The Edmonton Oilers are considered to be frontrunners in a trade for Chicago Blackhawks, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Ben Pope reported Wednesday.
“Hearing the Blackhawks are making progress on a Dominik Kubalik trade, with Anaheim and Edmonton being the frontrunners,” wrote Pope in a tweet.
Hearing the Blackhawks are making progress on a Dominik Kubalik trade, with Anaheim and Edmonton being the frontrunners. https://t.co/tkTA1amBk5
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 16, 2022
Kubalik, 26, has appeared in 61 games this season scoring 11 goals and 21 points. His points per game mark of .34 are the lowest of his three-year career all the while still playing roughly the same amount of minutes as his previous two years.
He joined Chicago ahead of the 2019-20 season after spending the previous five years in various European leagues including the Czechia and Swiss National League.
Kubalik’s underlying numbers have not been great this season. At 5×5 with him on the ice, the Blackhawks have controlled 46.06 percent of the shot attempts, 37.25 percent of the goals scored and 45 percent of the expected goal share. There’s some room to improve in those numbers, however. He has a career-low personal shooting percentage of 6.59 percent and an on-ice shooting percentage of 5.85.
His isolated impacts have been solid. According to hockeyviz.com, he contributes league-average offence and his defensive impacts are four percent above league average. On the powerplay, His isolated impact is six percent above league average.
It’s hard exactly to imagine what Kubalik would bring to the Oilers bottom-six that isn’t already there. He doesn’t drive play offensively and while he does have some solid defensive impacts when on the ice, I’m not sure he’s a player that will move the needle any more than the other cast of characters that cycle through that group.
His shots/60 rate at 5×5 of 7.22 would rank eighth among Oilers sandwiched between Warren Foegele and Colton Sceviour. Could the Oilers be hopeful that he could replicate his rookie season numbers from 2019-20 where he scored 30 goals and 46 points in 68 games?
Kubalik has a cap hit of $3.7-million and is an RFA at the end of the season, so the Oilers would have to do some maneuvering to get him under the cap.
Nonetheless, this is one we’ll be keeping an eye on.
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]