Ken Holland talks about his faith in Evan Bouchard, the role Mattias Eklhom will play on the team, and more

Photo credit:https://twitter.com/EdmontonOilers
Cam Lewis
1 year ago
Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland spoke with Sportsnet’s Gene Principe during the first intermission of the team’s game with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.
Holland spoke about the important role that Mattias Eklholm is going to play on the team’s blueline, how Evan Bouchard’s play made him comfortable with trading Tyson Barrie, and what he’d like to do ahead of Friday’s trade deadline.
Below are some select quotes from the interview…

On the addition of Mattias Ekholm…

Holland: “If you look at teams that go on long playoff runs, you need to be big on the backend. And certainly, he’s a big man, he’s been through a lot of playoff experience, and he’s a tremendous person.
I think he’s going to be really good for Evan Bouchard. Duncan Keith and Bouch last year had good chemistry. Hopefully, they can form a really good tandem for us.”

On trading Tyson Barrie and his faith in Evan Bouchard… 

Holland: “First off, it was tough to let Tyson go. He’s become a leader in there and we’ve got a power play that’s humming along with unbelievable numbers.
But two things, being able to acquire Ekholm, I had to move some money out. And having Evan Bouchard, he’s 23 years of age, he was an offensive player in junior, and he’s paid his dues, it’s time to give Evan an opportunity. Having Evan and Tyson together gave us the luxury of being able to move one in order to bring in a player we needed. “

On what’s going to come next… 

Holland: “I’m going to work the phones here a little bit but money’s tight. If we could do one more thing between now and Friday, I’d love to. If we can’t, I feel good about the addition of Eklhom. But we’d like to do one more thing if we possibly could.”

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