We have a hockey trade today. Moments ago, the Edmonton Oilers sent defenseman Tom Gilbert to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for defender Nick Schultz. Let’s take a look at the fantasy hockey implications.
Tom Gilbert to the Minnesota Wild
Gilbert is the younger of the two defenders and therefore has the most upside. By that same token, Gilbert is also an offensive defender who eclipsed 10 goals and 40 points once, and in different seasons. He also produced 20-or-more assists in four consecutive seasons. The Wild are hoping that the Minneapolis, Minnesota, native will be at least that productive for the next two-plus seasons. He assuredly could use a change in scenery after regressing from his promising second and third seasons.
The 29-year-old figures to play in the top four and on the power play with his new club. He could slot directly into Schultz’s spot in the top four when he eventually returns from injury — Gilbert was held out of this weekend’s festivities and was not even travelling with the team. Nevertheless, look for Nate Prosser to play while Gilbert is hurt, and for either him or Justin Falk to be used as the spare defender if the current blue line remains in tact.
Moreover, expect Gilbert to get a bit more of an opportunity to produce, and a bit more offensive minutes when healthy.
Nick Schultz to the Edmonton Oilers
Before the Oilers acquired Schultz, Andy Sutton filled the role as a stay-at-home defender. Needless-to-say, the Oilers have a good veteran who they can now build around in that department.
Schultz, also 29, has seen time on the Wild’s second power play unit but won’t probably be put in that same situation out West. The Strasbourg, Saskatchewan native has never posted more than 20 points on the season and has only five goals over his last three seasons. From a fantasy hockey perspective, he won’t have any value unless your league counts blocked shots. However, with guys like Cam Barker and Corey Potter — right handed offensive defenders — Schultz gives the Oilers an element they did not previously have.
To conclude, Gilbert should give the Wild more offense while Schultz should give the Oilers more defense. It was a good hockey trade for both sides but neither should be heavily added commodities. If healthy, and productive, Gilbert could be worth a look.