For Oilers’ defenceman Vincent Desharnais, he has sure come a long way since being selected in the seventh round (183rd overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. After spending a prolonged period in developing his game in college, the ECHL and the AHL, he finally made it to the big show last season.
Desharnais suited up for 36 games in total during the 2023-23 season. He certainly didn’t look out of place in his rookie debut season with the Oilers, putting up 31 PIM along with maintaining a +15.
Desharnais’ biggest strength is his enormous size, towering around six foot seven and weighing in at 226 pounds. He uses it to his advantage in stopping the opposition rushes, along with dishing out punishing hits and roughing it up with his opponent once in a while.
This season, Desharnais has even shown to help tilt the ice in the Oilers’ favour whenever he takes the ice five-on-five with a CF% of 55.5% and an expected goals rate of 56.8%. That is the type of defenceman who could be highly coveted by many teams, so even though he may be a bottom-pairing/extra defenceman on the Oilers’ roster, he could possibly net the team a surprising return to help solve their backup goaltending issues in the long run.
(All stats from naturalststtrick.com)
Of course, the Oilers shouldn’t be expecting to land a star-calibre goaltender with the aforementioned players as their main trade chip. However, with their skills and potential still waiting to be untapped, a decent, solid goalie in return wouldn’t be out of the question.