The Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders are coming into the commerce deadline with hopes of securing playoff spots of their respective conferences. Both groups have had rollercoaster seasons to date however have rosters in place to make deep runs in the event that they attain the playoffs.
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The Oilers reached the Western Conference Final final season led by Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and a robust supporting solid round their two elite gamers. The Oilers have the items in place to take the following step however will look to make one or two huge strikes to place their roster excessive. The Islanders reached the Stanley Cup Semifinal in each 2020 and 2021 however took a step again final 12 months. However, this season, they’ve an amazing roster led by one of many league’s finest goaltenders in Ilya Sorokin, who can carry the crew to a Cup. Moreover, common supervisor (GM) Lou Lamoriello has already proven he’s going all on this season with the acquisition of Bo Horvat, including a star heart to the lineup.
Both groups don’t appear to be commerce companions however the Islanders and Oilers will help one another out at the deadline. Specifically, the Oilers’ weaknesses might be helped out by the Islanders’ strengths and vice versa, permitting each groups to improve their rosters in a deal.
Mayfield Helps Oilers Defense
The Oilers’ protection has been a weak hyperlink this season, permitting 3.24 objectives per recreation. The goaltending has been the first drawback however the protection has additionally struggled, particularly the second and third pairings. A high precedence is including a defenseman to enhance the unit forward of the playoffs and set themselves up for matchups in opposition to a few of the finest groups within the Western Conference. The Oilers have been rumored to be desirous about a number of elite two-way defensemen together with Jakob Chychrun, Vladislav Gavrikov, and John Klingberg.
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Scott Mayfield is enjoying within the ultimate 12 months of his contract and is the participant that the Islanders are almost certainly to commerce. He’s having an amazing 12 months on the defensive finish of the ice and is a pivotal a part of the unit however he’s the oldest defenseman on the crew. As a end result, the Islanders will look to commerce him to realize some prospects or draft alternatives in the event that they need to transfer on from Mayfield.
Mayfield is a right-side defenseman and never an offensive zone risk, two considerations for an Oilers crew that’s stronger on the appropriate facet and searching for a skater that may reap the benefits of open ice at the blue line. That mentioned, he could be a dependable second-pair defenseman, enjoying alongside veteran Brett Kulak or mentoring 21-year-old Philip Broberg.
Additionally, Mayfield is a playoff-proven defenseman that the Oilers want for a playoff run. Last 12 months, the protection obtained a spark from veteran Duncan Keith who stepped up within the first and the second rounds, serving to restrict the Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames’ offenses. Keith retired in the offseason and the protection is now void of that presence on the blue line. While the Oilers are searching for an elite two-way defenseman, the addition of Mayfield can as soon as once more make them one of many favorites within the Western Conference.
Puljujarvi Helps Islanders Forward Depth
Jesse Puljujarvi’s tenure with the Oilers has been a rocky one, to say the least. He was drafted with the fourth general choice within the 2016 NHL Entry Draft with excessive expectations and a excessive ceiling however by no means tapped into his potential. Despite spending the vast majority of his profession in a potent offense, he by no means scored over 15 objectives in a season and solely eclipsed 30 factors as soon as in his six-year profession. Puljujarvi is a restricted free agent at the tip of the season however with an unsure future with the Oilers, GM Ken Holland would possibly look to maneuver him at the deadline, particularly to create wage cap area for a giant transfer.
He wouldn’t be a splash addition for the Islanders however Puljujarvi would offer much-needed depth on the wing. The Islanders have the facilities that may carry the offense with Horvat and Brock Nelson main the highest two strains however the crew wants assistance on the wing to spherical out the ahead unit. Puljujarvi would play within the center six and assist set the crew up for a playoff run, particularly if he finds his shot within the offensive zone. Moreover, if he thrives within the new setting, the Islanders can re-sign him within the offseason and make the 24-year-old ahead part of their long-term plans.
Oilers Can Add Center Depth
The Oilers’ high six is likely one of the finest within the league, led by McDavid and Draisaitl. They usually play on the identical line and the facility play collectively however often, Draisaitl will heart the second line so as to add extra depth to the ahead unit. The issues for the Oilers are on the third and fourth strains the place the offensive manufacturing falls off. In the Western Conference Final, the crew was overwhelmed by the Avalanche’s depth, losing the series in four games in consequence. They will help spherical out the ahead unit at the deadline with the additions of both Nelson or Casey Cizikas.
Nelson is a troublesome participant to commerce. He has a modified no-movement clause and is an integral a part of the Islanders’ high six. However, at 31 years outdated, he’s a participant the crew can transfer on from in the event that they need to retool within the upcoming years. Moreover, for the appropriate return, the Islanders would transfer him to assist improve their roster for the long run. Nelson has two and a half extra years left on his contract, making him a priceless addition for any crew that acquires him, particularly the Oilers who wish to win the Stanley Cup inside the subsequent few seasons.
While Nelson is an unlikely candidate to be traded, Cizikas might be moved at the deadline as a dependable depth heart. He facilities the fourth line on the Islanders and is a checking ahead however also can add a spark within the offensive zone. The Oilers including him to their lineup would spherical out their ahead unit, significantly up the center, and provides them a participant that may improve the crew each offensively and defensively. Cizikas won’t deliver again the identical return for the Islanders as Nelson would however he would fetch a draft decide or a prospect so as to add much-needed youth to the crew.
Other Moves the Islanders & Oilers Can Make
In a blockbuster deal, the Islanders may transfer a prospect defenseman like Samuel Bolduc or Robin Salo to the Oilers, particularly if Lamoriello is trying to make one other splash addition. The Oilers need assistance defensively and younger skaters, particularly on the left facet can profit them for years to return. Salo regarded promising within the first few video games of the season however since Sebastian Aho took over because the crew’s ultimate defenseman, he hasn’t returned to the NHL roster. Bolduc is a promising defenseman who obtained an American Hockey League (AHL) All-Star Game selection. At 22 years outdated, he may change into one of many higher younger gamers on the Islanders however at the identical time is a priceless participant at the commerce deadline.
The Islanders also can transfer goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who’s enjoying within the ultimate 12 months of his contract, at the commerce deadline however a deal is extra sophisticated. The Oilers can use goaltending assist however Varlamov has a no-trade clause. Additionally, goaltenders not often transfer at the commerce deadline, and with the Islanders combating for a playoff spot, they may doubtless maintain their veteran as a dependable backup for the ultimate two months of the season.
The Islanders and Oilers wish to win now and make a giant transfer to assist them win the Cup. With overlapping strengths, the 2 groups may make a deal to assist one another out and propel them to deep playoff runs. The Islanders and Oilers have good rosters however want one or two extra gamers to place their crew excessive.