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Why The Edmonton Oilers Should Trade for Erik Karlsson

Hockey article at Knup Sports

A breakdown of how the Oilers would become the Western Conference favorites by acquiring Erik Karlsson.

The Oilers have addressed forward depth over the past couple of seasons giving themselves one of the best top six groups in the league. McDavid and Draistial have continued their other-worldly play and with Zach Hyman and Evander Kane solidifying the wing position the Oilers are just blue line help away from being legitimate contenders.

Current Top 4 Defensemen

Darnell Nurse and Cody Ceci are the top pair with Brett Kulak and Tyson Barrie backing them up. Nurse offers great size and decent shot while Ceci is definitely just an average NHL defensemen.

Barrie is a great puck moving defenseman but has seen last year in the playoffs he has a muffin at the point and doesn’t have elite defense for the position. Barrie does have great numbers with the power play unit but that is more about the players he is playing with rather than him driving offense.

Overall, the current unit is definitely the weak point of a playoff team that isn’t looking to waste the prime of Connor McDavid; they must address this unit before the deadline.

Erik Karlsson

Erik Karlsson is easily on his way to a hall of fame career with two Norris trophies and on pace for over 700 career points as a defensemen. After a couple down years with the lowly Sharks he currently leads all defensemen with 76 points in only 58 games.

Karlsson is more of an offensive defensemen, however, he is definitely an upgrade from Barrie, Kulak, and Ceci defensively, while easily being a way better option offensively.

Karlsson’s five on five play is definitely the selling point to any team wanting to improve the blue line, as he is currently a -1 in plus/minus, while playing with the Sharks whose goal differential is -39.

Karlsson also has been one of the best power play defenseman over the course of his career. Karlsson has 195 power play points in his career and is easily a top 5 skater at the position as a technician with his edges.

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers need a player like Karlsson to improve 5 on 5 play. Of course Karlsson would find his way to the powerplay unit, however, the Oilers already have the best power play in the NHL.

The 5 on 5 prowess of Karlsson is what could put this team over the edge. They might still need one more lockdown defensemen for the bottom pair, but a starting D pair of Nurse and Karlsson, with Ceci and Barrie rounding out the top 4, they would easily be the favorite to come out of the Western Conference.

Lastly, Karlsson has postseason experience that is greatly needed in Edmonton for a very young and aggressive team, the poise of Karlsson could push this team over the edge.

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