June 24, 2024

Both the New York Islanders and the Edmonton Oilers have faced challenges since the beginning of the season. The Islanders’ ongoing struggle with losing runs and missed opportunities has prevented them from earning a postseason berth. Before appointing Kris Knoblauch as head coach, the Oilers had a disastrous start to the season. As one of the hottest teams in hockey since then, the squad has soared up the standings and is currently ranked third in the Pacific Division. Even with the recent achievements, some gamers are still having trouble getting comfortable.

New Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch gets emotional during his introductory  press conference - HockeyFeed

Some thought left-handed defenseman Phillip Broberg, selected by the Oilers eighth overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, was a reach. But he started to show promise, eventually scoring 23 points in 31 games with the Bakersfield Condors, the Oilers’ minor league affiliate, during the 2021–2022 campaign. He has struggled ever since, appearing in and out of the NHL lineup and missing out on games until this season’s meeting against the Carolina Hurricanes on November 23. Despite this, he has played in the NHL as a good defenseman under mismanagement.

He played 333 even strength minutes with Evan Bouchard in the 2022–2023 season; according to Moneypuck, the two had a 59.6 expected goals percentage (xG%). This

He played 333 even strength minutes with Evan Bouchard in the 2022–2023 season; according to Moneypuck, the two had a 59.6 expected goals percentage (xG%). When it came to partnerships with more than 250 minutes together, this was the second-highest on the team and the ninth-highest in the NHL. He had a 58.9 on-ice expected goals percentage for himself. Despite having a poor offensive game, he was a strong defender who made the squad successful.

Broberg saw a notable drop in play this season, moving from playing alongside Bouchard to Brett Kulak and Vincent Desharnais. His play worsened as a consequence. However, he would quickly find chance on the Islanders. The Islanders’ aging defense has been plagued by injuries this season, demonstrating once more how important depth is. Even though the defense is already strong, the Islanders would benefit analytically and strategically by adding Broberg.

Bouchard and the team’s outstanding right-handed defenseman, Noah Dobson, are a lot alike. Like other defensemen, he was perceived as one-dimensional and offensively focused. Even though he is still developing, Broberg is clearly capable of playing well with top defenseman and providing a reliable defensive presence. Although Dobson and Adam Pelech have a 49.0 xG% together this season, that was their greatest pairing of Dobson’s career last season.

After that, Ryan Pulock and Alexander Romanov would suit up together; their combined xG% is 51.6. Pelech and Scott Mayfield are the remaining players, having combined for barely 85 minutes this season. In 295 minutes together last season, the two had a 58.8 xG%. Without a doubt, the defense would greatly improve if the Islanders deployed these pairs.

In the same draft as Broberg, Oliver Wahlstrom was selected three picks later and has also had difficulty. He had a great debut season in 2020–21, scoring 12 goals and 21 points in 44 games, but he has had trouble staying in the lineup thereafter. He has been benched and punished by three different coaches due to injury or subpar play. Although there is no denying his exceptional shooting talent, his lack of success has been largely attributed to his poor defense, inconsistent play, and footwork. Even though nobody who follows the Islanders wants to see a player with his level of skill leave, it appears probable if he doesn’t turn things around quickly.

Still, his amazing talent will come in handy when the time is perfect, and what better place to use it than on a team featuring Leon Draisatl and Connor McDavid? Wahlstrom may clearly find his upside at the Oilers, even though it is more difficult to explain why he would be a good match there analytically.

This past summer, Connor Brown inked a contract with the Oilers to play as a powerful, goal-scoring winger in the middle six. He is a total catastrophe as of February 14th, with 0 goals and four points in 42 games. Wahlstrom could provide the team’s depth some significant firepower if he were to play, even if it were only in the bottom six but with powerplay time. Ken Holland, general manager, would make one move—acquiring Wahlstrom—but not the largest.

Wahlstrom would give the team’s middle six more depth and offer a low-risk, high-reward forward to a club in need of upside. His contract is insignificant if he doesn’t perform well because he is a restricted free agency this summer and only makes $874,125. In addition, the Oilers could expect to make further, more significant transactions given that the trade deadline of March 8 is still a few weeks away. Bringing in another first-round pick is a terrific way to release some of the frustration that comes with losing a first-round pick.

The fact that these two groups are somewhat acquainted is an essential point to remember. Although front offices might shift at this time, notable deals like Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome and Griffin Reinhart for

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