Earlier today, Ryan Rishaug dropped an absolutely horrifying prospect on Oilers fans. He suggested that the Oilers were going hard for a big name player and then proceeded to give the example of Rasmus Ristolainen as the target.
Okay, sure. That’s all fine and dandy. Ristolainen can produce offence, quarterback a power play, and he’s got a right-handed shot. He isn’t perfect, but he checks most of the boxes for what the Oilers need right now. But the cost of acquiring Ristolainen suggested by Rishaug was daunting. Oscar Klefbom and the 10th overall pick. Good lord.
Interesting listening to Rishaug speculating that the Oilers will go hard for a big name D; suggested Klefbom + 10 for Risto as an example.— dellowhockey (@dellowhockey) May 16, 2018
We already know that the 10th overall pick is in play. It was discussed at length last week. The Oilers need to get better right now and the guy they choose at 10th overall won’t be able to help them for at least a couple of years. We also know that Oscar Klefbom’s name has appeared in multiple trade rumours. The Oilers have a wealth of lefty defencemen and something has to budge. It makes some sense that Klefbom and the 10th get used in a package to bring back a game-changing asset to the Oilers.
That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday question. If the Oilers are willing to package two key assets like Klefbom and the 10th overall pick, what would they have to get in return to make it worthwhile?
It isn’t very often you see this big of a trade in the salary cap NHL. A top four defenceman and a top-10 draft pick is a wicked package to receive, so the player coming back to Edmonton would have to be very, very good. But, like I said, in the salary cap, age you don’t really see players moving around in trades like you used to.
The Matt Duchene trade was similar, but it involved three teams. The Senators gave up a first that they didn’t expect to be in the early half of the first round, Kyle Turris, and some other stuff and they got Duchene back. That was an absolute disaster for them. The difference between Turris and Duchene isn’t that big. Other similar trades are difficult to find. In 2015, L.A. sent Martin Jones, a solid goalie, and a first to Boston for one year of Milan Lucic. In 2014, Anaheim gave Vancouver a solid player in Nick Bonino and a first for Ryan Kesler. That was very bad for L.A., and quite good for Anaheim.
In my opinion, much like the Duchene deal, the difference between Klefbom and Ristolainen isn’t so big it’s worth giving up the 10th overall pick. If Edmonton is going to pay that high of a price in a deal, I would hope they explore something like the Tampa Bay Lightning did at the trade deadline when they moved a massive package involving prospects, picks, and already-solid player Vlad Namestnikov for Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller.
The Oilers have more than one hole to fill than right-handed defenceman so if they’re going to use two bullets, they have to check off two boxes. Maybe you could get Carolina interested in dealing Jeff Skinner and a righty defenceman. Maybe you could get Florida to give up a good forward like Vincent Trocheck by taking Keith Yandle’s contract in return. I don’t know, but I have a hard time thinking of a realistic option that’s worth both Klefbom and the 10th overall pick right now. Something like Erik Karlsson comes to mind, but, as we discussed last week, that probably isn’t feasible.
What say you, Nation? If Pistol Pete is actually loading Klefbom and the 10th overall pick into his trade gun and he’s ready to fire, what kind of return would you expect? One big name or a bigger collection of assets that can help the team?
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