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Will Emergence of Ethan Bear Allow Oilers to Make a Trade?

With how well Ethan Bear has shown early in the season for the Edmonton Oilers, if he continues to progress, can the Oilers afford to move a different defenseman?

Six games is far too soon to suggest the Edmonton Oilers have found their winning ways. But, with a 5-1-0 record and the budding emergence of some young talent, there are positive signs things are on the uptick for a team that has spent many a season at the bottom of the NHL standings.

One of the bright spots of this young season is the play of prospect defenseman Ethan Bear. Not a shoe-in to make the Oilers roster out of camp, Bear outplayed a handful of blueliners all competing for the same spot and early injuries to Joel Persson and Adam Larsson provided an opportunity; one Bear has seized.

As Allan Mitchell of The Athletic points out in a recent article:

Bear is playing major minutes (mostly with Darnell Nurse), winning an NHL job and building confidence within management and the coaching staff. Continued success might allow general manager Ken Holland to move out a veteran at the deadline.

Again, it’s probably far too early to be taking shift trade deadline moves. It’s certainly too early to consider moving a player like Kris Russell or Matt Benning when both have been highly effective for the Oilers during the first six games. That said, if the emergence of players like Persson and Bear continue, specifically Bear who offers a few unique qualities like a cannon from the point and a calmness to his game, Edmonton may start to ask the question, ‘Can we afford to move a d-man?’

The real measuring stick may be just how well Bear continues to fare against top opposition. Right now, he’s playing big minutes and much of them against the opponents top forwards. If Bear shows we’ll as the offensive barrage continues, he’ll really have the confidence of his coaches and a manager who will actively look for ways to add more goal scoring.

What People Are Saying About Bear

From simple statements like, “Ethan Bear is a top 4 NHL Dman.” to The Edmonton Journal’s Kurt Leavins saying, “All Ethan Bear does is deliver one crisp outlet pass after another.” Jason Gregor of TSN wrote,”Oilers improved team speed is very noticeable in this free-wheeling game. Ethan Bear is so much quicker than before.”

So far, Bear has been a whole lot of what the Oilers have missing. That’s great news in a season that has already offered fans a lot of positive takeaways.

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