We posted last month about how Elliotte Friedman was wondering what kind of trade partner Edmonton would be for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Friedman mentioned that the Pens were looking for a 3C and guess who has a 3rd line centre who’s going to be an unrestricted free agent this summer? The Oilers and Mark Letestu is said upcoming UFA who mans the centre position, obviously.
I mean unless they want to take Ryan Strome… Probably not, right?
Anyways, take a look at the standings in the Metropolitan division right now. Second place and 8th place is separated by 5pts! Therefore there’s going to be a helluva arms race at the deadline if this keeps up and I think that the Oilers could really come away with an excellent haul if Peter Chiarelli plays his cards right.
Now before we get into this, I don’t want you to think that I’m saying that Mark Letestu will be traded for two highly regarded prospects. That’s not what I’m saying. I’ll simply be showing you a couple of players from the Penguins organization that I think the Oilers should go after.
But what do the Oilers need to come away from this deadline with? Moar Speed! Moar skill! Smarter players! Cheaper players! Younger players? Players who can move around within the lineup possibly. Players who might still need some time in the minors and could be willing to sign 2-way deals?
The idea is that the Oilers get a bit more balance if their moving Pat Maroon, Mark Letestu, and possibly Mike Cammalleri, right?
Which leads me to the Pittsburgh Penguins. They have two young players that I think are about to come into their own very soon.
- Dominik Simon – C – 5’11” 175lbs – 2017/18: 16gp 4g 5a 9pts (AHL: 21gp 4g 14a 17pts)
- Daniel Sprong – RW – 6’0″ 180lbs – 2017/18: 8gp 2g 1a 3pts (AHL: 32gp 19g 13a 32pts)
Sprong is a former 2nd round pick from 2015 (#46) for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Simon was drafted in the 5th round (#137) of that same draft.
What I’ve gleaned online from the reports of Dominik Simon is that he’s not a very physical player but he’s quick (I read that as more darty and less rocket speed) and he’s VERY smart on the ice. He’s had some time on Crosby’s wing and we do know that you don’t last up there unless you can keep up to Sid. Gotta be a smart player to do that. Add to that a laser of a wrister and he could be a great complimentary winger.
Hockey’s Future had this to say about him:
He is an undersized, but crafty offensive forward with a willingness to go to hard areas to score goals.
Simon, a lefty, already has nearly 160 games of AHL experience and two 40+ pt campaigns under his belt there. He definitely looks ready to take the next step and at 23 years old making 692k for this year before he turns RFA at season’s end, he’s a player I wouldn’t mind seeing the Oilers pick up.
As for Daniel Sprong, the Netherlands native who moved to Canada to play junior hockey has always had a reputation for being a sniper. When he played for Charlottetown of the QMJHL he amassed 85 goals in 168 games. Since he’s joined the Penguins AHL affiliate in Wilkes0-Barre, Sprong has scored 19 goals in 32 games.
Hockey’s Future praised the Dutchman’s offensive abilities,
A strong, imposing forward with quick feet, Sprong oozes offensive ability. His stickhandling and puck skills were amongst the best in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Sprong is a righty and would be an excellent add to the Oilers dusty right-wing. Like most kids who are that offensively gifted, they lack some defensive awareness and that’s the biggest complaint about Sprong too. He’s been called up and sent down a few times since leaving the junior hockey. He’s only 20 though and he’s got lots of time to develop.
But Sprong is one of those players the Oilers really need to add to their club. They need a player who will be team controlled for the foreseeable future, cheap, and can be called up and put in positions to score, not just to float around the bottom 6. I imagine he’d have a tougher time under a coach like Todd McLellan though because of that lack of a 200ft game and he’s not a huge fan of young players to begin with. He’s a veteran coach who prefers veteran players who have established 200ft games. A story as old as time.
What do you think? Given the arms race that’s about to begin in the Metro, do these two players interest you and how much would you be comfortable with the Oilers paying for them?