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Three players the Edmonton Oilers could trade for this offseason

Some massive company news dropped early Wednesday as we officially announced hockey insider Frank Seravalli would be joining Daily Faceoff and the Nation Network.

While Frank’s announcement can be seen here, his first article also went live on DailyFaceoff.com where he highlighted 20 players who could be in play in this summer’s trade market.

In honour of Frank joining the network, let’s take a look at three of the names on his list and how, and why, the Oilers should trade for them.

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Conor Garland

A surprising name on this list is none other than Arizona Coyotes right-winger Conor Garland, an RFA who came in fifth on Seravalli’s trade list. The 25-year-old just finished his third season in the NHL, all of which with the Coyotes, scoring an impressive 96 points in 164 games. This year was his least productive pointwise scoring just 18 points in 47 games but the talent is clearly there.

According to hockeyviz.com, Garland provides offence at an eight percent rate higher than league average and defence at a four percent rate below league average. At 5×5, the Coyotes controlled 52.41 percent of the shot attempt share, 55.74 percent of the goal share and 52.7 percent of the expected goal share with him on the ice this season. He’s consistently been well above team average in these categories, too.

He scored 2.37 points per hour at 5×5 this year. Among all Oilers forwards, that would place him third this past season behind Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid.

Garland would be a great fit on the Oilers second line and would push Kailer Yamamoto down the lineup to the third role.

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He’s coming off a two-year deal paying him an AAV of $775,000. I always hate trying to project trades because it’s really hard to get a good idea of how teams value their own players. With that being said, according to contract projections from Evolving Hockey, Garland’s most likely contract is a four-year deal paying him an AAV of $4.698-million. Based off the current RFA compensation, Edmonton would have to forfeit a first-round pick and a third-round pick that way and I think that’s a reasonable price to pay for a player who would remain under team control for a long time.

Here’s what Seravalli wrote about Garland:

Scoop: The Coyotes have not treated Garland like the player who was the heartbeat of their team. Garland’s camp, led by agent Peter Cooney, submitted two contract proposals (as requested by the club) on May 20 and there has been zero communication or dialogue since. “We’re just looking for Conor to be paid respectfully like the core player he was for the Coyotes,” Cooney told Daily Faceoff on Tuesday. It appears that will be elsewhere, which is no real shock given that Arizona nearly moved Garland in the days prior to April’s trade deadline.

Sam Reinhart

Another young, 25-year-old RFA I could see the Oilers targetting is Reinhart. A right-shot centre who has played the wing, acquiring someone like Reinhart could be a big move for the Oilers. This past year he scored 25 goals (11th in the league) and 40 points in 54 games.

According to hockeyviz.com, he contributed offence at a two percent rate below league average and defence at a four percent rate above league average. At 5×5, the Sabres controlled 48.57 percent of the shot attempt share, 39.51 percent of the goal share and 49.95 percent of the expected goal share. These numbers were all above average on an abysmal Sabres club. He posted a 96.5 PDO showing this was an unlucky, down year for him.

He scored only 1.6 points per hour at 5×5 this year that would place him 8th among Oilers forwards. I feel like he’s a player who would succeed given better teammates around him.

I could see Reinhart slotting in as the Oilers second-line centre and that would allow the Oilers to keep Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl together full time.

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Coming off a one year deal paying him an AAV of $5.2-million, his contract is projected as a five-year deal at $6.947-million. It’s a lofty price and one the Oilers would likely have to get creative to fit on their books. His offer sheet compensation equates to a first, second and third-round pick. He’s a player that I think would fit well in the Oilers top-six and his acquisition cost might be low enough that the Oilers could palate it.

Here’s what Seravalli wrote about Reinhart:

Scoop: Shoot some truth serum into Sabres GM Kevyn Adams and he’ll likely tell you that he has no real interest in moving Reinhart. He finished tied for 11th in the league in goals (25), which is a 37-goal pace over 82 games. By all accounts, Reinhart also emerged as one of Buffalo’s leaders. It’s just that Reinhart is one year away from free agency and his negative comments indicate there is little chance he’ll be signing long-term, so this summer might make sense to rip the band-aid off.

Rickard Rakell

Coming in at 11th on Seravalli’s list, Rakell would be a massive addition for the Oilers. At 28 years old, he’s in the prime of his career and has one year left on a deal paying him just $3.789-million. This past season Rakell scored just nine goals and 28 points in 52 games, the lowest production of his career.

According to hockeyviz.com, Rakell provided offence at a five percent rate above league and defence at a two percent rate below league average. The Ducks controlled 50.47 percent of the shot attempts, 46.03 percent of the goals and 47.55 percent of the expected goals with him on the ice. All these are well above the Ducks’ team average from last year.

His 1.65 points per hour at 5×5 would be third on the Oilers behind McDavid, Draisaitl and Jujhar Khaira.

Another right shot winger, Rakell could slot in on either the first or second line for the Oilers depending on what they want to do with Jesse Puljujarvi.

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Rakell is under team control for another year before he hits unrestricted free agency. He undoubtedly would be looking for a significant raise, one that likely puts him in the $6-million range, and a price that would be reasonable. Acquisition cost is likely to be high for Rakell and I would suspect draft picks and a(some) solid prospect(s) would be required going back the other way.

Here’s what Seravalli wrote:

Scoop: Keep an eye on the Ducks to reshuffle the deck this summer. GM Bob Murray wants to speed up the rebuild after three straight seasons picking in the Top 10. Rakell is a talented player who was one of the hottest players in the league for a stretch this season until an untimely injury derailed a possible deadline deal.

All in all…

The Oilers have an opportunity to acquire some real talent to their top-six this year. Both Garland and Reinhart have definite buy-low value with them and I like their chances to rebound as players in the future. Edmonton should be aggressive this year in bettering the talent through their roster and these are all solid options.


Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]