Welcome back to our weekly look at the NHL’s rumour mill here on Oilersnation. Last week I dug into some trade talk surrounding defensemen who could be moved this summer. This week, we’re going all over the place, starting with a look at Frank Seravalli’s Trade Bait Board, which you can find HERE.
Phil Kessel sits atop the board and while the Oilers could use a player exactly like Kessel, it’s far from a good fit. It would be tough to fit in his $6.8 million cap hit and he also has a no-trade clause that allows him to submit a list of eight teams he would agree to be dealt to. I would imagine Edmonton is not on his list.
Jacob Trouba is number two on the list and like Kessel, he fits the mould of what the Oilers need, but I don’t see a scenario where he is dealt. The Jets would likely want a cost controlled young defenseman for the pending RFA Trouba. The Oilers might be able to offer up someone like Adam Larsson or Darnell Nurse, but I wouldn’t trade for Trouba unless there was a contract extension attached to it. It would be tough for the Oilers to afford a deal for Trouba and there have been rumblings that he prefers to play in the USA.
One defenseman on the list I do like is Colin Miller. The 26-year-old would fit perfectly on the right-side of the Oilers depth chart. He’s owed $3.88 million for the next three seasons, which the Oilers could afford, especially if they move out one of Kris Russell or Matt Benning. He only scored three goals this season but he shot just 2.3%. I think it’s fair to expect a bump in offence next year from Miller. He also has the ability to quarterback a powerplay.
Jason Zucker, fourth on Frank’s list, is a player that intrigues me. He has a $5.5 million cap hit, which is rich, but he’s averaged 22 goals a year for the last five seasons. He’s also played at least 70 games in each of the last four seasons. He’s fairly durable and is a proven goal scorer. I would love for the Oilers to get their hands on Zucker, but they would have to move out salary to afford him.
Connor Brown is number seven on the list. He was connected to the Oilers at the trade deadline and given the Leafs cap situation, they might be inclined to move out the pending RFA, who made $2.1 million last season. Honestly, a Matt Benning for Connor Brown swap makes a lot of sense for both sides.
One name not on the trade bait board is JT Miller, but he might be a player that is moved this summer. As I said in my Trade Targets piece on Friday, the Lightning need cap space to sign Brayden Point and others. After three straight 20 goal campaigns, Miller only scored 13 this past season.
As TSN’s Ryan Rishaug told Dustin Nielson last week, maybe now is the time to buy-low on the 26-year-old winger. He might look really good on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins wing.
Like a lot of high-end trade candidates, the Oilers would need to move out some money if they want to bring in Miller.
The Nashville Predators are another team that appears to be ready to shake things up. Pierre LeBrun wrote about it for The Athletic.
LeBrun says that David Poile could be bold this summer. PK Subban is the obvious candidate to get moved considering he has a $9 million cap hit. That’s too rich for the OIlers and I doubt that the Oilers would have what the Predators would be asking for in a potential Subban deal.
Outside of the offensive defenseman, names such as Mikael Granlund, Craig Smith, Kyle Turris or Nick Bonino have been thrown to the rumour mill.
Honestly, everyone but Turris would fill a hole for the Oilers. Granlund is a UFA after next season, so I would hesitate to acquire him without an extension, but I think he would be a great fit in the Oilers top six. He can play centre or right wing and can contribute on the powerplay. His value might be low after a rough end to the season in Nashville. His $5.75m cap hit would be tough to fit in.
Craig Smith will make $4.25 million next season before becoming a UFA. I think he’s very underrated. He can play a little bit of centre, but it mainly a right winger, which is versatility the Oilers could benefit from. He’s topped 20 goals in five of the last six seasons while never playing less than 76 games. Add in some playoff experience with the Predators and you have a perfect match for the Oilers.
Nick Bonino is less attractive because of $4.1 million cap hit, but he’s a pending UFA and would look good on the team’s third line. He’s topped 15 goals in five of the last six seasons and the one season he didn’t, he missed 19 games due to injury.
Think any of those players would look good here? Is there a rumour I didn’t mention that you think should interest the Oilers? Let me know below or on Twitter @tyleryaremchuk!