The Adam Henrique, Sam Carrick trade is a clear-cut win for the Oilers

Photo credit:Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Tyler Yaremchuk
4 months ago
As I watched Leon Draisaitl hammer a puck past Linus Ullmark, capping off a comeback victory over a legitimate Cup contender in the Boston Bruins, the first thought that popped into my head was that this Oilers team could be something special.
Their roster is not perfectly constructed by any means, but they have a lot of the key pieces that a true Stanley Cup contender needs. There is maybe one team in the league that can match their star power (the Colorado Avalanche), they have players who, when they’re at their best, can be absolute pains in the ass to play against, a legitimate top pairing on the blue line with Evan Bouchard and Mattias Ekholm, and say what you will about Stuart Skinner, but the man can steal games.
This team needs some help, and Ken Holland should be willing to sacrifice anything not currently on the active roster to get Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl the support that they deserve.
Well, today, we saw Ken Holland do exactly that. He sent away the team’s 2024-first round pick, along with a pair of lower draft picks in exchange for Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick, both of whom are pending UFAs.
Ken Holland has never sacrificed a first-round pick for a rental in his tenure as the Oilers’ General Manager, but it shows just how serious this team is about giving this year’s roster the best possible chance to make a deep playoff run.
It also shows a sense of urgency.
I really like this move for the Oilers. I know there have been some who have wondered why the Oilers had to part with a first-round pick, a fourth-round pick, and a fifth-round pick while a team like the Vegas Golden Knights only had to give up a second-rounder and a fourth-rounder for Anthony Mantha. There are a number of reasons why.
  • Adam Henrique can play centre or left-wing, Anthony Mantha is a winger.
  • Henrique is a much more consistent player and will be a big help on the Oilers penalty kill. He impacts more areas of the game than Mantha
  • The Oilers got Sam Carrick thrown into the deal at 50% retained. Vegas did not get a second player.
  • The Oilers had to give up another pick to get Henrique retained a second time. The Golden Knights could squeeze in Mantha at 50% because of how much LTIR space they have.
  • The Oilers got a late-round pick back. A seventh-round pick is not worth a lot, but they got a free dart throw at the draft.
Those reasons right there show why a player like Henrique had more value and honestly, when I list all of those factors, I’m very happy with the value Ken Holland got in this trade. To not sacrifice a prospect or a player on the active roster is a win in my eyes.
There were also people who wondered why the Oilers didn’t match the price that the Florida Panthers paid for Vladimir Tarasenko, who the Senators gave up at 50% retained in exchange for a third-round pick and a fourth-round pick. 
Simply put: Tarasenko had a no-movement clause and could basically choose where he wanted to land. He chose Florida because his family is there and he owns a home in the area. Even if the Oilers had offered the Senators a first-round pick, it wouldn’t have mattered. The Senators were basically negotiating with the Panthers and no one else.
The Tarasenko deal is an irrelevant comparison to anything the Oilers do.
To wrap up this conversation, here is what I’d like to see Kris Knoblauch do with his lines on Thursday in Columbus.
Nugent-Hopkins – McDavid – Hyman
McLeod – Draisaitl – Foegele
Kane – Henrique – Perry
Holloway – Carrick – Janmark
That is some damn good centre depth and I don’t think there’s a team in the Western Conference that can match it. That is one advantage the Oilers will have against any team they go up against in a best-of-seven series.
I really like the idea of throwing McLeod and Foegele back on Draisaitl’s wing. That trio was very good for some long stretches during the 16-game winning streak. In 89 5v5 minutes together, they outscored the opposition 10-3 and controlled 54.59% of the shot attempts while starting less than 50% of their shifts in the offensive zone.
That trio works together.
Putting Henrique down on the third line with Evander Kane gives the Oilers three legit scoring lines. Henrique has 18 goals on the season and 11 of them have come at even-strength. He’s got a good nose for the net and I think that could work well with a shooter like Kane. 
Henrique and Perry also have a little bit of experience together. They were linemates for 237 5v5 minutes back in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. Playing him with someone he’s a little familiar with might be an easy way to bring him into the Oilers’ lineup.
Henrique has also spent the bulk of this season as a left-winger for the Ducks, so I could also see him playing next to either Leon Draisaitl or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, if they elect to keep Draisaitl up with McDavid, on the team’s second line.
That’s another great part of this deal: it gives the Oilers a wild amount of lineup flexibility.
I’m very excited to see how Kris Knoblauch handles his lines tomorrow in Columbus and like most of you reading, I’m also excited to see what else Ken Holland has up his sleeve.
The Oilers are in win-now mode. Enjoy it!


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