Breaking: Oilers extend qualifying offers to 3 players

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It has been a busy day on Saturday for the Edmonton Oilers. The draft weekend just wrapped up in the National Hockey League and the Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens decided to complete a trade later on Saturday afternoon. 

The Oilers confirmed that they have acquired netminder Hayden Hawkey from the Canadiens in return for a fifth round pick at next year's draft. However to the statistics offered by the Edmonton social media team, Hawkey went 24-12-3 with a 2.04 GAA and .919 save percentage as a junior with Providence College Men hockey team in 2017-18.

And they were not done there. Moments later, it was reported by John Shannon of Sportsnet that the Oilers had extended qualifying offers to defenseman Darnell Nurse in addition to forwards Ryan Strome and Anton Slepyshev.

It was then confirmed by the team, throughout their official social media accounts. 

While there are no details given on the qualifying offers that were presented to the players, we can look at the previous contracts and see what could come next. 

Strome, who started the season on right-wing but spent much of the year as the No. 3 centre, made $2.5 million last season and could get a raise into the $3 million range. 

Nurse may sign a bridge contract in the $6.5 million range over two seasons. Fiscally, there’s not a lot of wiggle room next season on the salary cap space even if it rises to about $80 million, so a bridge deal makes considerably more sense for the Oilers, who did make re-signing Nurse a priority at the end of the regular calendar. 

“There’s a whole spectrum of things that could happen. I think Darnell has only touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of his development and where he can go as a hockey player,” said Nurse’s agent Anton Thun to the Edmonton Sun at the end of May. “We saw some of that this year, but he’s only 23 years old and still looks like a bit of a pup on the ice. I think Darnell’s got another four years to get better as a hockey player. We’ll know the real Darnell Nurse when he’s 27, but this year he was pretty darned good.”