Red Wings’ 2022 Offseason Trade Targets: Edmonton Oilers

The Detroit Red Wings are heading into the 2022-23 season with a lot of optimism. General manager (GM) Steve Yzerman went on a shopping spree this summer, and the team is looking a lot better on paper because of it. Yet, with the Red Wings still having over $9 million of cap space to work with, they are in a position where they could still add to their roster before autumn comes around.

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When looking at teams around the league that Yzerman should consider calling, it’s clear that the Edmonton Oilers stand out. It wouldn’t hurt them to move out some salary, and that’s especially true if they want to make another big splash before the start of the season. There are three specific Oilers who the Red Wings would be wise to pursue. Let’s look at why this is the case.

Jesse Puljujarvi

Jesse Puljujarvi has been viewed by many as a potential trade candidate from the Oilers this offseason. Ryan Rishaug of TSN even reported last month that “as many as four teams” were showing interest in the 2016 first-round pick. Yet, a deal has still not come to fruition, and there’s potential that the 24-year-old could remain with the Oilers for the start of the 2022-23 season. However, I believe that Yzerman should do all he can to make Puljujarvi become a Red Wing.

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

Although Puljujarvi has yet to cement himself as a top-six forward at the NHL level, he took a notable step in the right direction in 2021-22. In 65 games on the season with the Oilers, he scored 14 goals and recorded a career-high 36 points. Adding that kind of production to the Detroit’s middle six would be big for them, and it could allow them to compete with their Atlantic Division rivals. This is especially true if the former top prospect can take that next step offensively moving forward.

To acquire Puljujarvi, the Red Wings would likely need to part ways with a second-round pick and mid-tier prospect. Overall, it would be a pretty notable price to pay, but if Puljujarvi can become a legitimate top-six winger, it would make the move worthwhile.

Tyson Barrie

The Oilers have at least seven NHL-caliber defensemen on their roster heading into the 2022-23 season. As a result, they may want to consider moving one to free up some cap space and improve elsewhere. With the Oilers having Evan Bouchard and Cody Ceci on their right side, perhaps GM Ken Holland could be open to moving Tyson Barrie and his fairly expensive $4.5 million cap hit.

Due to the Oilers’ strong depth on the right side, Barrie may end up playing bottom-pairing minutes. It is understandable, as Bouchard is a defenseman on the rise, while Ceci has worked very well in their top four. Yet, if Yzerman were to acquire Barrie, the latter would have the opportunity to play on the second pairing and first power-play unit. This, in turn, could result in the 31-year-old seeing an increase in offensive production. He is only two seasons removed from a 48-point campaign in 56 games, so it is certainly possible. Having that kind of offense from the point would be massive for the Red Wings.

Similar to Puljujarvi, I expect that the Red Wings would need to give up a second-round pick at least to successfully acquire Barrie from the Oilers. Ultimately, it would be a price worth paying if the Victoria native can replicate the production he has had in previous years. Furthermore, a prospect or added draft pick would also likely be needed in such a move.

Warren Foegele

It’s fair to say that the 2021-22 season is one that Warren Foegele would like to forget. After recording only 26 points in 82 regular-season games, he followed that up with just one assist and a minus-5 rating in 13 playoff games. As a result of his bad season, it wouldn’t surprise anybody to see the Oilers move on from Foegele. However, the big issue is that he carries a $2.75 million cap hit until the end of the 2023-24 season. Trading him would likely force Holland to throw in sweeteners due to Foegele’s expensive contract. This is exactly why the Red Wings should consider pursuing him.

Warren Foegele Edmonton Oilers
Warren Foegele, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Although the Red Wings are heading in the right direction, it’s fair to say that they are also still building for the future. As a result, they would benefit from adding a second-round pick and/or notable prospect if it means taking on Foegele’s contract. Thus, this is a move that one could even argue should be encouraged for Yzerman to make.

I’d also argue that Foegele is due for a bounce-back year in 2022-23. His placement on the Oilers’ depth chart fell once the team signed Evander Kane, and his production slowed down because of it. Perhaps a change of scenery and having a third-line spot on the Red Wings could allow him to get on the scoresheet more often again. If that were to happen, this hypothetical move would be a win in every way imaginable for the Red Wings.

Nevertheless, the Oilers have some pretty intriguing trade targets that the Red Wings should consider targeting. Thus, Yzerman shouldn’t be against the idea of doing business with them before the start of the 2022-23 season. Let’s see if a trade between these two clubs comes to fruition.