On this day in 2018, the Edmonton Oilers trade forward Mark Letestu to the Nashville Predators

Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports
Aleena Aksenchuk
1 month ago
On this day in 2018, the Edmonton Oilers traded forward Mark Letestu to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Pontus Aberg. 
When Letestu first came to Edmonton in 2015 as a free agent, he became a part of the last group of players to grace the ice at the iconic Rexall Place. 
Growing up in Elk Point, Alta., the Oilers home arena that saw them win five Stanley Cup Championships, was all too familiar for Letestu.
“The first year for me was special. Playing in that building was special. That was the building dad would take me up to to watch exhibition games,” he said.
Letestu posted 10 goals and 25 points in his first season as an Oiler and established himself as a crafty bottom-six forward. The following year, he hit his career high as the Oilers played their first season in Rogers Place, scoring 16 goals and 35 points. 
However, Letestu played a pivotal depth role during the 2016-17 campaign when the Oilers broke the 10-year playoff drought, lifting the dark cloud covering the Edmonton landscape for a decade. Although the team ultimately fell short to the Anaheim Ducks in game seven in the second round, Letestu scored five goals and 11 points throughout 13 playoff games and helped an entire city believe in their team again. 
The following year, Letestu, who became better known as “Letestube” by the Oilers market, slotted eight goals and 19 points before being told to “pack heavy” by Oilers management during their four-game road trip, which ultimately saw him traded to the Predators. 
Letestu will forever be a part of the team that shattered the Decade of Darkness and lifted the city’s postseason blues and over his whole tenure in town, scored 34 goals and 79 points across 220 games.
Hours after acquiring him, the Predators traded Letesu to the Columbus Blue Jackets, where he spent four seasons from 2011 to 2015, taking a fourth-round pick in 2018 in return. 
The Oilers could have traded the forward straight to the Blue Jackets but decided to take a different route to move a veteran player to acquire a younger, less expensive forward. 
Aberg earned his shot in the big league after an impressive performance in the AHL over four seasons, finding a more consistent spot on the Predators roster during the 2017-18 season, scoring two goals and eight points after spending four games with the Milwaukee Admirals in the American Hockey League.
Aberg scored two goals and eight points throughout 16 games with the Oilers. The following season, he was placed on waivers to be reassigned to the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors but was selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the process. 

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