Looking at which top prospects the Edmonton Oilers could use as potential trade bait, to help solve their goaltending situation.
The Edmonton Oilers may have started to turn their season around recently with three straight games. However, if the last two games provided any indication of their progress so far, then it is clearly evident that goaltending remains an issue for the team.
After putting together a string of victories, goaltender Stuart Skinner faltered once again against a more offensively-minded Tampa Bay Lightning team on Saturday afternoon, as his GAA climbed to 3.39 and his save percentage fell to .873. Playing in five consecutive games, perhaps fatigue was starting to set in for the sophomore goalie.
On Monday night, their temporary backup solution Calvin Pickard saw his first NHL game since 2022. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the season debut he wanted as he would surrender four goals in a 5-3 loss to the Florida Panthers. This practically fell in line with what he has produced for most of his storied professional hockey career, good enough in the AHL, but just not quite there at the NHL level.
With the Oilers sitting second last in the Pacific Division and just four points out of dead last in the league, they need to do something soon to address their biggest weakness. They will either need an adequate backup to work with Skinner so that he could remain effective without burning out, or a solid option that could actually work in tandem with him, similar to the setup the Boston Bruins have with Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman.
With that in mind, which prospects could the Oilers include in a trade package to help the team address their dire need in the net? Here, we take a look at three potential promising players that may need to be sacrificed to fix their current problem immediately.
Among the Oilers prospects that appear NHL-ready, Raphael Lavoie got his chance earlier this month when the team was encountering some injuries with their depth players. The former second round pick from the 2019 NHL Entry Draft put together a strong season last year with the Bakersfield Condors, with a team-leading 25 goals to go along with 20 assists for 45 total points in 61 games played.
Lavoie carried that strong play into this season with four goals and three assists in just five games to lead the Condors, earning the promotion to the NHL in early November. However, playing mainly on the Oilers’ fourth line and averaging around eight minutes a game, Lavoie failed to provide much impact as he was held scoreless in six games.
The Oilers’ prospect pool isn’t very deep, but Lavoie certainly represents one of the few bright spots that could potentially be a difference maker as he matures his game. However, with the Oilers in a win-now mode, they may not have the patience to wait for his game to come around and could use the 23-year-old as trade bait to obtain a reliable goalie in short order to help the team.