The Edmonton Oilers have plenty of promising young point producers and that’s done less than nothing for them in the last few seasons. They are still one of the worst teams in the league and GM Craig MacTavish has had enough. He plans to be aggressive in addressing the roster and he’s making no secret of what he wants.
“I’d like to add four or five players — one or two through trades and two or three unrestricted free agents.”
“We need help on defence. We’re looking for a puck-moving defenceman, a guy who can carry the puck north and continue into open ice.”
Credit MacTavish for accuracy in any case because that’s exactly what the Oilers need. They have some nice young defensive prospects in Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom, but those players are a few years away. MacTavish would ‘rather they played in the American Hockey League or junior’.
If the Oilers are looking to trade, their best bet will be next Friday when the first round of the NHL draft commences. They hold the third overall pick in the draft, which could be parlayed into any number of excellent choices of players, prospects, etc. if trading is the name of the game.
It appears that MacTavish wants to advance his team’s timeline and get more veterans on the ice. The Oilers selected first overall three straight years in the draft and the GM may think that high draft picks aren’t as necessary right now as is a strong veteran presence. Expect the Oilers to be strong players in the trade market next weekend in Philadelphia.