The Edmonton Oilers are in a position to buy for the first time in several deadlines, but that doesn’t mean they should. Their core is still incredibly young, led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl along with a handful of defenders 25 and under. Spending prospect or draft pick capital on a high-priced rental isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when you’re looking to build long-term success it’s not usually prudent. That’s what Peter Chiarelli thinks at least, in the latest piece from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal. Chiarelli admitted that the group that is winning for the first time in a while deserves some additions, but doesn’t think his front office will be busy on deadline day.
When Chiarelli mentions his offseason moves that are “coming around” he certainly is referring to Adam Larsson, who after a shaky start to the season is starting to turn into the minute-muncher that they’d hoped for. While plus-minus isn’t a perfect stat by any means, Larsson was a -3 through the end of 2016 and has been a +17 since. While a lot of that is dependent on linemates and situations, Larsson has by all accounts started to turn the corner into the excellent puck possession defender they had hoped for. Chiarelli doesn’t think rentals are on the table for his squad, and he might be right. A turned corner by Milan Lucic, another offseason acquisition, would give the Oilers everything they need to make a deep run in these playoffs.
- Darren Dreger of TSN was on the radio this morning and mentioned that a while back teams were kicking the tires on Jordan Eberle, though discussions didn’t go very far. It will be interesting to see whether the Oilers shop him this summer, as they have to pay Draisaitl this summer and McDavid the year after. After moving Taylor Hall last summer, Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are likely targets this time ’round.
- Igor Eronko of Sport-Express reports that Minnesota Wild prospect Kirill Kaprizov will move to CSKA Moscow in the KHL after this season, when his contract is up. Currently playing with Salavat Yulayev, Kaprizov has 42 points in 49 games. The 19-year old winger was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 draft, and would be a big addition if the team eventually convinces him to come to North America. For now, he’ll reportedly go to one of the KHL’s best teams and look to continue his development.