what he was supposed to be. Maybe they would be willing to move him.

    I would stay away from Skinner. Makes too much money.

    • TKB2677

      The only way I would go after Skinner is if they are swapping Lucic for Skinner. Skinner makes 250k less but basically it is the same money just completely different players. I don’t see the Canes doing that.

  • toprightcorner

    The only problem with Hanifin is he shoots left and with Russel and Sekera having NMC, it doesn’t make sense. Getting Hannifin would have to be a hockey trade with Klefbom going the other way.

    Dundon says he wants to get bigger, Maybe Klefbom and Kassian for Hannifin?

    Even then, I don’t see it as a huge upgrade, other that Hanifin doesn’t have injury issues.

  • toprightcorner

    If your making a trade with CAR, you are likely going to get a prospect back a well, especially if trading for Faulk.

    2 CAR prospects I would look at getting.

    Aleksi Saarela – C/LW – shoots L – scored 25 goals in his first AHL season this year. Has a nose for the net, great skater with highend skill.

    Julien Gauthier – huge man with great wheels and soft hands, regularly compared to Rick Nash. 41 goals in 54 games in 2016 draft year, pure goal scorer. 16 goals in AHL rookie season.

    Benning, 2nd and Kassian for Faulk and Gautier/Salaara.

    Dundon says he wants more toughness, Oilers need to dump Kassians contract. Basically Benning and 2nd for Faulk and Kassian for prospect. I don’t have an issue with Benning but Faulk is a PP specialist and the Oilers PP needs to be top 10 this year.

    • Rockinghockey

      If they would accept that trade I would be all over it but for some dumb reason I see Chia over paying for Faulk.
      Has Lindholm’s value dropped
      Benning, Kaissin, Puljujarvi
      Lindholm, Faulk
      Nurse, Larsson
      Klefbom, Sekera
      Russel, Faulk
      Cap space would be the big problem here but I would be happy with that dmen core if Sekera is healthy. Plus we have LD and Lindholm pairing for the 2nd line. If we only didn’t have that Lucic contract.