It’s been a busy night in the NHL world. The 2022 NHL Draft is underway and there have been a lot of deals made. The most recent one, as reported by Elliot Friedman, is the Edmonton Oilers trading Zack Kassian.
Kassian to ARIZ with number 29, a future second and a future third for number 32
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 8, 2022
Zack Kassian Traded to Arizona Coyotes
Kassian goes to Arizona along with Edomont’s 2022 first-round pick, 29th overall. In return, the Oilers get a 2022 first-round pick, the 32nd overall, a 2nd-round pick, and a 3rd-round pick. This adds veteran depth for Arizona and clears some cap room for the Oilers.
However, Kassian has struggled on the offensive side of the ice. This past season, he only put up six goals and 13 assists for 19 points in 58 games. His best stat was his 63 penalty minutes, not what a team needs. The Coyotes had one of the worst offences in the league this season. Kassian doesn’t bring much as a scoring forward, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fits in Arizona.
The main reason for this was the first-round pick swap. The Coyotes moved up three spots, from 32nd to 29th. The Coyotes used their 3rd overall pick to select Logan Cooley. It’s possible Kassian holds down the top centre spot, should Cooley not play this season.
What This Trade Does for Edmonton
The Oilers made this trade to free up space, most likely. They have a little over $7 million in cap space, and Kassian makes $3.2 million over the next two seasons. The Oilers are expected to be big players in the goaltending market in free agency. With names like Darcy Kuemper and Jack Campbell available, it’s likely Ken Holland is freeing up the cap space to sign one of them. Kassian didn’t bring much to the Oilers this season. His playoff stats aren’t too flattering either, with only two goals and two assists for four points.
This trade serves its purpose for both sides. Edmonton gets to free up cap space for a potential signing. Arizona moves up in the draft and gets a veteran placeholder to not rush prospects. The only sting for the Oilers is that they had to add a sweetener to get it through.