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Edmonton Oilers defenceman Brett Kulak named to Daily Faceoff trade targets board

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
As the Edmonton Oilers pro meetings continue in Northern Alberta this week, a new name has appeared in potential trade discussions: that of defenceman Brett Kulak.
Kulak, 30, appeared in Daily Faceoff’s trade targets board, as assembled by Frank Seravalli, in the number 11 spot.
With two years left on a deal paying him $2.75-million, the defenceman might be a luxury the team can’t afford. Here’s more from Seravalli:
The Oilers like Kulak. The Stony Plain, Alta., native likes playing in Edmonton. Full stop. It’s just that if the Oilers are going to manufacture salary cap space to make a big trade deadline acquisition, Kulak might have to be the casualty. Warren Foegele and Ryan McLeod have played well. Kulak does not have any trade protection. And swapping 22-year-old Philip Broberg with Kulak represents an immediate $2 million in savings on the cap. Broberg has played big minutes since going down to the AHL and has collected 14 points in 21 games. He’s ready to be in the NHL. And we know the Oilers are willing to make tough deadline decisions (Tyson Barrie) to improve.
Acquired by the Oilers at the 2022 trade deadline in exchange for a 2022 2nd-round pick and defenceman William Lagesson, Kulak has appeared in 144 games over the last three years, scoring seven goals and 33 points. What’s noticeable is his decline in ice time this season, averaging 14:36 per night, compared to the 17:31 he played in the 2022-23 season, one where he notched 20 points in 82 games.
The Oilers have excelled with Kulak on the ice this season at 5v5, controlling 53.98 percent of the shot attempt share, 50 percent of the goal share, 59.53 percent of the expected goal share and 57.44 percent of the scoring chance share. Despite the solid on-ice results, Kulak’s individual contributions are near league average, accorrding to HockeyViz.com, with him providing offence at a one percent rate below league average, and defence at a two percent rate above league average.
Yet, as Seravalli outlined above, he could find himself with a new address by this year’s trade deadline. And as Seravalli noted, the Oilers aren’t shy about making big trades, looking directly as last years deadline acquisition of Mattias Ekholm, one that saw the club send prospect Reid Schaefer and defenceman Tyson Barrie back the other way.
The Oilers, at the time of writing, have just $344,149 in cap space, according to PuckPedia, with little wriggle room to move, but freeing up some salary by moving the still formidable Kulak could make sense.

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@thenationnetwork.com.

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