The Edmonton Oilers are far from where they stood last year, now that they are currently eight points out of the last Wild Card spot with just 39 points after 41 games.
And so we expect that general manager Peter Chiarelli will be a seller at the upcoming trade deadline and make moves to better the future of his club. Many players have been mentioned in trade chatter, including forwards Mark Letestu, Patrick Maroon and of course, the young Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Edmonton will surely listen to offers to RNH, who has tallied 15 goals and 29 points in 41 contests this season. The plan would be to move Nugent-Hopins and get a player "of similar age and contract status whose strongest points are a better-suited to the team (say, a speedy goal-scoring winger or a high-end right-shot defenseman)". The hope would also be to save money down the line and add useful assets for the future of the franchise.
However, Jonathan Willis of The Athletic fears another failed trade from Chiarelli, which would only hinder the Oilers once again.
"That’s a tricky trade to pull off, though, and Chiarelli’s history does not make one confident. He did well when forced by the cap to sell Phil Kessell early, but has since squandered Tyler Seguin’s potential on a series of lesser pieces, traded Taylor Hall one-for-one for defensive specialist Adam Larsson and of course dumped Eberle for the competent but unspectacular Ryan Strome."
That's brutally honest!
So while it might a good idea to move RNH - the Oilers could wait longer, like the Colorado Avalanche did with Matt Duchene, and get a better deal down the line.
Or, why not hold on to the young player, and keep Nugent-Hopkins in Edmonton?