Should The Edmonton Oilers Take A Gamble on Jakub Vrana?

Should the Edmonton Oilers trade for Detroit Redwings forward Jakub Vrana? Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Should the Edmonton Oilers trade for Detroit Redwings forward Jakub Vrana? Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Earlier this week Jakob Vrana was placed on waivers which he eventually cleared. The last couple of seasons has been rough for Vrana as he has struggled with injuries and has just gone through the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. Is he a player the Edmonton Oilers should bring in to help the current lineup?

NHL Standard career statistics
5 yrsWSH28476811573667
3 yrsDET39221032-618
Career7 yrs32398911893085

Provided by
Generated 1/6/2023.

You can see above that in his time with the Detroit Red Wings that Vrana has been fairly productive on the goal-scoring side of things. There is no doubt that the Edmonton Oilers could use one more scoring winger in their top 6.

The Edmonton Oilers Would Need To Do Their Homework

One of the issues with bringing in Jakub Vrana is the fact that he has missed a lot of time over the last couple of seasons. This is something the Edmonton Oilers would need to follow up on. Are the injuries he sustained going to pop up again regularly?

Some injuries are different than others. For example, if someone tweaks their back once, they are much more likely to do it again. Whereas if a player breaks their collarbone and heals, it doesn’t break easier the next time.

You don’t want to give up an asset in a trade only to have the player you acquired be injured for the majority of the time. If the Oilers were looking to bring in Vrana they would need to know the details and extent of his last injuries. This also goes for why was he in the Players’ Assistance Program.

Although the Assistance Program is more of a personal thing, I don’t see why the Edmonton Oilers wouldn’t check in on the reason why he was in it. The issue currently must be resolved as he is no longer in it, but will he go back?

Oil On Whyte
Oil On Whyte /

Want your voice heard? Join the Oil On Whyte team!

Write for us!

The Edmonton Oilers Would Have To Send Cap Back

Jakub Vrana is currently in the second year of a three-year contract that holds an AAV of $5.25 million. The Edmonton Oilers don’t have the cap space to bring him in without shipping him out. The problem for the Edmonton Oilers is who would you send back the other way.

  • Tyson Barrie($4.5 Million)
    • Barrie has been one of your better defensemen this season. His cap hit is fairly close to Vrana’s, but do you want to trade Barrie away?
  • Jesse Puljujarvi($3 Million)
    • If this deal does take place I am almost 100% sure Jesse Puljujarvi would be a part of it. I don’t see a future where Puljujarvi is on this Oilers team next season, so you may as well trade him. If you are able to get Detroit to eat some of the cap hit of Vrana this could be a 1-for-1 deal.
  • Kailer Yamamoto($3.1 Million)
    • A similar cap hit to Puljujarvi, but I think Yamamoto has high value than Jesse. The high value may be what you need to get Detroit to hold back more cap in the move.

The Edmonton Oilers Have Gambled Before And It Paid Off

In December 2015, the Edmonton Oilers acquired Zack Kassian for Ben Scrivens. At the time of the trade, Kassian was also coming out of the Assistance Program and people were unsure if he would play in the NHL again or not.

Kassian at the time of the trade was in the AHL on a conditioning stint. Once he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers he almost immediately made an impact. After that, he would go on to play for the Oilers till he was traded this past off-season.

If the Edmonton Oilers made a trade for Jakub Vrana it would be a similar story. They would be bringing in Vrana when he is at his lowest value in hopes that he could come in and make an impact. He has also been playing in the AHL where he has currently played 6 games but has 0 goals and 0 assists.

Personally, I think this is something the Edmonton Oilers should really take a long look at. If the cost is either Yamamoto or Puljujarvi you have to consider the season both of them are having. Neither one has played very well.

On the other side, if you look at the recent history of Jakob Vrana, since being traded to Detroit where he played top minutes, he has scored 22 goals in just 39 games. I know scoring is a strength of the Edmonton Oilers, but too much of a good thing is a good thing in my opinion.

Next. Ideal Oilers Lines When Evander Kane Returns. dark