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
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?
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.
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