NHL Trade Rumours – The Edmonton Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins Trade Centers

The Edmonton Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins traded centers on Monday. The trades aren’t a huge shake-up in the top-6, but they do fill some holes in the bottom six and address some depth issues for both teams.

Heineman’s a speedy left-winger who brings a bit of a skill element to the Canadiens roster that could be missing it at times with Kirby Dach, Rafael Harvey-Pinard and Alex Newhook on injured reserve. His slick shot and quick footwork make him an intriguing addition to Montreal’s forward corps, and he would play a third or fourth line role if he makes the NHL debut.

On the flip side, a winger like Bjugstad helps give the Blackhawks some depth in the bottom six and also adds a big-game goal scorer who can contribute in key situations. It’s a risky move for Chicago, but it makes sense as it looks to build for the future and doesn’t need Kane to make it back to the playoffs this season.

It’s not often the Leafs take a gamble on young players, but they did that with Zaitsev. The rookie has a unique game and is an excellent skater, but he’s also raw and unproven. That’s why I believe they’ll need to give him time before making a decision on his future with the team.

The Flames don’t have any glaring needs for defensemen, but they did upgrade their depth with the acquisition of Niederreiter. It’s a strong move for them that gives the team some much-needed depth in the bottom six and allows them to continue their development of young players like Sam Bennett.

The Jets didn’t have any major need for a defenseman, but they did pick up a solid prospect in Kravtsov. He’s a good skating, physical presence who could help in the penalty kill as he develops. The deal also allows the Jets to shed some cap space for next year. That could allow them to pursue another defensive depth piece for the team.


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