Photo credit:Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
On this day in 2014, the Oilers trade Teemu Hartikainen for Mark Fraser
1 month ago
On this day in 2014, the Edmonton Oilers traded forwards Teemu Hartikainen and Cameron Abney to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for defenceman Mark Fraser.
Fraser came to Edmonton following two years with the Maple Leafs, bringing size and strength to the Oilers’ lineup. His NHL experience was also a nice touch, playing 132 games for the New Year Jersey Devils and an additional 64 for the Leafs.
However, Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins found that Fraser brought a certain kind of “growl” to the up-and-coming Oilers squad that lacked bite, let alone bark.
“We didn’t bring Mark in to play on the power play, that’s for sure,” Eakins told the Edmonton Journal‘s John Mackinnon. “But one thing he will bring is he’s highly competitive, he has a growl to him, he does not take kindly to anyone going to our net.“He’ll be able to play a good defensive role for us, help us on our penalty kill, and give us another level of toughness and leadership.”
Before joining the Oilers, Fraser established his toughness by recording 119 blocks with the Devils and 270 hits. Subsequently, with the Maple Leafs, he recorded 153 blocked shots and 219 hits.
This wasn’t Fraser’s first rodeo with Eakins either, as the two first encountered each other during Fraser’s time with the Toronto Marlies in the American Hockey League, where Eakins served as the club’s bench boss.
Mark Fraser adds “growl” to Oilers lineup.
The six-foot-four 220-pound defenceman suited up for his first game in Orange and Blue a day later against the Boston Bruins, but unfortunately, the club fell short 4-0. Fraser recorded five hits alongside 12:02 of ice time.
However, his time with the Oilers wouldn’t be consistent, and he would be scratched for the three of the Oilers’ remaining 26 regular season matchups. Fraser recorded one goal and one point across 23 games with the Oilers before testing the waters of free agency, where he wound up signing once again with the team that drafted him back in 2005, the Devils, in December 2014.
Fraser returned to the Oilers in 2016 once again as a free agent. This time, it was to add depth to the Oilers AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors. He served as an alternate captain for the 2014-15 campaign, with the Condors scoring three goals and six points. Fraser eventually made his way to TPS in the Finnish Elite League.
However, Hartikainen, the 163rd overall selection to the Oilers in the 2008 NHL Draft, never quite made it to the Maple Leafs.
When he first came to the Oilers, the market believed he might be a forward and that the organization needed to add some difficulty to their opponent’s defence. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite turn out that way. Hartikainen spent three seasons trying to work his way into a consistent spot on the Oilers’ lineup.
He recorded six goals and 13 points across 52 games and three seasons with the organization but spent most of his time with the Oklahoma City Barons in the AHL. Hartikainen eventually signed as a free agent in the KHL with Ufa and spent nine years with the club before leaving to play in Switzerland with Geneve Servette.
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