We have our first blockbuster trade since the trade freeze was lifted. This time, it\’s the New York Islanders acquiring RW Jordan Eberle from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for C/RW Ryan Strome.
Eberle, 27, had a disappointing 2016-17 season, but still managed to score 51 points (20 goals and 31 assists) in 82 games. He\’s a five time 20 goal scorer, and a one time 30 goal scorer. The Oilers drafted him 22nd overall in 2008. He has 382 points (165 goals and 217 assists) in 507 career NHL games, all for Edmonton.
Strome, 23, has also had some disappointing seasons recently, scoring just 30 points (13 goals and 17 assists) in 69 games in 2016-17. The former 5th overall pick by the Islanders in 2011 has scored 126 points (45 goals and 81 assists) in his 258 game NHL career, all for the Isles.
This trade is pretty good for both teams. While Eberle is the better player, he has a cap hit of six million, according to capfriendly.com. Also, he has two more years left, so the Oilers free up some cap room for when centers Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are RFAs. Strome has one more year left of a two year, $5 million deal, so his cap hit is just an affordable $2.5 million. The Oilers are hoping a change of scenery helps him. The Islanders, after trading Mikhail Grabovski to Vegas on Wednesday, had $9 million in cap space. So, they had enough to acquire Eberle and his giant contract. Also, they needed another skilled winger to play alongside captain John Tavares, and Eberle, who played with Tavares in the juniors, works out. He has a rough history with new Isles assistant coach Kelly Buchberger, but that shouldn\’t be a huge problem.