When April comes around, usually I start to publish my off-season targets series. Luckily, this year, I got to push that off a month while the Oilers battled in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Now that the ride is over it is time to once again look ahead to the future.
Looking ahead means looking into options that could be a fit for the Oilers, and over the next month that is exactly what we will do. Using my shopping list, posted earlier this week here, we’ll be going through free agent and trade options for the Oilers to acquire over the next few months.
Not all of them will be realistic and you aren’t likely to agree with the list, but overall I feel like this list will cover just about every option for the Oilers that makes some sort of sense.
This summer, Peter Chiarelli doesn’t have the same volume of work as the previous years, but he will still have his work cut out for him. Taking the Oilers from where they are now to true Cup contender status will take some crafty movement. This summer will be a big step.
Let’s revisit the summer shopping list, and next to it I’ll include the names that we will be profiling leading into draft weekend and free agency.
1.) Sign Connor McDavid – No profile needed here. I suspect we hear about this on July 1st or shortly after.
2.) Sign Leon Draisaitl – See above point.
3.) Address second-pairing RHD – This position will need to be filled, and we’ll look at every possible option. That includes some left-shot defenders that may shift over, like Kris Russell did this past season and may again next year. Also, I’ve added a few LHD here thanks to Andrej Sekera’s injury timeline spilling into next year.
The targets include: Travis Hamonic, Justin Faulk, Tyson Barrie, Kris Russell, Michael Stone, Zdeno Chara, Cody Franson, Dennis Wideman, Kevin Shattenkirk, Andrei Markov and Dmitry Kulikov.
4.) Add a 3rd line center or top six RW – This will also need to be addressed this off-season, and could be even more prominent if Jordan Eberle gets traded.
The targets include: Sam Gagner, Derek Ryan, Martin Hanzal, Brian Boyle, Nick Bonino, Nate Thompson, Dominic Moore, Dylan Strome, Drew Stafford, Jaromir Jagr, Justin Williams, Radim Vrbata and Patrick Eaves.
5.) Figure out the Mark Fayne/Benoit Pouliot situations – No targets needed here. Edmonton will likely buyout Pouliot and/or Fayne or bring both back for another season. Fayne could be Bakersfield bound (again) while Pouliot may get one last chance in Edmonton.
6.) Add depth – The targets for this bullet point are already mentioned, but Dominic Moore, Nate Thompson, Derek Ryan and Drew Stafford would apply.
We’ll begin our look tomorrow starting with Travis Hamonic of the New York Islanders. Have a player you want us to profile? Let us know in the comments section!