The 2015 NHL Draft has certainly been exciting. The amount of trades have been overwhelming, as team’s are trying to jockey themselves into position for the upcoming season.
There have been a few organizations that have stood out on Draft Day. One that has firmly established themselves are the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton knew going into the draft they would leave with generational talent, Connor McDavid.
The 18-year-old is being heralded as the best prospect since Sidney Crosby, and will almost assuredly jump straight to the NHL. But, it wasn’t just McDavid that the Oilers struck gold with, as they were able to snag two other players to help their team.
Cam Talbot was one of the hottest trade candidates on the market. The New York Rangers goalie filled in admirably for the injured Henrik Lundqvist this season, putting up a .926 save percentage.
The Oilers have been starved for a legitimate goalie, as they haven’t had much luck at the position. A big reason for that has been the team’s poor defensive play, but GM Peter Chiarelli was out to change that.
Edmonton made two separate trades to acquire some quality defensive depth. The team first snagged Griffin Reinhart from the New York Islanders. Reinahrt was the 4th overall pick of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, and was progressing nicely for New York.
He recorded 22 points at the Islanders AHL affiliate in Bridgeport. Edmonton hopes that Reinhart can bring his two-way game into a system that desperately needs defenseman. The other notable move Edmonton made was acquiring Eric Gyrba from the Ottawa Senators. The 6’4 defenseman gives the Oilers a big, physical presence on the team’s blue-line, something Edmonton hasn’t had in quite some time.
Gyrba and Reinhart will look to pair with Edmonton’s young defenseman, Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom, to establish the team’s defensive core for years to come. The Oilers have set themselves up nicely for the foreseeable future. McDavid will slot in with Ryan Nugent Hopkins, Taylor Hall, and Jordan Eberle to form a dangerous offensive presence.
While Gyrba and Reinhart will add great depth to a once weakened defensive unit. The Oilers have no doubt made themselves better. In fact, they might even be playoff-worthy.