Analyzing the Oilers’ acquisitions at the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline, and what they could provide

Photo credit:© Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
4 months ago
The 2024 NHL Trade Deadline concluded on Friday. Ken Holland and the Edmonton Oilers made two trades in the two days before the deadline, and eventually decided to stand pat on the day of the deadline.
Edmonton’s first move came on Wednesday when they made a three-way trade that sent Anaheim Ducks forwards Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick to Edmonton. The Oilers sent their 2024 first-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2025 to the Ducks, who retained 50 percent of Henrique and Carrick’s salary. Edmonton also sent a conditional fourth-round pick in 2025 to the Tampa Bay Lightning, who retained an additional 25 percent of Henrique’s contract. Henrique comes in at a cap-hit of $1,456,250, while Carrick has a cap-hit of just $425,000.
On Thursday, Edmonton traded for defenceman Troy Stecher from the Arizona Coyotes. The Oilers sent a fourth-round pick in 2027 to Arizona, while Edmonton also received a seventh-round pick in 2024. With Arizona not retaining any money, Stecher comes in at a $1.1M cap hit.
Ultimately, the Oilers added three contracts and did not move any roster players or prospects out. They still had an additional $1M in cap space, but did not use it for another acquisition.
Here is an in-depth analysis of Edmonton’s trade acquisitions and what they could provide to the Oilers.
*All microstats via AllThreeZones, all on-ice stats via EvolvingHockey, Natural Stat Trick, and PuckIQ unless stated otherwise

Adam Henrique

Adam Henrique has been a very good player on an awful team.
Henrique’s relative 5v5 goal differential nicely sums up his impact. Since 2021-22, the Anaheim Ducks have been out-scored 397 to 544, equating to a brutal -147 goal differential that ranks third last in the NHL. During that span, Henrique is only -3 at 5v5 (108 GF, 111 GA), meaning the Ducks are -144 without Henrique on-ice. Anaheim’s goal differential improves by a full 9 percent with Henrique; the fact that Henrique was nearly net-even in goal differential on a -147 team speaks volumes.
Throughout the past three seasons in Anaheim, Henrique’s point-per-game pace over 82 games has been 59, 50, and 57 points, respectively, which is solid second-line production. Of course, it is worth noting Henrique played a lot of minutes in Anaheim, and he will not receive as much opportunity in Edmonton (less TOI = fewer points), and so I am doubtful if he sustains a 55+ point pace with the Oilers. Nonetheless, even at a per 60-minute rate, Henrique has produced 1.94 5v5 points per hour in the past three seasons, which remains second-line production.
The Oilers needed scoring depth. Last season, Edmonton scored 2.42 goals per hour at 5v5 without McDavid and Draisaitl on-ice, but this season, they have declined to 1.70 this season, and 1.11 since the beginning of 2024. To put that into perspective, the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team currently well below the Oilers in the standings and having an underwhelming season, have scored at a rate of 1.69 goals per hour without Crosby and Malkin.
The most significant issue with Edmonton’s lack of scoring depth is their inability to finish. Without McDavid and Draisaitl, the Oilers are still creating 2.53 expected goals per hour but 1.7 actual goals.
Henrique would rank third on the Oilers in goals scored above expected at 5v5 in the past three seasons, only behind Draisaitl and McDavid. Henrique provides strong offensive play-driving, production, and finishing, attributes Edmonton’s bottom six desperately needs.
An underrated aspect of Henrique is his quality of competition, as Henrique has faced exceedingly tough match-ups. This season, Henrique has played nearly 40 percent of his TOI against elite competition; for reference, McDavid plays 35 percent of his TOI against elites, while Draisaitl is at 33 percent.
In general, Anaheim has been a poor penalty-killing squad, ranking 29th in the NHL in PK% in the past three seasons. Henrique’s PK results in this system are quite subpar. Still, it is definitely worth granting him minutes on Edmonton’s PK and seeing if those results could potentially bounce back on a better team.
With everything in mind, the most beneficial attribute Henrique provides is his versatility. 
Considering his production and offensive play-driving, Henrique could center a productive third line, which could grant Edmonton’s bottom six a huge boost offensively. 
Or, considering Henrique’s experience against top opposition and above-average defensive results, he could form a shutdown defensive line. The major benefit to this is that it allows better match-ups for McDavid and Draisaitl’s lines, potentially allowing them to produce even more offence.
Or, Henrique could even play as a winger in the top six. Henrique has significant experience at both left-wing and center, and so he could slot nicely alongside Draisaitl.
Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, Henrique, and McLeod can all play center or wing, which gives Edmonton a variety of options.
Personally, I am a fan of Edmonton’s current line setup. It is a no-brainer to keep McDavid, RNH, and Hyman together as the top line, as they have been phenomenal. Draisaitl has not worked well with Kane this season, but he has shown promising results with McLeod and Foegele on his wing. As I wrote back in January, I believe this trio has the potential to be successful. Meanwhile, Kane and Henrique on the third line results in pretty strong depth, and I would prefer if Dylan Holloway eventually replaces Perry on that line in the playoffs to inject some speed (Perry would also improve the offence on the fourth line).
In terms of play-style, Henrique is not exactly a flashy player. Using data from NHL Edge, Henrique is far from fast, as his speed bursts per 60 and top skating speed ranks below the 50th percentile. Per AllThreeZones, Henrique is not a great transitional player or puck-transporter, as he ranks well below average in zone entries and exits per hour. 
Despite his transitional metrics. Henrique still gets the job done, but optimally, he would work best next to a strong and speedy puck-mover. This is why I believe Holloway should be given a significant opportunity with Henrique, as I feel both of them fit well together stylistically. Holloway provides speed/transitional play, while Henrique provides the production and offensive-zone play-driving.
All in all, I like the addition of Henrique. It grants a significant boost to Edmonton’s forward depth.

Sam Carrick

Sam Carrick’s on-ice results in Anaheim are far from pretty.
To measure “EV Play-Driving” as shown in the visual above, EvolvingHockey’s RAPM xG model is used. Many will immediately point out how awful Anaheim is, arguing team effects are the driving force behind Carrick’s metrics, but the objective of models such as RAPM is to isolate a player’s results from external factors (teammates, competition, zone starts, etc). Of course, these models are far from perfect, and can often underrate players deployed in very difficult roles, but they typically don’t undervalue fourth-liners regardless if they are on a good or bad team.
In the past three seasons. Carrick’s impact on driving offence at even-strength ranks in the 5th percentile. His defensive impact is in the 36th percentile. Carrick does have eight goals this year and league-average finishing overall, which is certainly an upgrade on numerous players in Edmonton’s bottom-six, but he still has a mere 6 5v5 points in nearly 550 minutes, equating to a rate of 0.66 points per hour; for reference, Adam Erne is at 0.70 this season.
Carrick’s penalty-killing results are even worse than Henrique’s; out of Anaheim’s regular penalty-killers, none of their forwards have been on the ice for more goals and shots against per hour on the PK than Carrick.
What likely makes Carrick appealing to Edmonton is that Carrick is a right-shot fourth-line center who can win faceoffs, a type of player Edmonton has been pursuing for quite some time. They likely value Carrick’s physicality, as Carrick has 359 hits and 27 fights in the past three seasons. Many people put a lot of stock into intangibles such as these, which is fair. Still, I personally believe the team should always prioritize how well a player can help them out-score the opposition, which is ultimately the objective of hockey games, and Carrick’s on-ice impacts suggest he may not be an everyday NHL player.
That said, it isn’t all bad for Carrick regarding on-ice results. From 2019-20 through 2021-22, Carrick’s defensive impact ranked in the 79th percentile; while those results have been awful in the past two seasons, there may still be some potential for Carrick to be an effective defensive NHL fourth-liner. Perhaps Carrick’s results do end up improving in a better environment in Edmonton.
On the bright side, Carrick’s cap hit is just $425K, 43 percent less than the league minimum. If Carrick can effectively center Edmonton’s fourth-line, that is evidently great news, but if he struggles to make a positive impact, Edmonton always has the option of playing Derek Ryan or even James Hamblin (when recalled from Bakersfield and healthy) in his spot. 

Troy Stecher

Troy Stecher is an intriguing defenceman.
At a glance, Stecher’s results in the past few seasons do seem fairly unimpressive, but they are standard for a typical depth defenceman. 
Currently, defensive-zone puck retrievals are Stecher’s most significant strength. Stecher’s retrieval success rate of 85 percent in the past two seasons ranks in the 64th percentile among NHL defencemen. Stecher does well at retrieving pucks under forecheck pressure while limiting turnovers; his botched retrievals per hour rate ranks in the 88th percentile this season.
Regarding zone exits, Stecher is unexceptional, but Stecher likes to jump up in the rush. This year, the league average controlled zone entries per hour among defencemen is 2.4, and the average controlled entries leading to scoring chances per hour is 0.86; Stecher is at 3.1 and 1.5 respectively in those regards. He is a pretty solid puck-carrier and can occasionally generate opportunities off the rush.
The primary weakness in Stecher’s game is his rush defending. Even though Stecher’s quality of competition is not very high, Stecher has been prone to getting burned off the rush at a decently high rate throughout the past two seasons. On average, around 15 percent of the controlled entries a defenceman allows results in a rush chance, but Stecher is at 22 percent.
I have seen some people wonder if Stecher could fit with Darnell Nurse on the second pair, but I am doubtful if he would succeed there. As I have mentioned in the past, Nurse’s rush defence may be his most significant flaw, while he would optimally work best alongside a strong breakout passer. While Stecher is certainly a superior puck-mover to Ceci, he still isn’t great at zone exits, and Stecher’s poor rush defence is certainly not a good fit for Nurse. Not to mention, Stecher does not possess significant positive experience playing against top opposition in a top-four role.
I believe Stecher could be a solid fit with Brett Kulak. Kulak has been inconsistent at puck retrievals in the past but is excellent at defending the transition. Stecher could stylistically pair well with him on the third pair.
Overall, Stecher has the potential to be a reliable 3RD/7D. He is solid insurance if Vincent Desharnais ever struggles in the playoffs again or if there is an injury at RD.

Final Thoughts on the Trade Deadline…

All-in-all, Edmonton is definitely an improved team following this deadline. While I’m not as high on Carrick, Henrique is a great acquisition, and Stecher is a fine depth addition. Trading a 1st for Henrique is a bit steep, as Henrique is 34 and likely to be a rental (it may be difficult for Edmonton to re-sign him with Connor Brown’s bonuses eating into Edmonton’s cap next season), but considering Henrique’s contract is heavily retained, a 1st is fair value.
With all that said, I think it is reasonable to feel underwhelmed by Edmonton’s deadline, especially in comparison to what some of the other contenders accomplished at this deadline. Vegas added Tomas Hertl, Anthony Mantha, and Noah Hanifin. Colorado added Casey Mittelstadt, Sean Walker, Yakov Trenin, and Brandon Duhaime, while Winnipeg added Sean Monahan, Tyler Toffoli, and Colin Miller.
I still feel Edmonton could have used another top-six right-shot winger for Leon Draisaitl. Warren Foegele is currently in that spot, and while I am a fan of Foegele, it is worth noting he has just 6 points in his past 35 playoff games. More importantly, do the Oilers have the defence and goaltending to go up against the NHL’s best offence in the playoffs?
I feel it is a major risk to not upgrade at 2RD. In the 2023 playoffs, Cody Ceci was on-ice for eight goals against at 5-on-5 in 6 games, as he heavily struggled to defend against Vegas’ best. This season, Ceci ranks last among Edmonton’s regular defencemen in on-ice goal and expected goal differential at 5v5. The Oilers are currently playing Vincent Desharnais in Ceci’s spot in the top-four, but I have doubts if Desharnais has the foot speed to handle difficult top-four minutes in the playoffs.
Stuart Skinner has been excellent since mid-November. However, Skinner can still be prone to having rough stretches of play, as seen at the beginning of the season and in the 2023 playoffs. While Calvin Pickard’s record is strong, he has played just five games against a team in a playoff spot this season, with a 0.897 SV% in those games; if Skinner struggles, can Pickard be a reliable backup? Jack Campbell may not be an NHL goalie at this stage, and while Oliver Rodrigue could be a promising prospect, he has no NHL experience.
The Oilers are still a very good team, as they boast a superb 35-12-2 record under Kris Knoblauch. They still have a very realistic chance of winning the cup. But, there are a couple of major question marks on this roster, which could potentially cost Edmonton in the playoffs. 
Ultimately, Edmonton’s acquisitions at the 2024 Trade Deadline have improved the team, but is this roster good enough to eventually win the Stanley Cup? We will find out by June.
Find me on Twitter (@NHL_Sid)

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