Edmonton Oilers continue trade talks for defencemen Jakob Chychrun, Mattias Ekholm and Vladislav Gavrikov

Photo credit:Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 year ago
The trade winds continue to blow around Edmonton and the club is reportedly engaged in conversations with three teams surrounding three defencemen: the Arizona Coyotes and Jakob Chychrun, the Nashville Predators and Mattias Ekholm and the Columbus Blue Jackets for Vladislav Gavrikov.
This according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.
His colleague Pierre LeBrun added in a Tweet of his own that “I think Gavrikov is Plan C for the Oil and yet probably the easiest deal to get done compared to Chychrun/Ekholm.” According to LeBrun, last week the Predators told teams that the asking price for Ekholm “started with 2 first-round picks.”
It’s a pretty clear drop-off from Chychrun and Ekholm to Gavrikov, and it’s pretty clear the Oilers are thinking big picture when it comes to their defence. In my eyes, my preference would be Chychrun, even though it may cost a bit more. He’s younger, has fewer miles and is a strong defenceman with his strength being in the transition game. It’s so clear the Oilers need to address this, and I feel Chychrun is the best at it of this bunch. He’s 24 years old and has two years remaining on a deal paying him $4.6-million.
Ekholm would be a world-class “consolation prize,” should the Oilers land him. He has some more mean in his defensive game, and his strengths lie in his ability to hold up the opposition at the blue line, retrieve pucks defensively and help transition it up the ice. He has harder miles and at 32 years old, has three years remaining on a deal paying him an AAV of $6.25-million.
Lastly, there’s Gavrikov. The asking price on him has reportedly been as high as picks in the first, second and third round, and that’s just far too high for a defenceman like him. He’s been touted as a strong defence first defenceman and a well rounded defenceman, but I’m not sure he’s any better than any of the defencemen that the Oilers already have.
What’s clear here is the Oilers are trying to make a big swing on defence. The thing is they can’t hit a single or a double, they need to hit a home run here. That’s Chychrun or Ekholm.

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 zach@oilersnation.com.

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