Grading the Edmonton Oilers on their trade deadline 

How well did the Oilers do overall in addressing their needs?

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Edmonton Oilers
Defenseman Troy Stecher (51) / Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Addition to the back end with Troy Stecher

The Oilers have had their defence come up big at times in recent months, not only offensively but defensively as well, with stalwarts Evan Bouchard, Matthias Ekholm and Darnell Nurse leading the way. But as they say, you can never have enough defensive depth, especially when heading into the grinds of the playoffs. As a result, the last-minute acquisition of veteran Troy Stecher as insurance depth for the back end was a safe yet smart move by GM Ken Holland.

Although his stats certainly don’t show, Stecher is actually a solid puck-moving defenceman, along with being an adequate bottom-four pairing defensively. With his smaller stature, he may have some trouble moving out bodies from the front of the net in the defensive zone, but his positioning and shot-blocking ability make up for some of his shortcomings. He won’t be a huge difference-maker for the team, but he can slot in anywhere to play a good, solid overall game when needed.

Grade: B-

How did the Oilers fare compared to their closest rivals?

When it comes to looking at the Oilers’ upgrades concerning those within their division, it is quite obvious that it pales in comparison to the work that the Vegas Golden Knights did. The Golden Knights are currently desperately trying to chase down the Oilers and everyone else in the Pacific. As a result, went out to grab Anthony Martha, Noah Hanifin and Tomas Hertl. Those huge moves easily made them the biggest trade deadline winners this year, while giving them now a big boost down the stretch to solidify a playoff spot. Although it is highly unlikely that will catch up to and knock the Oilers out of a playoff spot, however, there is now a great possibility of both teams meeting in the first round to make it a battle for the ages.

Did the Oilers do enough to give themselves a fair chance to take out the Golden Knights this season after losing to them last year? Only time will tell, but on paper, the daring moves by the Golden Knights at the deadline make them the biggest threats to the Oilers quest to the Stanley Cup, perhaps even more now than the division-leading Vancouver Canucks. With that in mind, perhaps the failure to make one big addition at the deadline by the Oilers left a bit to be desired. Nevertheless, overall, they did a solid job in patching up any of their concerns heading into the stretch run.

Overall: B+