It’s time! The Wish List is here to keep tabs on whom the Oilers should be targeting in both reality and maybe a little bit of a fantasy land as well.
I’m going ten players deep on the initial installment of the Wish List, and the players will be ranked on a combination of the need for the team and the likeliness they can get their hands on them.
THE WISH LIST RUNDOWN
- Brett Connolly
- Gustav Nyquist
- Andre Burakovsky
- Marcus Johansson
- Colin Miller
- Connor Brown
- Brian Elliott
- Kasperi Kapanen
- Joonas Donskoi
- Nik Ehlers
WISH LIST BREAKDOWN
1. Brett Connolly – UFA – RW/LW
The former Prince George Cougar takes home the top spot in the first Wish List for a couple of different reasons. First of all, compared to a few other players on this list he’ll come at a reasonable cost, a number the Oilers may actually be able to afford. He’s only 27-years old, has won a Stanley Cup and scored 22 goals this past season despite playing less than 14 minutes a night for the Capitals.
2. Gustav Nyquist – UFA – RW/LW
Nyquist would be number one the list if his projected off-season price tag was a number the Oilers could afford without having to move salary first. He would actually be lower on the list if Ken Holland wasn’t now the man in charge of the Oilers. Holland drafted and developed Nyquist so I’d have to think he would at least get a serious conversation with the Swedish forward.
3. Andre Burakovsky – RFA, Washington – LW
Having Burakovsky this high on the list may not sit too well with many of you but I’m still a pretty big fan of his upside. He scored 17 goals as a 20-year old and has scored 12 goals each of the last three seasons. He played just over 18 minutes on the power play for the Capitals, which worked out to 14 seconds per game, so in other words he wasn’t given any opportunity on the man advantage. I think he has the skill set to play in the Oilers top six and wouldn’t cost them a lot to acquire via trade.
4. Marcus Johansson – UFA – C/RW/LW
Johansson may be higher on this list if he wasn’t driving his price tag up with a pretty darn good performance in the playoffs. He can play all three positions up front and is just two seasons removed from a 58-point campaign with the Capitals. He’s battled injuries the past couple of the seasons but he looks healthy right now and when he’s healthy he’s a hell of a player.
5. Colin Miller – 3 Years, $3,750,000, Las Vegas- D
Miller is a 26-year old right shot d-man who put up 41 points for the expansion Golden Knights during the 2017-18 season. The Golden Knights are going to have to start watching the cap and for the right price in a trade, he may be a piece they’d be willing to move. Miller would provide the Oilers with a top-four option who can also man the point on the top unit power play. A perfect fit at a reasonable price.
6. Connor Brown – 1 Year, $2,100,000, Toronto – LW/RW
Brown finds himself on this list because the cost to acquire him should be reasonable for the Oilers. He has experience with Connor McDavid and has proven already that he can score 20 goals when given the opportunity to play with some skill.
7. Brian Elliott – UFA – G
I wish the need for a goaltender wasn’t this high on the list but the horrible truth is the Oilers will have to spend some money to shore up a position they’ve already committed 13.5 million to over the next three years. This year’s crop of UFA goalies isn’t overly attractive but Elliott is one of the most consistent of the bunch. In my opinion, if Elliott and Koskinen are the two goaltenders in camp the battle for the number one job would most definitely be an open competition.
8. Kasperi Kapanen – RFA, Toronto – RW
In a perfect world, Kapanen would on the top of this list but I just don’t see how the Oilers could acquire him at a reasonable price. They could sign Kapanen to an offer sheet worth $4,200,000 and, if for some crazy reason the Leafs don’t match, it would only cost Holland a 2nd round pick. As for a trade, the discussion would start with Nurse; I don’t see any other way the Leafs would move Kapanen to Edmonton.
9. Joonas Donskoi – UFA – RW
This wouldn’t be a sexy signing for the Oilers but it could end up being an effective one. He will likely land on a list of affordable options for the Oilers and would come to the Oilers after playing with some skill in San Jose. He spent most of this past season playing alongside Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane so you know he can fit in on a skill line.
10. Nik Ehlers – 6 Years, $6,000,000, Winnipeg – RW/LW
Ehlers didn’t have a great season offensively but I’d be more than confident in him putting up an easy 70 points on McDavid’s wing. There are more reasonable targets that could be at the bottom end of the Wish List but sometimes you need to close your eyes and shoot high. I think the asking price for Ehlers will end up being one of the most debated topics around the NHL over the next three to four weeks. I absolutely love his upside and he will be on this list as long as it exists, or until they acquire him.
Who else do you think belongs on this list? Brandon Pirri, Tyler Myers, Tristan Jarry, Andreas Athanasiou are a few names that have certainly popped up over the last month but I’m not ready to put them ahead of anybody else on the Wish List. Let me know who you think should be in the top ten next time around.