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The Edmonton Oilers are actively scouting St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich, according to report

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Photo credit:Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
The Edmonton Oilers are keeping a close eye on the St. Louis Blues in the lead up to the NHL’s March 8th trade deadline.
Star winger Pavel Buchnevich appears to be the one catching their eye, the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson reported earlier this week.
This marks the first indication of the Oilers’ interest in the 28-year-old who has racked up 22 goals and 46 points in 54 games with the Blues this season. Fresh off a hat trick Thursday against the New York Islanders, Buchnevich is on pace for a career-high in goals this season.
And according to Matheson, a potential trade package going back to the Blues — should the two sides consummate a deal — could be similar to what the Oilers traded to acquire defenceman Mattias Ekholm last year:
The Oilers have been scouting St. Louis, clearly looking at Pavel Buchnevich as a second-line right-wing possibility. He has this year at $5.8 million and next as well, which would appeal to Oilers GM Ken Holland as more than a rental, as was the case with Mattias Ekholm at the last trade deadline. Obviously there would be cap issues, either a player going out or Blues eating a chunk of that contract for multiple pieces. The Ekholm deal is a reasonable template for a Buchnevich trade: the Oilers moved a first-rounder and a fourth in 2023, plus 2022 first-round pick Reid Schaefer for Ekholm and got Nashville to take Tyson Barrie’s contract.
The template would track based on what the reported asking price for Buchnevich is, two first-round picks, “or something like it,” according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
While the Oilers’ issue offensively is depth scoring, rather than top-six scoring, but Buchnevich would undoubtedly make Edmonton a deeper, better team. With him on the ice at 5v5 this season, the Blues have controlled 53.08 percent of the shot attempt share, 53.98 percent of the scoring chance share, and 51.09 percent of the expected goal share. The Blues, meanwhile, have controlled 57.28 percent of the goals scored with him on the ice.
On top of that, his individual impacts on the game are massive. According to hockeyviz.com, he provides even-strength offence at a 13 percent rate above league avearge, and defence at an eight percent rate above league average. All the while, Buchnevich is an excellent penalty killer, playing 1:44 per night shorthanded.
According to hockeyviz.com, his impacts are at an eight-percent rate above league average. Overall, he provides the value of an elite first-line player and has done so in the last five seasons.
If the Oilers want to make a significant splash at this year’s trade deadline, similar to how they did acquiring Ekholm last year, Buchnevich is absolutely that guy. The caveat is the salary cap restraints, given Buchnevich has a year left after this at $5.8-million.
Without the Blues retaining salary on top of taking back a roster player similar to how Nashville did, it would be nearly impossible to make work. St. Louis has the spots open to retain salary, and the two sides would need to get creative to make it work.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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