The Edmonton Oilers reportedly have a deal lined up for one of this year’s top free agents, Zach Hyman.
It’s going to be a big deal, but one I’m very much coming around on.
But now, the Oilers may be emerging as a dark horse candidate for the services of defenceman Dougie Hamilton — this, according to Daily Faceoff and The Nation Network’s Frank Seravalli in an IceBreakers column posted Thursday.
The question is: What’s next for Edmonton after Hyman? They have a hole to fill on the right side of their defense in the wake of Adam Larsson’s departure to Seattle. It’s certainly possible that Tyson Barrie returns to the Y-E-G after leading all defensemen in scoring last season.
But I’m wondering if the Oilers are a sneaky dark horse candidate for Dougie Hamilton. He makes so much sense. Not only can he produce similar to Barrie on the power play, but he would bring an even-strength dynamic to Edmonton’s blue line that the Oilers do not have.
Seravalli also added he’s “not entirely sold that Ethan Bear will be in Edmonton for the long haul.”
Hamilton is an absolute stud, top-pairing defenceman and would be a massive, massive addition to the Oilers blueline. As I wrote about earlier this month, Hamilton is my top candidate to replace Adam Larsson on the blue line.
At 27 years old, he’s in the prime of his career and would likely cost the Edmonton Oilers over $8-million. In fact, a projection from EvolvingWild has Hamilton earning $8.476-million AAV over a seven-year deal.
But Hamilton has positive impacts in nearly every spot on the ice and simply put, he’s one of the best defencemen in the league.
This past year Hamilton scored 10 goals and 42 points in 55 games with the Carolina Hurricanes. good enough for 9th in the NHL.
Hamilton could step in and form an incredible pairing alongside Darnell Nurse, bumping Ethan Bear down the depth chart, should he remain on the team. A pairing of Nurse-Hamilton, however, would immediately become one of the best in the NHL.
Edmonton could also go with Bear on the top pair alongside Nurse and give Duncan Keith Hamilton as a partner, too, helping settle his game down.
If the Oilers would get a deal done, he would immediately replace what both Tyson Barrie and Adam Larsson provided on the back end. Hamilton’s game has steadily improved over time and this past year was one of his best in the NHL.
No matter how you cut it, defencemen in the prime of their careers like Dougie Hamilton rarely hit the free-agent market. If Edmonton, does in fact have a chance to sign him, they need to enact a full-court press to add him to the Oilers roster.