Another playoff-less year in Edmonton. One more year and they’ll break the record for the longest playoff drought. Yet again, faced with another deadline as sellers, where there’ll be a lot of different names moved. For the most part the returns should be minimal, at best somewhere between 3rd and 5th round picks, maybe a second for Purcell. The one dark horse that we might see is a trade to bring in a top-4 right shot D. Although the odds of that trade happening at the deadline are slim. It’s way more likely we see a trade near the draft, especially if we end up winning the lottery. For players that might be shipped, it might look a little like this;
Teddy Purcell: The odds he gets moved out are pretty high. As far as the return goes, my guess would be either a second round pick or B-level prospect. Although his price tag at $4.5 per might drive his value down, if we don’t take back salary. As far as teams interested, look for teams like New Jersey or Chicago, who are looking for offensive upgrades. In Chicago’s case, extra help for a cup run.
Justin Schultz: I see Chiarelli actively trying to dump his contract since there’s no way he’s worth $3.9 million. Maybe someone else will want him. Possible return a bag of pucks and an IOU. In all seriousness though we should be looking at either a bad contract or struggling prospect coming back this way or a second/third rounder. It was reported that Schultz has been linked to both of the Florida teams (Tampa and the Panthers) so maybe he ends up there. If I was a GM I wouldn’t touch him with a twenty-foot pole, but maybe if Chiarelli preaches his potential we’ll get rid of him.
Eric Gryba: Not after he’s been injured unless we’re really lucky. Chances are now he resigns with Edmonton for a year or two.
Mark Fayne: Like Jultz, his contract is an albatross and moving him would be difficult. He’s a perfect depth D for a playoff team looking for a deep run but at $3.6M till 2017/18 it’d be a tough sell. Possible return even if we were to retain half his salary would still be only around a third round pick. Teams interested would be teams like Dallas or the Rangers who could use depth on D.
Nail Yakupov: This one’s a little iffy, as I’m not exactly sure what the value for a former top pick would be. The return might be a draft pick or perhaps another reclamation project. Teams that might be interested, teams like Montreal or maybe Minnesota the teams that are in need of some scoring touch.
Nikita Nikitin: Not sure if there’s a market for him. There was interest earlier in the year from Chicago, but that fell apart when we wouldn’t take Bickell. The value in Nikitin is pretty much negative, don’t expect much back maybe a Nick Schultz like deal fifth/sixth round pick. Teams looking for defensive depth could look at him but there are better pieces than Nikitin that will go first.
The odds that all these players get shipped out is low but I do think that Schultz and Purcell are gone and they are gonna try hard to ship out Nikitin and Fayne. Maybe the Oilers make a bigger trade involving a core piece to bring in some D help, but at this point in time, it doesn’t make much sense. The Oilers first round pick is shaping up to be a top 5 pick yet again, they need to maximize the value of that asset. Say we win the lottery, do they move the pick to pick up a solid D-man? If that wasn’t enough, we could include Nuge. If I say so myself it’s time for the death march in E-town. Start bringing up prospects, sell off the dead weight, wait for the draft lottery. This summer is going to be very interesting for Oilers fans.