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Scribe Suggests Oilers Consider Jake DeBrusk for Zack Kassian Trade

If the Edmonton Oilers are watching the Jak DeBrusk situation out of Boston, should Ken Holland see if the Bruins would bit on Zack Kassian?

Jake DeBrusk and Zack Kassian trade

When it comes to potential trades, there’s chatter about a number of teams this week. But for the Edmonton Oilers, speculation is running rampant that they might be connected to a few key names on the trade market. We covered the news that Elvis Merzlinkins might be on their radar yesterday, and took a closer look at the Eric Staal buzz. But, there might be another name the Oilers are watching, while keeping tabs on how an awkward situation plays itself out in Boston.

Related: Oilers Might Have Interest in G Elvis Merzlikins [Report]

Jake DeBrusk’s status with the Boston Bruins is one that Oilers fans might want to keep a watch on. DeBrusk was made a healthy scratch Tuesday and there’s lots of chatter a move might be inevitable since the Bruins were quick to suggest they “aren’t getting what they need” out of the forward.

Bruce McCurdy of the Edmonton Journal wrote on Tuesday:

The Edmonton native has slumped badly in Boston, where he has just 1 goal in 17 games this season after scoring just once in his final 14 games of 2019-20. He has a year and a half remaining on the two-year deal he signed last fall at an AAV of $3.675 million. That puts him in the range of Kassian’s $3.2 million cap hit, albeit for two fewer years. From the perspective of contract for contract in the salary cap era, “the money works”.

Kassian For DeBrusk?

If McCurdy is hinting at a Zack Kassian-for-DeBrusk trade, that is interesting on a couple of levels. It could either suggest the Oilers are only willing to look at DeBrusk if they can simultaneously move a piece off their roster. Or, it means the Oilers are willing to move a potential important playoff contributor for DeBrusk just to make the deal work.

All of that depends on how you view Zack Kassian.

If the Oilers see Kassian as a key piece they are excited to potentially be getting back soon, moving him would be viewed as a give-to-get situation. However, if the Oilers see Kassian as a contract they’d “prefer” to move because he’s not consistently producing for them, it could mean a DeBrusk trade is one the Oilers would actively explore.

Would Bruins Bite on Kassian?

This, of course, is all based upon the premise the Bruins would have any interest in Kassian. He’d be a $3.2 million player on their books for the next two seasons and that’s not exactly a steal. When Kassian is playing well, he’s effective and he’s been as, if not more effective than DeBrusk this season. That said, Kassian’s ceiling isn’t as high as DeBrusk’s.

Zack Kassian Edmonton Oilers
Zack Kassian, Edmonton Oilers

For this to work, the Bruins would need to value grit and depth over potential top-six skill. So too, the Bruins will have had to sour on DeBrusk to the point they’re simply ready to move on. Even then, the B’s would likely ask for a sweetener.

Would Edmonton be willing to part with a budding blue line prospect like Caleb Jones or a later-round draft pick along with Kassian to make it work? DeBrusk is a player that could go on a tear if he’s paired with the right center. That said, this theoretical move isn’t without its risks.

Next: Blue Jackets’ Domi Among Five on the Likely to Trade Or Available List

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