Photo credit:Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Seravalli: Flyers want a first-round pick for Sean Walker (RHD)
13 days ago
The Edmonton Oilers’ lineup has holes, and on some nights, they’re glaring.
On Tuesday, the Oilers’ 16-game winning streak came to an end. Unfortunately, that loss came against the Vegas Golden Knights on the road, the team they’re chasing in the Pacific Division standings. Connor McDavid scored shorthanded in the first period, but it wasn’t enough, with the Golden Knights scoring three unanswered to win by a score of 3-1.
On Chandler Stephenson’s game-winning goal, Cody Ceci could have made a defensive play to prevent the goal but missed his read. That mistake meant the mobs of people wanting him out by the NHL’s trade deadline on March 8 were louder than ever.
The Oilers could upgrade in that position, but who do you replace Ceci with? Many have named Sean Walker as a “clear” replacement for the Oilers veteran defenceman.
Earlier this week, Frank Seravalli reported that the Philadelphia Flyers are looking for a first-round pick for him. The Flyers acquired Walker from the Los Angeles Kings this past summer as a cap dump. Since then, Walker has turned into a vital player for Philadelphia with five goals and 18 points, which puts him on pace to pass his career-high of 26 points.
“The market doesn’t support it,” said Frank Seravalli on the Philadephia Flyers wanting a first round pick for Sean Walker. “If you look at all the defencemen that have gone for a first round pick in the last calendar year, Walker doesn’t fit the profile as being as impactful as any of those guys. Instead, a good trade comparison, and it’s not apples for apples, is Sean Durzi going to the Arizona Coyotes for a second-round pick. Ten out of ten teams this past summer would’ve taken Durzi over Walker, who was a cap dump to the Flyers.”
Frank mentioned nine players: Mattias Ekholm, Erik Karlsson, Jakob Chychrun, Dmitry Orlov, Filip Hronek, Vladislav Gavrikov, Rasmus Sandin and Jake McCabe. Of the nine, only Orlov and Gavrikov were pending unrestricted free agents. Additionally, Orlov was part of a three-team trade involving the Minnesota Wild and the Boston Bruins, with Joonas Korpisalo heading to the Los Angeles Kings in the same deal as Gavrikov.
Now 29 years old, Walker is a pending unrestricted free agent. He would undoubtedly be a strong-depth addition to Edmonton with his skating mobility and ability to get pucks moving in transition. However, is he the ideal pickup for the Oilers, who are looking to strengthen their blueline defensively, not offensively?
“Walker is seven years older than Rasmus Sandin, who is more productive offensively and under team control with first-round pick pedigree,” said Frank Seravalli. “Jake McCabe has two more years, and the Chicago Blackhawks ate half of his $4 million salary.”“I am not saying he’s bad,” continued Seravalli. “I can’t tell you what Walker excels at besides being a top end skater. If I am the Oilers and I am giving up my first round pick, it would have to be for someone who takes this team to another level. I can’t guarantee it, but I am pretty sure that Sean Walker doesn’t.”
Nobody is sitting here and suggesting that Cody Ceci is irreplaceable. However, if Ken Holland is moving on from his top pairing right shot, then it needs to be a player that moves the needle. Walker doesn’t provide the skillset the Oilers are looking for, especially if the price tag is a first-round pick.
Edmonton needs a more defensive-minded player to play alongside Darnell Nurse, and if they just take a quick three-hour drive south, they might find him.
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