Edmonton adds Ekholm to Their Blue Line

The Edmonton Oilers have finally gotten the blue liner they needed. The Oilers have acquired Mattias Ekholm and a 2024 sixth-round pick from the Nashville Predators in exchange for Tyson Barrie, Reid Schaefer a 2023 first, and a 2024 fourth. The Predators also have retained 4% of Ekholm's salary throughout his contract. Ekholm, 32, is in the first year of a four-year deal that pays him $6.25 million per season. The 4% retention would save the Oilers $250,000 per season. The Oilers also had to part with one of their better blue-liners in Tyson Barrie. He will now join the Predators' organization and could be flipped at this year's deadline; however, he is not a rental. He is signed for another year at $4.25 million, which is a cap hit a team could take on, like the Ottawa Senators who are looking for another defenseman.

Reid Schaefer was a first-round pick by the Oilers in the 2022 NHL draft. He is currently in the WHL playing with the Seattle Thunderbirds. The young left-winger will be part of the future in Nashville for years to come. So far this season, he has 47 points in 44 games with the Thunderbirds. 

The two draft picks that Nashville received from Edmonton will both go toward the team's retool. They are a middle-of-the-pack team that needs to make some changes to contender again. They are expected to be sellers at this year's NHL trade deadline.

Photo Credits: © Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports