The Edmonton Oilers are experiencing a disappointing season, and have been considering which direction they will take at the trade deadline. Today, according to Mark Spector of Sportsnet, the team has informed the rest of the NHL about Anton Slepyshev’s availability. As Spector points out, Slepyshev recently became waiver eligible.
Slepyshev, 23, has registered just three points this season in 18 contests for the Oilers, also spending time in the press box as a healthy scratch. The third-round pick from 2013 made his NHL debut two seasons ago, but hasn’t been able to lock down a full-time job with the club or replicate the offensive success he found in his final year in the KHL. In that 2014-15 season, Slepyshev recorded 15 goals and 25 points in 58 games, but he has just 14 points during his NHL career.
Still, there is some upside there to be had for a club looking for a big winger to help their bottom-six. Whether he’ll ever be able to contribute much offensively is still very much still up for debate, but he has recorded positive possession statistics this year and could still develop into something over the next few years.
The problem—one that Edmonton surely realizes—is that Slepyshev is set to become a restricted free agent this summer and has arbitration rights. A qualifying offer of just under $875K might be even too much for a club worried about salary structure to hand out, meaning there’s a chance he could become an unrestricted free agent anyway.