The Oilers Should Trade Evan Bouchard

Evan Bouchard #75, Edmonton Oilers Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Evan Bouchard #75, Edmonton Oilers Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

Evan Bouchard is a very solid offensive defenseman, I will never take that away from him. My only issue is his defensive play. I truly don’t think it’s where it needs to be, for him to be considered the Oilers best blue liner, and be given the responsibility of playing on the first power play unit.

His first full season with the Oilers was really something special to watch in the offensive zone. He racked up 12 goals and 31 assists for 43 points, while quickly becoming a fan favourite. His “Bouch Bomb” slap shot is something many fans love to watch, and was one of the many reasons he’s seen as the teams next power play quarterback.

Bouchard has to pick his defensive game up, he has too. There’s no way around it, he’s not good in his own zone and often relies on his teammates to make the tough plays in that end. Watching the games, you see him make bad plays on the zone exits, you see him panic with the smallest amount of pressure and the amount of lost puck battles he had in the games were horrific.

He’s a rookie, he can bounce back for sure. For a guy that will likely push 60 points this season, there’s some very fixable issues. But, if the Oilers decided they wanted to trade Bouchard, I’m not entirely against that. He’s going to be asking for way too much money that the team just doesn’t have, and he’s not going to stay as hot offensively his whole career, so it’s a huge risk for a young gun.

If they opted to trade him, they’d likely be able to pull in a decent prospect and a first/second round pick. Which, in my opinion, is much better than losing him for a lot less come free agency when he wants a Darnell Nurse contract and won’t budge. I can see this becoming another Jesse Puljujarvi situation where both sides don’t budge for a while, and the Oilers end up settling. In this case, the overpay would not be worth it.

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