Best And Worst Trades of Ken Holland’s Oilers Tenure so Far

Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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Ex- Edmonton Oiler Tyler Ennis
Ex- Edmonton Oiler Tyler Ennis (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

Best Trades:

Oilers Acquire: Brett Kulak (50% Salary Retained)

Canadiens Acquire: William Lagesson, 2022 second-round pick, 2024 seventh-round pick

The Oilers decided not to go all-in with a big splash at the 2021 trade deadline, partially due to the tight salary cap situation. Instead, they acquired Brett Kulak to bolster the left side of the defense group for the upcoming playoff run.

This was seen as a minor addition at the time but with Nurse sustaining a torn hip flexor, Kulak needed to take on a little more responsibility than what was originally expected of him, and he delivered. Kulak skated well throughout the playoffs and his ability to defend off the rush was sorely needed with a banged-up Darnell Nurse and the slower Duncan Keith joining him on the left side. Kulak was one of the most consistently steady defensemen on the team this spring, and a big reason they were able to make it to the conference final.

All Ken Holland had to give up to acquire him was a fringe NHL defenseman in Willian Lagesson, and a couple of draft picks. While the deal was only seen by many as a rental at the time, Kulak has been such a nice fit on this team that he should be a priority to resign this summer.

He proved his ability to play in the top four, and if Keith retires or needs to slide down to the third pair next season, Kulak could be an affordable top-four option.

Oilers Acquire: Tyler Ennis

Senators Acquire: 2021 fifth-round pick

A bargain-bin acquisition made at the 2020 trade deadline, Tyler Ennis provided Edmonton with a pretty good bang for their buck. The Oilers only had to give up a fifth-round pick in the trade, and Ennis came in at a minuscule cap hit of 800k.

He went on to produce 13 points in 39 games with mostly positive underlying numbers. Not bad for a player that cost next to nothing to acquire and had an affordable contract.

Oilers Acquire: 2020 fourth-round pick (Carter Savoie), 2020 fifth-round pick (Tyler Tullio)

Sharks Acquire: 2020 third-round pick (Danil Gushchin)

This trade may be more a testament to the Oilers’ drafting than it is to Ken Holland’s trading ability, but no matter which way you slice it, this has a chance to be a sweet deal in a couple of years. The Oilers traded their 2020 third-round pick to San Jose in order to acquire two picks later in the draft that they used to select Carter Savoie and Tyler Tullio. Each of these prospects are developing extremely well and have a ton of upside. San Jose chose Danil Gushchin with Edmonton’s pick, and while he does have some potential, Tullio out-produced him in the OHL this past season and Savoie has looked fantastic with the University of Denver. It may be too early to be taking victory laps on this deal but as of now I would say the Oilers got two decent prospects for the price on one here, and you could argue they got the two best players in the deal.