Leading up to the April 12 NHL trade deadline, we're looking at potential targets on the market and why they may or may not fit the Flyers' plans.
- Age: 28
- Height: 6-7
- Weight: 255
- Team: Dallas Stars
- 2020-21 cap hit: $2,137,500
Oleksiak has coveted goal-prevention ingredients with a 6-foot-7 frame, disruptive reach and an embracing of physicality. The lefty-shot defenseman covers ground, closes gaps and likes to drop the gloves when needed.
Oleksiak entered Tuesday with three goals, five assists and a plus-2 rating. He's playing a career-high 19:59 minutes per game, while ranking first on the Stars in hits (90) and second in blocked shots (48).
In Dallas' run to the Stanley Cup Final last season, Oleksiak had nine points (five goals, four assists), 40 shots, 65 blocked shots, 117 hits and a plus-11 rating over 27 games.
This checks a lot of boxes for the Flyers.
The Stars are in sixth place of a top-heavy Central Division and Oleksiak is a pending unrestricted free agent with a reasonable cap hit. He'd be a quality rental that might cost the Flyers a mid-to-early-round draft pick.
The Flyers came into Tuesday allowing the NHL's second-most goals per game at 3.54. It's an alarming figure for a team that permitted 2.77 per game in 2019-20 and surged down the regular-stretch with a tough-to-play-against makeup.
"We're letting guys just f---ing absolutely beat us up in front of the net," defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said two weeks ago.
Oleksiak's presence and ability would help cut down on that and the goals against.
The Flyers have underachieved and are teetering on the brink of a playoff contender. If this week isn't an utter flop, general manager Chuck Fletcher is expected to be proactive at the deadline, but he should be prudent, as well, with a big offseason and 2021-22 campaign ahead.
The Flyers wouldn't be jeopardizing the future by acquiring Oleksiak, who would be a low-risk, supplemental addition to give the 2020-21 club a better chance at making the postseason.
Fletcher and Stars general manager Jim Nill did business in June 2019 when the Flyers acquired Tyler Pitlick. You can bet they'll be in touch this week.
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