Oilers Ought to Contemplate Zach Hyman Over Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

TSN’s Darren Dreger stated one thing very attention-grabbing throughout his dialogue with the TSN panel of insiders on the newest DFO Rundown podcast. In speaking about what the Toronto Maple Leafs would possibly do heading into this 12 months’s NHL Commerce Deadline, he puzzled if the Leafs could be on the lookout for a participant with time period, planning forward for a state of affairs the place Zach Hyman exams free company and probably leaves the Leafs for a greater provide.

You could be asking, what does this should do with the Edmonton Oilers? Effectively, Dreger lobbed a grenade on the market for the panel to giggle at when he stated, “In the event you get that six, seven man, you’re by no means changing Zach Hyman if he decides that he’s going to the open market and he’s going to signal a smokin’ take care of the Edmonton Oilers.”

Whereas the remark was seemingly meant as haha second and to not be taken all that significantly, it makes you marvel a little bit.

What If Oilers Can’t Come to Phrases With Nugent-Hopkins?

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ contract scenario is one which has been entrance and heart in terms of future Oilers contracts. The crew and the participant’s agent have spoken, the newest information {that a} five-year contract extension was tabled by Edmonton and Nugent-Hopkins balked at it.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers (Picture by Andy Devlin/NHLI through Getty Pictures)

There’s no purpose the Oilers would commerce Nugent-Hopkins this season, even when a deal can’t be completed. The playoffs are too necessary. That stated, when the season ends, would the Oilers begin to have a look at different choices on the open market to exchange what may very well be a top-six left-winger leaving the crew, and one who’s an environment friendly two-way participant and penalty killer?

Maybe they might not have a lot option to try to substitute him if Nugent-Hopkins’ ask stays excessive.

In Many Methods, Hyman Makes Sense

Whereas he’s not a middle, Hyman has all of the instruments to be a top-six winger frequently within the NHL. He may very well be trying this summer season for a possibility to get elevated minutes and a hefty bump on his present $2.25 million wage. Some are suggesting he might get as a lot as $5 million per season on the open market.

He’s extra more likely to fetch simply over $4 million and for the Oilers anyplace between $4 and $5 million is a pleasant low cost over what Nugent-Hopkins is about to make. In any case, Edmonton saves near $2 million per season by selecting Hyman over Nugent-Hopkins. Furthermore, if Nuge is about to be a winger for the size of his subsequent deal — the Oilers have Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl as their one-two heart mixture — Holland doesn’t must signal one other top-six heart. He wants a top-six winger.

Edmonton can slot Hyman in as a winger, then search for a special third-line heart possibility with the cap financial savings.

At worst, the GM can use these financial savings and spend it on their backend, the place the crew could be dealing with a difficulty with the prices of conserving each Tyson Barrie and Adam Larsson, ought to they need to.

The Greatest Argument Was Having to Exchange Nugent-Hopkins If You Moved Him

Most followers in favor or re-signing Nugent-Hopkins argue that the Oilers will instantly be seeking to substitute him with an analogous participant. That could be very true, however Hyman checks a variety of packing containers in that regard.

Toronto Maple Leafs Zach Hyman
Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Zach Hyman (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)

Each gamers are roughly the identical age. Each are proficient penalty killers and two-way gamers. Each aren’t essentially generally known as aim scorers, however each have posted a number of 20-goal seasons and have the talent offensively to recurrently play on the crew’s energy play. The one actual challenge is that the Oilers know what Nugent-Hopkins is at this stage in his profession. Hyman is coming into his personal and whereas his ceiling could also be greater, that’s not clear as of proper now.

Whereas Nugent-Hopkins provides you heart depth, Hyman brings a extra aggressive fashion of play and nasty forechecking presence. The Oilers might definitely use extra of that. Hyman is probably a extra expert and heavier model of Kailer Yamamoto, seemingly supplying the McDavid line with a ahead who can do go the soiled areas to get him the puck.

Possibly There Are Too Many ‘What Ifs’

It’s not an ideal match, however it’s shut if issues with Nugent-Hopkins don’t pan out. And, for the Maple Leafs, who would like to preserve Hyman, the cash could be an excessive amount of. I’m not suggesting the Oilers plan for this. I’m not even suggesting it’s a probable state of affairs that may play itself out. I’m merely suggesting the Oilers have the dialogue if Hyman doesn’t re-sign immediately in Toronto.

If Nugent-Hopkins’ contract ask is just too excessive for the Oilers and Hyman’s contract ask is just too excessive for the Maple Leafs, you by no means know the place this might go. The Oilers have the means to make Hyman a pleasant provide and he’d give the crew an opportunity to do different issues. There are far worse methods to go.

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