The NHL trade deadline is quickly approaching, so the rumour mill is churning.
We’ll look to answer which prospects may be moved at the deadline (and which are untouchable) and a defenceman the Oilers could be targeting…

Dylan Holloway and Philip Broberg are untouchable:

Per Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic, the Oilers’ brass considers forward Dylan Holloway and defenceman Philip Broberg “off the table” in trade discussions…
In fairness, it’s not hard to see why. Broberg’s play in recent weeks has ticked in the right direction once he was paired with a fellow young defenceman, Evan Bouchard. The two have played 216:33 minutes on the ice together, and have a goal share of 56.5%, and an even better-expected goal share of 61.1%, according to Natural Stat Trick.
Holloway has been up and down the lineup in his 44 games played with the Oilers, but he’s chipped in with three goals and nine points. As of now, he looks to be a good middle-six player, but the 21-year-old still has a ton of room to get better, while barely impacting the Oilers’ cap situation.
Advertisement
Ad
That leaves Reid Schaefer and Xavier Bourgault as the only two top-tier prospects they may be willing to part with.

The Oilers have checked on Gavrikov:

Per the same report, Nugent-Bowman notes that Columbus Blue Jackets’ defender Vladislav Gavrikov. The same sentiment was shared by Elliot Friedman and Jeff Marek’s 32 Thoughts podcast, where Friedman noted that both Edmonton and Toronto are two teams looking into Gavrikov. Friedman also said that Columbus is allowing other teams to discuss a contract with the pending unrestricted free agent.
The 27-year-old left-shot defenceman has three goals and 10 points for the season, with below-average advanced statistics. However, it’s worth noting that the Blue Jackets absolutely suck, and if he were an Oiler, he’d likely be a second-pair defenceman. That means he wouldn’t face as difficult competition as he did on Columbus’ first pairing.
Advertisement
Ad

The asking prices are too darn high!

According to the 32 Thoughts podcast, the Blue Jackets want a first-round pick in return for Gavrikov. As you may know, the Oilers need to be in win-now mode with McDavid’s eight-year contract already half over.
The first doesn’t necessarily need to be moved for Gavirkov, especially if there is no extension in place (the Florida Panthers learned that the hard way with Ben Chariot last deadline), but Ken Holland can’t continue to not trade that pick. It’s time for the Oilers to trade the pick (along with prospects) for an impact player who has some years remaining on his contract.
It’s also worth noting that the Chicago Blackhawks could be open to trading both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, the latter being a free agent at the end of the season. Furthermore, the asking price for the Vancouver Canucks’ Bo Horvat is three players, including a top prospect. Although the Oilers don’t necessarily need another centre, Horvat is on pace for 55 goals. If there’s an opportunity to trade for him, the Oilers need to be all over that.
Advertisement
Ad

Quick notes:

  • Per Nugent-Bowman, the Oilers could either waive Derek Ryan once Kailer Yamamoto returns, or trade him. However, they’re also open to re-signing the 36-year-old right-shot centre. Ryan has scored six goals and has five assists on the season. As an Oiler, he has 16 goals and 33 points in 121 games played, fine production for a fourth-line centre.
  • Marek noted on the 32 Thoughts podcast that the Canucks plan to hire Rick Tocchet on Monday. To say the Canucks have mishandled their coaching situation this year would be a huge understatement. However, that’s a rant for another day (more specifically, tomorrow in the Pacific Division Roundup.)
  • Tocchet, 58 years old, last coached for the Arizona Coyotes, amassing a 24-26-6 record during the plague year of 2020-2021. In his six years of being a head coach, he has a 178-200-60 record, only making the playoffs once, and that was during the expanded 2019-2020 playoffs.
  • On Friday night, someone captured Bob Nicholson, Ken Holland, and Jay Woodcroft at the Vancouver game against the Colorado Avalanche. The defending Stanley Cup champions have recently forced their way into the final wildcard spot (sorry Calgary), so it’s doubtful they’re looking for players on the Avalanche.
  • Could they be scouting the aforementioned Horvat? Or potentially Luke Schenn? The last time the Oilers and Canucks made a trade was all the way back in 2016, when the Oilers sent Philip Larsen to the Canucks for a fifth-round pick in 2017. Interestingly, that pick was moved with a 2017 third-round pick so that the Oilers could move up in the draft and select… Stuart Skinner. That’s a whole different story, though.

If you enjoy my content, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D!