The Edmonton Oilers NHL trade deadline was relatively active. Despite a very disappointing 2018-19 campaign, playoffs appear to be a real possibility for the Oilers this year. Amid a tight race in the Pacific Division, Edmonton added extra help at the Deadline, which should increase their chances of securing a playoff spot down the stretch.
Breaking Down the 2019-20 Edmonton Oilers Trade Deadline
The 2020 Deadline Trades
Holland traded for three useful reinforcements without removing any significant roster from his lineup. With two of the best young players (Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl) already on the roster, the Oilers new additions should improve the supporting cast around their stars.
Here is a look at the three acquisitions and what each player could potentially bring to the lineup.
Mike Green Strengthens Depth on Defence
Just ahead of Monday’s deadline, the Oilers traded for veteran defenseman Mike Green from the Detroit Red Wings.
In many ways, this seems like a logical trade for the Oilers as they don’t lose a roster player to add more depth to their defense.
What Mike Green Can Bring
Mike Green, 34, is a veteran defenseman who has played close to 900 games in his NHL career. In 48 games for the Red Wings this year, Green has scored three goals along with eight assists for 11 points.
At this point in his career, it is hard to call Green a top-pairing defenceman. However, the Calgary native is still a decent puck mover and can run the blue line on the powerplay when needed.
Green could come in and give the Oilers a solid 15-18 minutes a night in a third-pairing role. He should add a little more offense to the Oilers backend and help with the team’s transitional play.
Green may not be elite defensively but is still considered a rather mobile defender with the ability to make good breakout passes. In many ways, Green gives the Oilers a new dimension on their blueline, especially in their bottom pairing.
At the same time, many consider Green as a reliable power-play specialist. So having Green on the roster should give the Oilers potent powerplay another weapon to work with the rest of the way.
Andreas Athanasiou Gives Oilers Speed and Scoring
Athanasiou is a player who can come in and help the Oilers top-nine forward group right away. He wasn’t having the best season in Detroit, with ten goals, 24 points, and an eye-popping minus 45 in 46 games.
Perhaps a change of scenery and an opportunity to play with McDavid or Draisaitl could help Athanasiou bounce back from a mediocre start.
Athanasiou has shown that he can score at the NHL level (30 goals in 2018-19). At only 25, with the potential to improve, the Oilers might have got themselves a reliable winger in their top-six for years to come.
Athanasiou has decent size (6’2”, 188lbs) and most importantly will add speed and scoring touch to the Oilers offense.
Overall, the price point Holland paid for Athanasiou seems to be a reasonable bet. At the end of the day, the Oilers improve through this trade, and time will tell if Athanasiou becomes a huge part of the Oilers success beyond this season.
Tyler Ennis Improves the Oilers Secondary Scoring
The Edmonton Oilers ended off the 2020 Trade Deadline by acquiring Tyler Ennis from the Ottawa Senators for a 2021 fifth-round pick.
Overall, this was a low-risk high-reward trade. Holland was able to improve the Oilers secondary scoring without losing a significant roster player or a high draft pick.
Ennis is a skilled offensive player, with decent playmaking and finishing ability. Despite playing on a bad Senators’ team, Ennis still managed to put up 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points in 61 games.
Coming to Edmonton with the opportunity to play on a better team, one must like his chances to put up even better numbers down the stretch.
With this move, the Oilers add more fire-power to the top-nine. Ennis gives them more options to put together a more well-balanced lineup around McDavid and Draisaitl the rest of the way.
It remains to be seen how much of an impact Ennis makes for Edmonton. The Oilers don’t expect him to score every night, but his secondary offense will go a long way in helping the Oilers succeed in close matchups.
Overall grade: A
The Edmonton Oilers addressed some issues in their lineup at the 2020 trade deadline. They were able to upgrade their top-nine forward group by adding two proven-complimentary wingers.
At the same time, they were also able to improve their depth and mobility on the backend with Mike Green.
Overall, it was a pretty successful trade deadline day for Ken Holland. He made positive steps in putting the Oilers in the best position to secure a playoff spot.
However, there might be some concerns with the Oilers depth at center. Since they were unable to find an upgrade at the third line center position, time will tell if Gaetan Haas or Riley Sheahan is the answer the rest of the way.
At the same time, Mike Green was a good pickup but some may question whether adding him is enough to make the Oilers competitive in the playoffs.