The Edmonton Oilers likely final trade on Monday includes the deal most people believed was coming down the pipe. The Oilers have acquired forward Tyler Ennis from the Ottawa Senators for a fifth-round pick. In our opinion, as we will suggest later, that’s a good trade for the Oilers.
Are the Oilers Done Trading?
Bob Stauffer, Edmonton Oilers color analyst and radio host thinks the Oilers are done after bringing in Ennis. If more trades happen, it could be Edmonton moving a contract as they are now at 50.
Why This Is a Great Trade for the Oilers
On February 3, The Hockey News wrote an interesting post charting the best goal-scoring bargains in the NHL. This article charted how much salary it took per goal for all NHL players. In the true sense, he asked, “Who is the bang for the buck among NHL goal scorers?”
The answer was Tyler Ennis. Ennis is paid a little more than NHL league minimum at $800,000 per season. But he’s had a good season bouncing around a Senators’ lineup and has scored 14 goals, 19 assists, and 33 points in 61 games this season, which is a cost-per-goal rate of $65,000. That is the best bargain in the NHL per dollar for a goal.
What makes Ennis so valuable is that he can play all over the lineup. He’ll likely play in the bottom six with the Oilers, but he can fill in higher – and he has both this season with the Senators and last season when he played with the Maple Leafs. In his 61 games this season, he’s averaged 14:42 per game. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent in July.
I came to know and appreciate Ennis’ play last season when he was with the Maple Leafs. He had just had his contract bought out by the Minnesota Wild and signed a bargain-basement contract with the Maple Leafs. He performed well. Specifically, he lined up everywhere from the first line to the fourth – depending upon where he was needed by the team.
Does Ennis Still Have Gas in His Tank?
When Ennis broke into the NHL, he was a promising young winger – fast, explosive, skilled. However, a series of injuries squashed those high expectations; but, although Ennis’ career has had ups and downs, he’s always played well.
He’s always been able to score. Three times, between 2010-11 and 2014-15, Ennis scored more than 20 goals per season. Now, in 596 games, he has 130 goals and 176 assists for 306 points. That’s more than one point every two games.
Once upon a time, Ennis was speculated to be on the way to stardom in the NHL, and his early seasons were impressive. With the Buffalo Sabres, he scored 49 points as a rookie and was a solid 40-point guy until injuries slowed him in 2015-16 when he played only 23 games.
Ennis Is a Good Value Contract
Since those injuries, Ennis hasn’t been the dynamic speedster that made him so effective with the Sabres. However, he adds value in other ways. Last year with the Maple Leafs, Ennis didn’t play every day but his numbers still suggest he’s a high-value player – especially for his salary.
With the Oilers, he’ll become a low-risk addition, and I don’t doubt this move has paid off for the team. At just 30 years of age, Ennis hasn’t yet passed his best playing days. He’s still plenty fast, which the Oilers love. He’s still skilled. And, he’s still hungry to play hockey.
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