Oilers Make Big Splash By Acquiring Mattias Ekholm From Predators – What Will It Mean For Them?
The Edmonton Oilers have sent a few pieces over to the Nashville Predators to acquire Mattias Ekholm.
In the deal, the Predators will receive a 2023 first-round pick, a fourth-round pick, 19-year-old prospect Reid Schaefer and defensemen Tyson Barrie.
Oilers return to Nashville: 2023 1st RD pick, Tyson Barrie, Reid Schaefer and 4th RD pick
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 28, 2023
Unlike many deals that happen around the NHL trade deadline, Ekholm has some term left on his contract.
In addition to 2022-2023, the defenseman is signed for another three years, carrying a cap hit of around $6.25 million.
With this deal, Oilers fans shouldn’t expect Ekholm to come in and become its leading scorer.
This year, he has posted just 18 points in 57 games.
That said, Ekholm is a steady defenseman who the Oilers can certainly use for a playoff run.
With the Predators, he played a second-pair role who moves the puck and defends well at even strength, according to data posted by analytics firm JFreshHockey.
Mattias Ekholm, acquired by EDM, is a two-way puck-moving defenceman with a great first pass. He's having a terrific season. Big transition player who's strong in his own end. Age and term is obviously the red flag. #LetsGoOilers pic.twitter.com/6qjjC9SOzf
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) February 28, 2023
But the Oilers’ top-ranked power play could take a hit, which Barrie played a significant role on.
Ekholm isn’t known for quarterbacking a power play exactly – so the Oilers will need to figure that out.
But the Oilers should be getting exactly what it needs at five-on-five.
For the Predators, this marks another big move, as the franchise looks to take a step back and gain long-term assets.
Over the weekend the Predators traded Nino Niederreiter for a 2024 second-round pick and then acquired a wild package in exchange for bottom-six forward Tanner Jeannot.
The Tampa Bay Lightning sent a first, second, third, fourth, and fifth-round draft picks along with 24-year-old defenseman Cal Foote.
The moves came as the Predators prepare for Barry Trotz, who is third all-time in head coaching wins, to take over as general manager.
The #Preds will hold a press conference with President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile; Advisor and future General Manager Barry Trotz; and President and CEO Sean Henry on Monday, Feb. 27 at 11 a.m. CT.
A link to the live stream will be provided tomorrow.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) February 27, 2023
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