WHO IS THE MOST ATTRACTIVE PIECE OF ‘TRADE BAIT’ ON THE MARKET?’
IAN SHEPPARD: For me, it comes down to three. Matt Duchene, Micheal Ferland, and the Oilers first round pick. Duchene is the most talented and with 45 points (20G-25A) in 38 games this year is the obvious number one desire for a lot of teams.
Ferland is just behind Duchene with 25 points(13G-12A) in 39 games. And both players will be UFA’s at the end of the year. The one difference is the almost $3 million in cap differential between the two which might make Ferland easier to acquire.
And for the Oilers first round pick, I think it’s a toss up where it could end up and what comes back for it, so it’ll interesting and frightening to see where a trade involving it leads.
WYATT ZIEGER: Term is important and Parayko still has two years remaining on his deal after this season and his 5.5 million cap hit is manageable, especially for a defenseman of his caliber.
Point production is down this year for Parayko, he’s on pace for less than 30 for the first time in his career which may lessen trade value by a bit, making him an even more attractive piece for trade partners.
Despite the down point production, Parayko is still scoring goals. Currently, he sits at 8, one off his career high.
TYLER YAREMCHUK: I think it’s got to be Mark Stone. He’s a pending UFA, but as far as rentals go, he’s the best player that could be realistically had. He’s played four full NHL seasons and he’s scored 20 goals every single time. He’s a big body as well and I think he’d be a monster on a team that’s looking for an impact playoff performer. If he goes to a team with an elite centre, he could hit the 40-goal mark this season. A player like Stone is rare and there should be a long list of suitors should the Sens decide to move on.
BESIDES TAMPA BAY, WHICH NHL TEAM HAS THE MOST COMPLETE ROSTER?
IAN SHEPPARD: The Winnipeg Jets. I love every line this team puts out. Whether its the first line with a combined 155 points between Connor, Scheifele, and Wheeler or the second line led by Bryan Little and Patrik Laine to the bottom six which is gritty and touch and a D-core featuring Dustin Byfuglien, Josh Morrissey and Tyler Myers this team is deep. They’ve had some injury issues with Byfuglien and Ehlers recently and a struggling Laine but I think things will balance out.
The bigger and possibly most surprising attribute to this team has been it’s goaltending. Between Connor Hellebuyck and Laurent Brossoit the team has won 31 games. It seems like whoever is between the pipes for the Jets will give a standout performance.
WYATT ZIEGER: It has to be the Nashville Predators right? They have the best defense in the NHL, (sorry San Jose), they can roll all 4 lines and have last years Vezina winner in net.
The only thing you could knock Nashville for is their lack of a bonafide superstar on offense. Arvidsson, Johansen, and Forsberg lead the way for forwards on the Preds but only Arvidsson is at the point-per-game marker with 25 points (18G, 7A) in 25 games. Even that isn’t enough though as 42 players in the NHL have over a PPG this season.
I wouldn’t count Nashville out as a team looking to improve their top 6 at the deadline
TYLER YAREMCHUK: Don’t want to copy Ian, but I will. The Jets are just too deep to ignore. They have four lines that can contribute offensively and a d-core that doesn’t really have a weak spot, although they could add another left-handed d-man to really shore things up. They have a good young goalie as well. It’s a near perfect roster.
Honourable mention to the Maple Leafs and the Sharks. Those two teams made me pause and think.
WHAT PIECES SHOULD THE OILERS DANGLE FOR A TOP SIX FORWARD?
IAN SHEPPARD: I think there are five players on this roster that shouldn’t be moved regardless of the return. Connor McDavid (Do I really have to say that?) Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Darnell Nurse, and Oscar Klefbom. Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Ethan Bear, and the first round pick remain on the table for me, but the return must be worth it.
If a legit top-6 forward with term is available then it’s more than worth it. But if it were that simple it would probably have happened already so time will tell what move is made, at this point, I think one is inevitable.
WYATT ZIEGER: I hate to be a cynic … who am I kidding I love it.
With Peter Chiarelli at the helm, the Oilers should be dangling nothing to try and get a top 6 forward. What I consider fair value in a deal I can almost certainly say Peter Chiarelli would not.
But if I’m going to play ball, I’m sorry Edmonton Jesse Puljujarvi is the piece I move.
I think by now the experiment is over in Edmonton and they are hindering his development more than they are helping it. Send him to a team willing to roll the dice on him or one that will invest time into turning him into an NHL player.
The only problem for the Oilers, his trade value, which has fallen off a cliff since the beginning of the season. Puljujarvi is still young enough to be playing in Juniors this year so there is still hope he finds his game, it just may not be in Edmonton.
TYLER YAREMCHUK: If it’s a young (under 27) top six option who has a good shot and has proven he can score 20 goals a season, then Chiarelli should absolutely move the first rounder for it, even if that player isn’t under contract for the 2019-20 season. If that player IS under contract, then throw Ethan Bear in the package or look at throwing one of Jesse Puljujarvi or Kailer Yamamoto along with maybe a 2nd round pick. Those are the two scenarios I would consider ‘wins’ for the Oilers heading into the deadline.