3:15 pm: The details of the trade have been confirmed by the Coyotes, making the transaction official.
2:35 pm: The Edmonton Oilers have added another player to the mix for their playoff run, acquiring Nick Bjugstad from the Arizona Coyotes, according to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff. The Coyotes will receive a 2023 third-round pick and Michael Kesselring, while retaining 50% of Bjugstad’s contract. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also reports that defenseman Cam Dineen is heading to Edmonton in the deal, and he’ll report to the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors.
Bjugstad, 30, has never quite lived up to the high expectations from his early career in Florida, but has played at a relatively high level for the Coyotes this season. With more regular ice time, some of his offensive production has returned, and he brings size, physicality, and versatility to the Oilers bottom six.
Standing 6’6″ and more than willing to use his frame to lean on defenders, Bjugstad has scored 13 goals and 23 points in 59 games this season. He won’t be expected to do a ton of scoring in Edmonton, but for $450K in cap space, he’s well worth a mid-round pick.
The Oilers are all-in, trying to surround Connor McDavid with enough firepower to win the Stanley Cup. Mattias Ekholm’s addition to the blueline already paid dividends last night, and now Bjugstad can bring a little more punch down the middle. A third-round selection is meaningless to a team like this, other than its value in trade.
For Arizona, though, completing another short-term salary retention to squeeze a draft pick out of Edmonton is good work. The team is up to 22 picks in the top three rounds of the next three drafts, and—if managed properly—could turn that into quite the pile of young talent.
Interestingly enough, as CapFriendly points out, the Oilers had exactly enough cap space to pull off this trade after getting the Nashville Predators to retain salary on Ekholm yesterday. A lot of eyebrows raised when the Predators only held onto 4% of the total, but it ended up being exactly what general manager Ken Holland needed to bring in Bjugstad.