Way-too-early trade deadline targets for the Edmonton Oilers

Photo credit:Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
Liam Horrobin
7 months ago
The season hasn’t started yet, but it’s never too early to dig into some targets for the Edmonton Oilers at the trade deadline.
Ken Holland has been active at the deadline throughout his tenure as the Oilers general manager. Then, when you mix in that this could be his last season in the position, you would have to imagine Holland wants to make some moves.
Last season, the big move was Mattias Ekholm, which felt unrealistic until the move was finalized. Could he do it again this year? We will have to wait and see, but let’s look at a few upcoming unrestricted free agents that could be options.
Dylan DeMelo – 31 – Winnipeg Jets – Right Shot Defenceman
Dylan DeMelo is a name splattered around a little this summer as a target. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent next summer and has a cap hit of $3,000 million with a modified no-trade clause; however, that shouldn’t affect a deal with Edmonton. DeMelo will be a wanted man come the trade deadline, especially if the Jets are willing to keep up to 50% of his salary. Last season, he played top-four minutes and top-unit penalty kill for a team that finished in the top 10 in the NHL. Having him slide into the top four and relieving minutes away from Cody Ceci could have a considerable impact. 
Oskar Sundqvist – 30 – St Louis Blues – Centre/Right Wing
The availability of Oskar Sundqvist will all depend on how the St. Louis Blues perform this season. If they are struggling, Sundqvist could be a great addition to the Oilers. His cap hit is $775k, and he will become a UFA at the end of the season. Last season, he scored ten goals and 28 points in 67 games for the Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild before signing back in St Louis this summer. The Oilers right side is questionable, with only Connor Brown and Derek Ryan as true right-wingers. Adding Sundqvist gives the team more depth on that side, experience in the postseason, and flexibility, with him being able to play centre or the wing.
Jordan Eberle – 34 – Seattle Kraken – Right Wing
I know Tyler Yaremchuk will like this one, but what if the Oilers managed to bring back Jordan Eberle? He’s had back-to-back 20-goal seasons with the Kraken and played a massive role in the playoffs with six goals in 14 games. It feels like a long shot, considering Seattle made the playoffs last year; however, if they take a step back this season, perhaps moving on from an ageing winger wouldn’t be off the table. Again, this would help the Oilers depth on the right side and add more scoring to a dangerous lineup already. Of course, scoring shouldn’t be an issue for Edmonton, but we all thought that last season, too, heading into the postseason. Plus, who wouldn’t want Eberle back in Oil Country?
Ian Cole – 35 – Vancouver Canucks – Left/Right Sided Defenceman
Ian Cole has experience playing on the right side, so he could still be a target for Ken Holland despite being a left-shot. He recently signed with the Vancouver Canucks, but it doesn’t feel like they’ll be pushing for a playoff spot, so perhaps he becomes available. His 116 playoff games, minus the three Stanley Cups, could be valuable, similar to Duncan Keith. The Oilers wouldn’t need Cole to play top-pairing minutes, but taking minutes away from Cody Ceci and Vincent Desharnais will help. 

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