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Photo Credit: Jason Franson/Canadian Press

Matheson: Holland to target third-line centre in trade, help Oilers roster

It appears that the Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland is preparing to dip into the trade market and help out his roster.

In three separate tweets posted Wednesday morning, the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson highlighted what might be to come.

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Matheson has listed a few interesting options in Nick Bonino and Andreas Athanasiou.

Bonino, a 10-year veteran in the league, is still producing very well with the Nashville Predators. The 31-year-old has 24 points in 42 games this season playing 16:52 minutes per game.

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Most notably, though, 23 of his points have come during 5v5 play — a facet of the Oilers game that has seriously lacked this season. Bonino has been a strong driver of play and has posted very good goal rates. He does have a 104 PDO, so you may expect some regression in his game.

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He would be a very good option for the 3C slot in Edmonton. He has one year left on a $4.1-million deal, according to Puckpedia.

Athanasiou is another option I am a fan of. He’s largely struggled this year on a Red Wings team that is historically bad. But he’s still managed to put up 19 points in 36 games all the while shooting at a very, very low 5.7 percent.

11 points have come at 5v5, while his underlying numbers and goal rates have been… bad. He’s never been an analytics darling, but Athanasiou is coming off a 30-goal, 54 point season with the Red Wings and his abhorrently low PDO of 91.0 and on-ice shooting percentage of 6.22 suggest there’s room for him to bounce back in the second half of the season.

Athanasiou is an RFA at the end of the year and has a cap hit of $3-million, according to Puckpedia.

Matheson noting the Oilers second-round pick, and a defensive prospect could be available is interesting. Pure speculation, but I wonder if the recent recall of William Lagesson was done as a bit of an NHL showcase.

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I struggled to find another reason at the time for it to really make sense given that a young left-shot defenceman in Caleb Jones was already vying for ice time.

Edmonton has a good amount of young rearguards they could deal from, and I would imagine Lagesson, Jones, and @Dimitri Samorukov could all be dangled in a deal.

On Twitter: @zjlaing