Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (C) | Edmonton Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers have to make some big changes in the offseason, and new GM Ken Holland has been entrusted to do just that. The veteran NHL GM knows how to build a team, even if his Detroit Red Wings team hadn’t been successful recently.
Even with Connor McDavid leading the Oilers they haven’t been able to sustain any sort of offense. The Oilers main issue is their inability to move the puck out of their own zone. McDavid is the only player who can take the puck out of the d-zone and into the O-zone. The Oilers need other options so that when McDavid isn’t on the ice they aren’t hemmed into their own zone.
They need a blueliner who can be out on the ice for 25 minutes and have the ability to carry the puck out of the zone. You probably already know where I’m going with this.
Nick Leddy is the perfect target for the Oilers. Not only because he fits the bill, but he’ll certainly be available for trades this offseason. He’s already been replaced on the Isles top power-play unit by Devon Toews and has been usurped on the top pairing by Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock.
No one is saying RNH is on the trade block, but he’s continuously being linked as a target.
The Islanders might be able to get away with a 1-for-1 trade. Hopkins is a natural center giving the Isles some incredible depth down the middle with Barzal, Hopkins, Nelson, and Cizikas. If the Islanders don’t want to use him as a center he could be converted as a playmaking right-winger, an area where they are in short supply.
This is a good hockey trade and one that works for both sides.