Jackpot: Edmonton Oilers early winner in NHL deadline day deals

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The Edmonton Oilers aren’t the only early winner of the NHL 2023 trade deadline, but they are surely one of them.

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Edmonton’s points percentage of .800 is third best in the NHL since the March 3 deadline, with eight wins and two losses in ten games.

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Top of the list is another early deadline day winner Los Angeles, with six wins and two loser points in eight games, for an .875 points percentage. The Vegas Golden Knights are tied for third with Oilers, also with eight wins in ten games (as of early Thursday evening).

Two other early winners of deadline day dealings are the Minnesota Wild and New York Islanders, the Wild with an .778 points percentage and the Islanders at .750 since March 3.

Vegas picked up goalie Jonathan Quick at the deadline. He’s got five wins in seven games and a .908 save percentage. Vegas also brought in winger Ivan Barbashev, who has nine points in 13 games, and forward Teddy Blueger, five points in 11 games. Vegas got Barbashev for prospect Zach Dean, Blueger for a third round pick, and Quick for a minor league goalie and a 7th round pick.

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The Wild brought in two forwards, Oskar Sundqvist and Marcus Johansson, and one d-man, John Klingberg, who appear to be helping their cause, while winger Jordan Greenway was dealt to Buffalo and doesn’t seem to be missed. The Wild got Sundqvist for a 4th round pick, Klingberg for a 4th rounder, a prospect and d-man Andre Sustr and Johansson for a 3rd round pick.

On the Island, Bo Horvat isn’t scoring big but the Islanders have 12 wins in 20 games, with three loser points as well. New York got Horvat for a first round pick, winger Anthony Beauvillier and prospect Aatu Raty.

Of course, the true story of the winners and losers of the deadline period won’t be known until we see how teams do in the playoffs, as most of these deals were made with the playoffs in mind.

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But it’s not looking good for Buffalo or Ottawa in terms of the trade deadline. Buffalo has just two wins in 10 games, Ottawa just three wins in 10 games, essentially ending playoff hopes for both squads. Meanwhile Toronto has just four wins in eight games, despite a massive effort in the deadline period, and the Tampa Bay Lightning have just five wins in 11 games, despite spending big to bring in winger Tanner Jeannot. All these teams can be seen as early losers, but, again, depending on how they do in the playoffs that could turn around fast for Toronto and Tampa Bay.

Ottawa tried to strike it big in a trade for d-man Jacob Chychrun, and while he may help them in years to come, he hasn’t changed their fortunes this season, and they gave up a solid prospect from the first round of this year’s draft for his rights.

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Toronto’s major pick-up Ryan O’Reilly got off to a strong enough start with the Leafs but is out for a month after surgery on a broken finger.

Jeannot has just three assists in 14 games for Tampa and not one goal. He’s -5 plus/minus. To acquire him, Tampa gave up young defenseman Cal Foote, a conditional 1st round pick, and 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th round picks.

If you go by the theory that the team that gets the most impactful player in a trade is the biggest winner in any deal, then Edmonton with its acquisition of Mattias Ekholm, and Los Angeles with its trade for Joonas Korpisalo, look like the biggest winners to date of the deadline period.

Ekholm has bossed the blueline for the Oilers, with nine points in 11 games and a plus-minus of +15. Korpisalo has played four games for Los Angeles, winning three of them, and sporting a glittering .921 save percentage.

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Edmonton also brought in a useful third line centre in Nick Bjugstad, while Los Angeles bolstered its defensive unit with Vladislav Gavrikov. To bring in Korpisalo and Gavrikov, Los Angeles moved out Quick, a 1st and 3rd round pick. Edmonton gave up Tyson Barrie, a first round pick, top prospect Reid Schaeffer and a 4th round pick for Ekholm.

A steep price was paid, especially by the Oilers, but so far, so good on the return.

At the Cult of Hockey

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