According to Sportsnet’s Elliott Friedman on the 32 Thoughts podcast, the Edmonton Oilers are among the many teams interested in right-handed center Nick Bjugstad. The Oilers have reportedly identified a depth center as a need for the team — along with a left-shot defenseman and a little grit — and Bjugstad might fill one of their needs.
Bjugstad, 30, is a current member of the Arizona Coyotes and has 11 goals and 21 points on the season. He has spent some time on the penalty kill and makes a financially-friendly $900K on the final year of a deal that will see him become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. He checks a lot of the boxes for the Oilers, who need to be cautious of what money they spend and the type of players they add with their limited funds.
Bjugstad has a big frame and can play both center and wing. He can slot anywhere in the bottom six on a competitive team and he offers a solid two-way game with a clear ability to contribute on offense. He would be a solid value add and if the Coyotes were actually open to retaining salary, Edmonton could acquire him for as little as $450K. It would be one of the few moves Edmonton can make right now that wouldn’t cause a huge ripple effect on their salary as they’re in dire need to move money before Kailer Yamamoto can return to the lineup from LTIR.
Bjugstad has spent parts of 11 seasons with the Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Coyotes. He has 590 NHL regular season games under his belt and 15 playoff games.
Next: Oilers Didn’t Anger Kane, Toews w/ Decision to Play G Matt Berlin
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