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Oilers Will Look at Defense and Goalie, Not Forwards Ahead of Deadline

The Edmonton Oilers have a few priorities heading into this year’s trade deadline. Will they be able to get anything done?

As per TSN’s Ryan Rishaug, the Edmonton Oilers are not expected to look at forwards ahead of the trade deadline, but the team is keeping an eye out for defense and goaltending, defense being the one place the Oilers might be expected to make an addition.

Related: Could Oilers and Devils Make Big Blue Line Trade Ahead of Deadline?

Rishaug offered a series of tweets about the Oilers’ deadline plans and suggested the most likely addition will be a right-shot defenseman. Sources have told him that Carson Soucy out of the Seattle Kraken organization or Justin Braun out of the Philadelphia Flyer organization could be players GM Ken Holland is targeting. Both play big minutes, but neither would be expected to come in and play a top-pairing role. The idea would be to keep Evan Bouchard and Tyson Barrie in their spots and have Soucy or Braun compliment them.

Rishaug also suggested the Oilers could potentially make an upgrade on the left side of their blue line if a depth defenseman is available for a low cost and could jump in and play more minutes than some of the young rookies or injured veterans that are out right now. Rishaug writes:

“… upgrade to their every night 3rd LSD is a possibility, but they have a pile of lefties already – (William Laggesson, Markus Niemelainen, Philip Broberg, Kris Russel, Slater Koekkoek). Meanwhile, on the right, they’re an injury away from playing someone on their off side…”

As for a goaltender, most insiders know the Oilers would like to make an upgrade at the position but there aren’t a lot of viable options out there. The biggest name out there is Marc-Andre Fleury, but he’s unlikely to waive for the Oilers and his salary cap would be problematic for Holland as the Oilers don’t have the room to make the move unless sending something like Zack Kassian and Josh Archibald the other way.

Rishaug said the Oilers will keep a keen eye on the goaltending market and if a clear upgrade is found and the Oilers can make the money work, they’ll pull the trigger on a deal. What’s more likely is that Edmonton runs with Mikko Koskinen, Stuart Skinner, and Mike Smith, especially if Smith continues to struggle. He notes, “If Mike Smith’s game does not pick up, I’d expect to see three goalies on the roster at some point soon – Koskinen cannot be overplayed and Skinner would need to get a look.”

Oilers Done at Forward

Rishaugh doesn’t see much being added when it comes to forwards. Josh Archibald returned and will play home games, while the team added Evander Kane as their big acquisition. He’s been solid and the team feels like they have depth there, especially if they intend to give a look to prospect Dylan Holloway. 

Next: Dubas Says Defense a Priority for Maple Leafs, Muzzin’s Probably the Guy



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