Photo by Steven Christy
March 2nd beckons us like a stomach full of butterflies. Like a ride on the tilt-a-whirl after a chili dog. Like watching Sandy Bullock “do drama” in The Net. For some it is fun, but for many it is bothersome. The trade deadline, of course, is an important landmark in every hockey season. Organizations align themselves for either a playoff push or an unloading of salary. The majors leagues eye-ball large contracts, players reveal their no-trade clauses like a weary traveler entering customs, and GM’s try to not undermine their long game.
The minor leagues are not absent from the trade deadline. As a matter of fact, it can drastically effect a lineup, especially when your parent club (the Edmonton Oilers) is a seller rather than a buyer.
The Barons have had players dealt at the deadline, and this year you might find several familiar faces worthy of transplanting themselves to another hockey destination. But whom?
A player offered a qualifying contract after his three year entry level deal, Hamilton is a draft pick that, like Tyler Pitlick, has battled injury after injury after injury. 2014-15 has been a stellar year for young Hammy, and it primarily is a result of getting and staying healthy. Currently on the top line, left wing of one of the best teams in the AHL, Camilton, as he’s known by affectionately, has eleven goals and fifteen assists in 47 games. He’s already bested his pro numbers in that time, and will likely (fingers crossed) surpass the seventy games played mark for the first time in his career.
Is he valuable to the Edmonton Oilers, maybe. But he certainly is doing some things well, and staying healthier than ever. As with most four-years-in drafted prospects, he won’t net a full one-for-one trade unless it is of the minor league variety only. Deal sweetener? Perhaps.
Brandon Davidson, Martin Marincin
Both players have spent time with Oklahoma City and Edmonton during the current season. Marincin seemed defeated under Eakins, but resurrected when Nelson jumped in. That’s good news for the career arc of a defender with Olympic experience. Likewise, Brandon Davidson, who has been one of the best Barons defenders in the recent months, has a chance to be a bottom-paired defender in the NHL if he continues to trend upwards. Both could net something decent in return, but again, they will only be pieces of a larger trade (most likely).
Connor and Kellen Jones
An interesting tale of two players, choosing to play together from boyhood onward, one whom was drafted by the Oilers and another who was a get much later. They have torn through the ECHL on the same line, and are starting to emerge as a double-threat in the 3/4 line roles that they’ve been given in OKC. That doesn’t mean it is 3/4 line or bust for these two because that isn’t giving them enough credit. Good PK and PP players, smart, and with intangibles for days. These two might not be on the radar of most simply because they feel like a packaged deal, but don’t discount the “twin telepathy” as Connor stated in a video via the Barons YouTube page.
There isn’t much value in moving small potato assets right now, the Oilers will probably look to move picks. MacTavish has stated the obvious – the Oilers are selling not buying – but they’ll have to make a decision on a few of these players in the offseason so getting something in return today might be of value to them.
I don’t expect much, honestly, but with Jeff Petry still on the chopping block, things are bound to happen sooner or later. Buckle up.