As the 2020 NHL trade deadline approaches, the Edmonton Oilers potential trade targets may include some helpful players to add their roster.
Despite a very impressive start early on, the Oilers have come back down to earth in December. Several areas need to improve, especially if the team wants to secure a playoff spot down the stretch.
Edmonton Oilers Biggest Needs
Areas of improvement include better goaltending and adding defensive depth on the backend.
But for the most part, adding secondary scoring to the team’s top-nine forward group is arguably one of the Oilers’ biggest needs.
In short, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have been impressive so far. But aside from Zack Kassian and James Neal the Oilers are getting very little secondary-scoring from the rest of the forward group.
As a result, adding more offence to improve the forward group should be high on Ken Holland’s list. With that said, here is a look at a few potential trade targets the Oilers might go after before the deadline.
Oilers Potential Trade Target – Jean-Gabriel Pageau For Centre Depth
The 27-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. If Ottawa does not intend to re-sign him there are rumors suggesting that he could be moved. Potentially making him a trade target for the Oilers and other teams looking to improve down the middle. Pageau currently has 18 goals and 29 points in 39 games and is on pace to set new career-highs offensively.
Overall, Pageau is a proven NHL centre who could be slotted in at third-line centre in Edmonton. Adding Pageau would significantly improving the Oiler’s depth down the middle. It would also expand their options in with their other centres (McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl).
If needed, Pageau could move up the lineup and be a wing in the top-six. All in all, acquiring Pageau should provide the Oilers extra offence and versatility to be more competitive in close games.
It remains to be seen what the asking price for Pageau will be. However, it seems like, the closer we get to the trade deadline, the lower the ask will be. Granted that he doesn’t get re-signed by the Senators.
Tyler Toffoli For Secondary Scoring
With how things are going for the Los Angelas Kings, there is a good chance that they will be sellers at the deadline. In that case, a name like Tyler Toffoli could be a trade target for many teams including the Oilers.
Like Pageau, Toffoli is 27 and is set to become an unrestricted free agent. If the Kings don’t intend to re-sign him, they will likely flip him for assets instead of losing him for nothing.
Toffoli is a proven 20-goal scorer in the NHL, and adding him would give the Oilers instant offence in the top-six. Given the chance, he might be able to flourish along-side McDavid or Nugent-Hopkins.
Toffoli would also give the Oilers another legit scoring threat on the powerplay. Or be used to help improve Edmonton’s second power-play unit.
It is rumored that the Kings’ asking price for Toffoli might be high and could potentially cost teams a high pick. But realistically, the Oilers can’t depend on McDavid and Draisaitl to carry the team every night, so adding a player like Toffoli might go a long way offensively.
As we move closer to the trade deadline, the demand for Toffoli might amp up. It remains to be seen whether Holland is willing to part-ways with a high pick.
Chris Kreider For Wing Depth
Like the two on this list, Kreider is set to become a UFA. Kreider’s name has in the rumour mill recently. As the trade deadline approaches, there should be plenty of interest around the league for him.
Kreider is a 6’3″ 217 pound winger, who could bolster an Oilers’ team with playoff aspirations. If he can stay healthy, he might be exactly the type of player the Oilers need. A big versatile two-way winger who can add some physicality into the lineup.
Kreider is also a proven 20-goal, 50-point winger, with playoff experience and success – another thing that can’t be overlooked.
Realistically, Kreider could ride shotgun on one of the top two lines. Or even slide down the lineup and give the Oilers a very strong third line. Adding a versatile winger like Kreider would give the Oilers a chance to put together a more balanced lineup.
It is still too early to know how much the Rangers might ask for him. But if Kreider was available for the right price, he could be a trade target for the Oilers.