We all anticipated the Edmonton Oilers, cellar dwellers of the Western Conference, were going to begin selling off parts as the trade season looms. What was a bit surprising, though, was the team making a move that helped for both the present and future.
This is what happened today, as the Oilers made a goalie swap across the league. First, they shipped starting goalie Devan Dubnyk to the Nashville Predators for forward Matt Hendricks. It was a wise move for Edmonton, as Dubnyk’s stats were, to put it delicately, rough. In 32 starts, he had a team high 3.36 GAA to go along with his.894 save percentage. These are hardly numbers you want from a starting netminder, but with Predators star Pekke Rinne still on the shelf, the team made a deal with the Oilers.
After the Dubnyk deal, though, is where Edmonton gave themselves a pretty sizable boost. The Oil quickly made a deal with the Los Angeles Kings, sending a third-round draft pick their way in exchange for goalie Ben Scrivens. The Kings’ backup had become expendable thanks to the sudden rise of rookie Martin Jones, as well as having US Olympian Jonathan Quick as a starter. With Scrivens out of the picture, the Kings can allow themselves to get a better look at what they have in Jones.
Looking at his stats, Scrivens’ addition to the Oilers could potentially have an immediate impact. In 19 starts, he has a respectable 7-5-4 record, but he also boasts a 1.97 GAA and .931 save percentage. For those keeping score at home, that’s well over one less goal per game than Dubnyk.
Scrivens has only been in the NHL for two seasons coming into this year, and his numbers have improved each year as his playing time went up. Though he’s going from contender to pretender, he’s already shown more potential than what Edmonton has on its current roster.
One of the biggest reasons the Oilers have struggled this year is because of the gaping hole in net. With Scrivens, the team might finally have a solid goaltending option. Will it bring Edmonton into playoff contention this season? No way. But, he definitely has the potential to solve the team’s biggest red flag. For that, Edmonton made a great move today.