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Oilers Likely to Trade a Winger Before the 2020-21 Season?

The Edmonton Oilers are still likely to make changes before the season. They could move a forward and want to add on defense.

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Allan Mitchell of The Athletic recently took a look at how the Edmonton Oilers should be considered a team with a good shot at making it to the playoffs this season. As part of an all-Canadian Division, the Oilers have a lot of tools needed at multiple positions to rank in the top-four of the Canadian teams.

Related: Oilers Say Oscar Klefbom Will Miss 2020-21 NHL Season, Ethan Bear Update

All that said, he suggested there still might be a few tweaks before the season, perhaps early on into the campaign as the Oilers figure out their roster. In particular, Mitchell believes there are too many right-wingers on this Oilers team and that there could be a trade on the horizon.

Mitchell writes:

I suspect we get a trade either before the season or early on, as the club has five regulars for four positions. Archibald, a key penalty killer, is on the outside looking in. Unless Puljujarvi struggles badly, a good winger will be in the pressbox opening night.

It would be an intriguing decision if the Oilers chose to trade Archibald considering he’s one of the few legitimate penalty killers on a roster that lost a key penalty killer in Riley Sheahan. It seems unlikely that GM Ken Holland would be keen to move another without a replacement ready to go.

In fact, I’m not sure I agree with the idea that Archibald is on the outside looking in at all. His speed, ability to play up and down the lineup and the Oilers need for PK specialists in a condensed season where players will get gassed more quickly — and likely take more penalties as result — means he might be needed more than ever.

What Other Changes Could the Oilers Make?

Mitchell also noted that forward Joakim Nygard — who was on fire to close out his overseas stint before being recalled — may get squeezed out of a left wing spot. At worst, he probably starts the NHL season on the Oilers four-to-six man taxi squad.

Joakim Nygard Edmonton Oilers
Joakim Nygard Edmonton Oilers

On defense, “The list could grow,” says the scribe, hinting that Edmonton is on the lookout for another veteran blueliner. David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period tweets: “The Edmonton Oilers are exploring several options for a left shot defenceman.” He adds, “One of those options: UFA Ben Hutton. I’m told there is serious interest, but there are multiple teams in the mix.”

Finally, with 11 back-to-back games during the 2020-21 season, Mitchell expects third-string goaltender Anton Forsberg to make an appearance during the season.

Next: Crazy 2020-21 NHL Schedule Means One Maple Leaf Must Play Key Role

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