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Oilers Believed to Have Trade Eyes for a Couple of Capitals

The Edmonton Oilers could fill two trade deadline holes in one move, which might be why they are looking at the Washington Capitals.

The Washington Capitals find themselves at the center of trade speculations as the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline approaches. Among the players drawing interest, Anthony Mantha and Nic Dowd are being mentioned in trade discussions. Seeing as the Edmonton Oilers are reportedly looking for a right-winger and a center, it makes sense that these two teams would be linked.

The Oilers are eyeing a fourth-line center and someone who can play in the top six alongside Leon Draisaitl. Both Dowd and Mantha work to fill those two needs.

Is Dowd the Right Depth Center for the Oilers?

Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek hinted at Edmonton’s interest in Dowd. The 33-year-old forward has contributed decently to the Capitals this season, tallying eight goals and 16 points, averaging 15:27 of ice time per game. But, he’s not a perfect fit. While Dowd excels defensively, with a remarkable 21-14 goal differential when on the ice, concerns arise regarding his offensive contribution and possession metrics. Dowd has eight goals and eight assists. There is an offensive side to his game.

But, Dowd’s defensive prowess is why he’s so attractive. He’s often utilized in the defensive zone with limited offensive opportunities and he’s a great penalty killer. While he may not align with the Oilers’ need for more playmakers in their bottom six, that can’t be overlooked.

Dowd, currently dealing with an upper-body injury, is attracting league-wide interest. His one-year contract at $1.3 million is a huge plus.

Can Mantha Be a Top Producer in the Oilers’ Top Six?

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman added to the discussion. He affirmed Dowd’s presence on Edmonton’s radar and then contemplated the potential interest in Anthony Mantha.

Mantha, with 18 goals and 14 assists in 54 games, presents an intriguing option for teams seeking scoring up front. He’s been inconsistent at times, but he’s having a solid campaign. And, as a pending UFA, he could be a nice rental addition. The winner here might be adding someone on a heater that won’t be expensive because his time in Washington is probably coming to an end anyway.

What Would the Oilers Trade to the Capitals?

Capitals GM Brian MacLellan has a history of going for draft capital and younger, NHL-ready assets. That would likely be his target in return for veterans like Dowd and Mantha. It’s not likely the Caps will get a first-round pick as a potential price for Dowd, but as a package duo with salary retention included and a contract going back to Washington, that might be on the table.

In addition to draft picks, the Oilers could leverage young talents like Dylan Holloway, Philip Broberg, Raphael Lavoie, and Xavier Bourgault. While Holloway’s move seems unlikely without a significant return, Broberg, a former eighth-overall draft pick, has been the subject of trade rumors throughout the season. The Oilers don’t want to move him and they likely won’t trade him if a first is going the other way, but Broberg could be part of the Oilers’ trade discussions.

Next: Dallas Stars Trade for Chris Tanev from Flames in 3-Team Deal

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