My position remains on Evan Bouchard being a player that should be traded, whether that be for draft picks or used in a package to grab a bigger player, Bouchard should be moved. He hasn’t shined like fans were expecting him to, and he has failed to earn the spot on the top power play this season. He’s young, but he needs to break out at some point and I don’t think it’s going to happen. So before he asks for an outrageous amount of money the Oilers should move him, and there are a couple teams that would suit him quite well.
Edmonton Oilers –> Detroit Red Wings
Steve Yzerman is known for finding young players and turning them into studs because they get played in the right roles and are developed properly, especially defensemen. Look at Seider, he was picked 5th overall when many people thought he should’ve gone around 15th. But now, Seider is an elite Defenseman that will likely tally some Norris votes within the next couple of seasons.
Evan Bouchard fits the bill for the Wings. A young Defenseman that hasn’t broken out yet, and will top out as a bottom four defenseman in the NHL. If he’s utilized properly like he would be in Detroit, he could be a good defenseman, but Edmonton wants him to become a top pairing defender, which he simply is not.
The Wings are known for fleecing teams in trade deals, but I can’t see them doing that in this scenario. Bouchard has high value right now, so getting a 3rd/4th line forward and a second round pick for him wouldn’t be unthinkable. If he breaks out, the Red Wings have a player they can use for quite a few years as they step out of their rebuild, while the Oilers get a player they need and likely have a better shot at going deep in the playoffs during their Stanley Cup window. If Bouchard fails to break out, it’s an Oilers win short and long term.
Edmonton Oilers –>Arizona Coyotes
The Arizona Coyotes are going to trade their star Defenseman Jakob Chychrun. At this point it’s a bidding war, and the Oilers have been connected to him in the past. Having a trade surrounding Bouchard going to Arizona with other assets for Chychrun makes so much sense for both sides. Arizona gets a young defenseman they can stick anywhere in their lineup as they rebuild with some draft picks, while Edmonton finally gets another blueliner that boosts their defensive game.
Bouchard would likely get moved with Puljujarvi or Yamamoto, a first and a second round pick for Chychrun at 50% retention on his contract. It’s not the best package in comparison to what other teams around the NHL can give the Coyotes, but it’s the best we can do to get rid of Evan Bouchard, which is a bonus.