Ottawa Senators Trade Partner: The Edmonton Oilers


It has been made clear that seven teams have called the Ottawa Senators regarding Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner. It is believed that the Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks, Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, and Dallas Stars have interest, and the Oilers seem like a very good fit for both sides.

The Senators will most likely make more than one trade this summer, but the big one will be the goalie trade. For the inevitable trade that sees Anderson or Lehner packing, the Oilers are a good partner. I’ll be looking over some other potential partners in the following days and weeks, but Edmonton is first up.

Let’s take a look at what they have to offer:

Edmonton Oilers

Interested In: Lehner

Pieces to give up: Nail Yakupov, Jordan Eberle, Oscar Klefbom, Taylor Hall

Possibility of trade: High

The Senators and Oilers always seem to be connected in rumours. Just last year Ottawa finally got Ales Hemsky (for a couple of months) after years of speculation, and players like Zack Smith, Jared Cowen and Lehner have been rumoured to be wanted by the Oilers for a couple of years now too. Back in 2009, they had a deal that sent Dany Heatley to Edmonton for Andrew Cogliano, Ladislav Smid, and Dustin Penner, but Heatley nixed the deal.

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So the two teams have a history, and it seems like it is a good one. With Peter Chiarelli at the helm now, I’m not sure how different things will be, but I’m sure a deal could still easily be made. There are pieces on both sides that the other team clearly wants.

Since the Oilers are a young team, it looks like they would be more interested in Lehner. By the time they might actually be contenders, Anderson may be washed up and nearing retirement. So Lehner is the more obvious candidate. He has a high pedigree, and if this trade was happening just one or two years ago Ottawa would most likely be asking for the world.

But as of now, he has a diminishing value. He still has tons of upside, and he’s just 23 after all. I’ve outlined before that it would be foolish to give up on him when he’s had success in the past. But if he gets a larger return than Anderson, then maybe it isn’t such a bad deal. Personally I would be interested in a young defenseman as a return, but Bryan Murray has said he wants an established top six player or someone who has potential to be that.

It looks like the Oilers have given up on him, despite him being a Calder nominee just two years ago

I listed Klefbom as a potential target, but considering Murray’s desire for a forward I doubt he will be coming to Ottawa. Out of the other three, Yakupov is a legitimate target. Eberle and Hall are more like pipe dreams, but I’m sure the Senators will at least try to pry one of them away. If Hall was included in a trade, Ottawa would have to include much more from their side.

That would mean giving up Mike Hoffman, a 1st round pick, and probably another young asset like Curtis Lazar. I’m not sure even that gets it done, but it will take a massive deal. Eberle is a bit more realistic, but even he will be hard to obtain.

That brings us to Yakupov, who I could definitely see coming to Ottawa. He’s similar to Lehner in that he had lots of pedigree and upside, but the last two seasons he has been a bit of a disappointment. He’s a former 1st overall pick and he’s only 21 years old. For some reason it looks like the Oilers have given up on him, despite him being a Calder nominee just two years ago.

Apr 4, 2015; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Nail Yakupov (10) looks to make a pass against the Calgary Flames at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

In his lockout-shortened rookie season he scored 31 points, which was on pace for 53 in a full season. Even last year he scored 33, which isn’t awful for a 21-year-old playing in the bottom six. We can’t forget that a year before his draft, he scored 101 points in the OHL and in the KHL in 2012-13 he had 18 points in 22 games. This guy has so much talent, and even if he only becomes a 50-60 point player that’s very valuable.

Although he hasn’t been too impressive in the last two seasons, I’m still high on Yakupov. I don’t think the Oilers are a good spot for him, and he needs to be put in a better spot to succeed. I’m not sure how much better Ottawa will be for him, but I hope that if he is acquired that Dave Cameron makes him fit in.

Now it won’t be as easy as offering Lehner and getting Yakupov in return. They know that other teams still see value in him, so Ottawa will have to sweeten the pot a bit. But it shouldn’t be as hard as acquiring Hall or Eberle, because they are legitimate first line players. But perhaps the Senators could include a 2nd round draft pick, or Jared Cowen, or a young prospect into the deal.

Maybe Ottawa will have to include three or four pieces in the deal, and I would be fine with that as long as it doesn’t include any NHL regulars. If Ottawa has to put Hoffman in the deal, then it’s pointless because while they would be acquiring a top talent, they would also be losing a top-six forward. I’m not sure what the Oilers would want, but I think they still might be interested in Cowen. After that, there are a few prospects that are enticing like Shane Prince, Matt Puempel, Mikael Wikstrand, and Tobias Lindberg.

I normally don’t like proposing fake trades as I usually end up being way off, but in this scenario a trade could look like:

I’ve never wanted to trade Lehner, but if they do then this could work out amazing for Ottawa. This isn’t a trade I would look to make, but it is something to look out for. Yakupov has lots of potential, and he’s still so young. Oilers fans may laugh at these proposals, but I would not be surprised to see that Ottawa just needs to sweeten the pot a bit to get Yakupov. After all, Lehner could legitimately become a star goalie, and the Senators deserve to get some quality back.

All in all, the Oilers are a good trading partner and they look like a very good possibility.

Next: Ranking Senators Prospects: #10-6