Edmonton Oilers defenceman Ethan Bear has entered Daily Faceoff and The Nation Network’s Frank Seravalli’s trade target list.
Bear, 24, enters the list at the 29th slot out of 30 listed players. Here’s what Seravalli wrote about Bear:
Edmonton’s preference probably is not to trade Bear, who is still finding his footing in the NHL, but they may have to consider the possibility depending on the other balls GM Ken Holland is juggling on the backend. The trouble for Bear, like a lot of young players, has been consistency. He is a gifted player. The knock on him is his commitment to being in top-end condition.
It’s not new news that Bear has struggled with his conditioning at times, as Seravalli noted above. But when he’s on, he’s on.
While the offence hasn’t quite come, his biggest strength’s have been his ability to transport the puck whether it’s through breakout passes or exiting the zone. He’s not the most physically imposing player at 5’11, 197 lbs, but he’s shown he has no problem playing against top competition and have success doing so.
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Simply put — Bear is a strong driver of play both in the offensive and defensive zone.
I’m a big fan of Bear’s game and I worry that if the Oilers moved him they would soon regret it. He’s a strong player and while he clearly has a lot to learn, the organization would be wise to help him along in that process rather than try and move him.
It very much gives me Jeff Petry vibes circa 2015. Petry was still a young defenceman who played a rather incomplete game. While he was 27 at the time of his trade, he’s gone on to become a very good defenceman for the Montreal Canadiens.
Bear, three years his junior, is that kind of a player right now. I would be very hesitant to move Bear unless it were for a surefire, bonafide top-six winger or top-four defenceman coming back the other way. Bear projects to be a legit top-four defenceman in the NHL in the years to come — all the talent is there.
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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 [email protected]