The Edmonton Oilers announced they have traded defenseman Brandon Davidson to the New York Islanders in exchange for a 2019 third-round pick, a move that might be considered a win-win move for both teams.
For the Oilers, the team really cashed in on Davidson’s success this season considering he was untradeable just a couple of months ago. He was picked up in the middle of the year when Edmonton claimed him from the Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 3. The Canadiens, who tried to trade him off could find no takers at the time and forced them into placing the blueliner on waivers. However, he fared well in Edmonton as a bottom-tier defenseman. The fact the team was able to get a third-rounder for him is an excellent move from Edmonton general manager Peter Chiarelli. Many people assumed the Oilers might keep the 26-year-old defenseman around for next season. Ironically, it marks the second time in two years the Oilers have traded Davidson at the trade deadline. They sent him last year to Montreal in exchange for forward David Desharnais.
As for the Islanders, the team adds some much needed defensive depth for a team that is struggling with injuries on the blueline. Davidson immediately fills in as a bottom-pairing defenseman where the team needs the most help. The Islanders, who have the No. 4-ranked offense in the NHL, need help on defense as they have allowed more goals per game than any other team in the league at 3.56 per game. Nevertheless, the Islanders are still fighting for a playoff spot, which if they can secure a spot, might aid them in their bid to re-sign center John Tavares at the end of the season. Davidson, who makes $1.425MM this year will be a restricted free agent for the Islanders when the offseason hits. He is unlikely to make much more than that next season, making him a solid, inexpensive player who might fill the shoes of one of their potential defensive free agents like Calvin de Haan or Thomas Hickey.
Davidson played 13 games for the Canadiens earlier this year and had just one assist in limited playing time. He had played 23 games for the Oilers since being acquired and has had three goals and an assist and is averaging now 16:29 of ice time combined between both teams as the Oilers have used him quite a bit. While not a great puck-moving defenseman, Davidson is a solid defenseman who can hit hard.
The Islanders may still have a bigger move planned in the upcoming days before the deadline as they have moved a 2019 third-rounder instead of moving one of the multiple picks they have for this year’s draft. New York has two first-rounders, two second-rounders as well as their third, fourth and fifth round picks for 2018, most of which they picked up in the Travis Hamonic trade in the offseason with the Calgary Flames.