While fans prepare to enjoy the All-Star festivities in Toronto, front offices around the NHL are currently assessing their options in respect of the upcoming Mar. 8 trade deadline. The situation is no different for the Edmonton Oilers.
As much as the Oilers are no longer in desperation mode when it comes to making a trade, they still ideally want to find a way to upgrade the team. Depending on what you read, watch or listen to, hockey media analysts have Ken Holland and company looking to add a top-six forward, top four defenceman or backup goaltender.
Regardless of what is true, there is of course the question of what the Oilers can offer in return, to secure whoever they are interested in? If nothing else, it seems like they are in a decent position, at least according to TSN.
Oilers are well-placed on TSN list
TSN has released their updated trade bait list, and it makes for intriguing reading if you're an Oilers fan. That's because TSN hockey contributor Steve Dryden has included three Oilers assets in his top 40.
For some context, only the Oilers' Canadian rivals in Calgary and Ottawa have more trade assets in the top 40, with four each. Overall there are 16 Canadian team trade assets in the top 40, including two for the Canadiens and Canucks, as well as one for the Leafs.
Returning to the Oilers specifically, their highest ranked trade asset is their 2024 first round draft pick, at number 17. The only other team with a draft pick on the list is the Canucks, with their own first rounder ranked at number 11.
Broberg unsurprisingly named as trade bait
Right below the Oilers' draft pick at number 18 is Philip Broberg, which is hardly a surprise. He has been linked with a potential move since the whole fiasco in early December, surrounding whether or not he was given permission to seek a trade.
In terms of being ranked so highly by TSN, this comes down to the ongoing belief that Broberg is projected to be a long-term top-four blue-liner in the NHL. The only reason he is even considered a trade asset, is due to him so far failing to live up to his potential and the overriding sentiment being that he needs a change of scenery.
From our perspective, we would be loathe to move a player who is only 22 and still has plenty of time to get on track. In this respect it's worth noting he is playing well in Bakersfield with, among other things, 18 points and a +13 rating in 25 games with the Condors.
As things stand, the 2018 eighth overall draft pick has a cap hit of $863,333 and will become a restricted free agent at the conclusion of this season. The Oilers would be best-served keeping hold of him, although we appreciate it does also depend what they will be potentially getting in return.
Foegele's value at its highest
The other Oilers' trade bait asset on TSN's list is Warren Foegele, at number 21. Similar to Broberg, albeit not quite to the same extent, there is some confliction about potentially moving him.
Foegele is having his best season yet in the NHL, with him already only four points away from matching his current career-high of 30. However, he's becoming a more well-rounded and consistent player in general, which has seen him establish himself in the Oilers' top six on the second line.
On the flip side though, it could well be a case of the Oilers taking advantage of moving the 27-year-old while his value is at its highest. This is further justified, when considering he has a cap hit of $2.75 million and is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Overall, it must be refreshing for Oilers fans to know, that their team both has some valuable high-end assets, while also no longer being in a desperate position due to their ridiculous winning run under coach Kris Knoblauch. If they can find someone to upgrade the roster then great, but at least they will get to decide this from a position of strength.