Blackhawks Have 4 Good Oiler Targets in Potential Kane Trade

With the Chicago Blackhawks rebuilding, many people are wondering if they will trade Patrick Kane. One team that has been viewed as a perfect landing spot for the future Hall of Famer is the Edmonton Oilers. More fuel was added to that fire recently by Sportsnet analyst Gene Principe. While speaking with Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now, Principe noted that Kane should be the Oilers’ Plan A and that the latter “would come to Edmonton for sure.”

Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

There’s no question that the idea of Kane heading to the Oilers is fun to think about. Yet, both the Blackhawks and a third team would need to help with retaining his $10.5 million salary if he were to accept a move to Edmonton. If they were to find a way to make this blockbuster happen, the Blackhawks certainly have some solid trade targets to choose from the Oilers’ roster. Let’s now take a look at each of them.

Jesse Puljujarvi

Jesse Puljujarvi’s name has come up in the rumor mill this offseason, so I feel that he would have to be a target for the Blackhawks in a Kane blockbuster. Since being drafted with the fourth overall pick at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Puljujarvi has had mixed results. He hasn’t developed into the top-six winger that many scouts expected him to be, but he is also arguably heading in the right direction. In 65 games this past season, he scored 14 goals and set a new career-high with 36 points. Perhaps that kind of year could get the attention of Davidson.

Jesse Puljujarvi Edmonton Oilers
Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Puljujarvi certainly could benefit from a change of scenery at this point, and the Blackhawks would be an ideal destination for him. When looking at Chicago’s lineup, it’s clear that he would be an easy fit in their top six. This is especially true when noting that they moved on from Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, and Dominik Kubalik this offseason alone. Thus, the Blackhawks would benefit from adding a young NHL-caliber winger in a deal for Kane.

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Puljujarvi still has the potential to improve, as he is only 24 years old. On a rebuilding team like the Blackhawks, he would certainly receive more playing time and have a much bigger role. Therefore, this could be a move that benefits both parties, so it’s hard to believe that he wouldn’t be on Davidson’s radar.

Warren Foegele

With the Oilers being tight on cap space, they likely would need to move another NHL forward to successfully acquire Kane, even with salary retained. One player who Oilers GM Ken Holland likely wants to part ways with is Warren Foegele. After the Oilers signed Evander Kane last season, Foegele’s spot on the depth chart dropped, and now he is playing fourth-line minutes. That certainly is not ideal when remembering that he carries a $2.75 million cap hit until the end of the 2023-24 season.

Related: Blackhawks: 3 Potential Landing Spots for Patrick Kane

Foegele also struggled offensively in his first season with the Oilers. In 82 games, he scored 12 goals and recorded 26 points. Although those numbers aren’t terrible, his pace of production was noticeably lower than during his previous seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes. With that, he only recorded an assist and sported a minus-5 rating in 13 playoff games this past spring. Overall, the fit just doesn’t seem to be there in Edmonton, so perhaps a change of scenery should be in order.

So, after a year like this, why should Davidson consider adding Foegele? The primary reason behind this is that the Oilers would have to add a sweetener or two for the Blackhawks to take on his contract. That in turn could result in the Blackhawks landing an extra draft pick or notable prospect in a deal for Kane. Furthermore, I’d argue that Foegele is a 2022-23 bounce-back candidate, so this has the potential to be a win-win situation for Chicago.

Philip Broberg

The Blackhawks are going to want a top prospect in any move centering around Kane. One defenseman who they likely would love to target is Philip Broberg. The 2019 first-round pick is viewed as having top-four potential at least, but he also has had trouble cementing himself a permanent role on the Oilers’ blue line. In 23 games this season with the Oilers, he scored a goal and three points. Although he was underwhelming offensively, he also had a solid 23 points in 31 games with the Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Philip Broberg Edmonton Oilers
Philip Broberg, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

When looking at the Blackhawks’ roster, it’s fair to say that Broberg would have a guaranteed spot in their top six immediately. Even after recently signing veteran defenseman Jack Johnson to a one-year contract, Chicago’s left side isn’t particularly strong. As a result of this, Broberg would have the potential to compete for a top-four role. With that, he also could receive time on the Blackhawks’ top power-play unit due to his offensive ability. This extra playing time may be exactly what helps him take that next step in his development.

With the Oilers in win-now mode, Holland could be willing to move Broberg if it results in them getting Kane. If the 6-foot-3 defenseman becomes a Blackhawk, he would have the potential to be a significant part of their core for several years to come. Thus, in my opinion, he should be the Blackhawks’ primary target in a hypothetical Kane blockbuster.

Xavier Bourgault

Another very interesting prospect that Davidson should take a look at is Xavier Bourgault, as the 2021 first-round pick just had an excellent season with the Shawnigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). In just 43 games, he set new career-highs with 36 goals, 39 assists, and 75 points. After a season like that, it’s fair to say that the 19-year-old is inching closer to being NHL-ready. With all of this, he definitely should be one of the Blackhawks’ targets.

Although Bourgault has the potential to be a top-six forward at the NHL level, Holland may be open to the idea of moving him to acquire Kane. The Oilers are golden when it comes to their center depth, as they have Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Ryan McLeod all capable of playing down the middle. Thus, they technically could move Bourgault and still be perfectly fine at center for several more seasons.

Heading into the 2022-23 season, the Blackhawks’ center depth isn’t particularly strong. As a result of this, Bourgault could make a push to make their opening night roster if acquired. However, even if they didn’t immediately play him in the NHL, he would have the potential to be a long-term top-six center for the Blackhawks. That’s exactly the kind of prospect Davidson would want for his rebuild.

Nevertheless, it will be intriguing to see if the Oilers and Blackhawks agree to make a trade. The Buffalo native would of course have to okay the move due to his no-movement clause (NMC), but if he does, the Blackhawks have some pretty good players available to them from Edmonton. Alas, time will tell if the summer provides us with one last blockbuster.

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