WHAT CHANGES ON DEFENCE MEAN IN THE 2017 EXPANSION DRAFT | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours


The Edmonton Oilers are still actively looking for a top-four powerplay defender who can put up some offense. It seems as though everyone is clamoring for that player to be Tyson Barrie from the Colorado Avalanche. He'd be a great fit.

Photo courtesy of http://www.denverpost.com/2014/10/07/tyson-barries-revenge-is-simply-a-victory-for-avalanche/

The Catch

Part of any trades the Oilers, and for that matter, any NHL team should consider going forward are the ramifications of the NHL expansion draft coming up. As Las Vegas enters the NHL, teams will be allowed to protect either seven forwards, three defencemen, and one goaltender; or they can choose to protect eight skaters and one goaltender.

If the Oilers were to trade for and ultimately sign Tyson Barrie, one would have to assume part of that signing would include a "No Movement" clause that would require the Oilers protect him during that expansion draft.


Let's assume that Edmonton did land their target and Tyson Barrie donned the Orange and Blue -- there's one protected defenceman.

We'd have to also assume that newly acquired Adam Larsson would also be protected. It cost the Oilers dearly to obtain his services and giving him up in an expansion draft would be heartbreaking. Edmonton believes they have a top-pair right-handed defender at the right age and cap hit, so we'd be crazy to think they'd let him slip away. That makes two protected.

In addition, the Oilers are forced to protect Andrej Sekera due to his "No Movement" clause.  This leaves Edmonton with a difficult decision. Do they use the eight skater rule and protect one more defenceman or do they leave it at Sekera, Barrie and Larsson? With only three protected defencemen, this leaves Oscar Klefbom unprotected.

Unless Klefbom's ankle injury turns out to be worse than people are anticipating, I can't see the Oilers willing to take the risk of losing what could be a true top-pair defender. In this scenario, we'll assume the eight protected skaters option is the chosen path for Edmonton (remember Darnell Nurse does not require protecting due to his standing as a player in the NHL in his first two seasons).

What I'd Do

If Edmonton lands another defenceman, I wouldn't take the risk that Larsson or Klefbom are exposed. Since Sekera has to be protected, I'm choosing the option of eight protected skaters and I'm also protecting Jordan Eberle, Ryan-Nugent Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl, and Milan Lucic (who as per his agreement and "No Movement" clause has to be protected.

This leaves Patrick Maroon, Benoit Pouliot, Matt Hendricks, Griffin Reinhart, Mark Fayne, Mark Letestu, Nail Yakupov, Zach Kassian unprotected.

The biggest concerns for me in this group are Davidson and Yakupov, but both are a risk I'm willing to take knowing that maybe, one team, picking from 30 leaves these guys as less obvious or attractive options.

I'd also consider a stop-gap like a James Wisniewski or other small single-season contracts in the UFA market to improve the team this summer on defence. After the expansion, maybe I look at another longer term contract and hope a team hands out "No Movement" clauses in an effort to land players, leaving more attractive options open to new expansion teams in the future.

The Oilers have to watch what they do here this summer. Any new big ticket items could come at the expense of a player Edmonton could really use.

But, who cares what I think right? For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.

Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about Oilersnetwork.com founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.

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