Report: Oilers linked to two free agent defensemen

Published August 10, 2021 at 12:38

According to a report from Edmonton Oilers insider Kurt Leavins of The Edmonton Journal, the team is expected to add at least one more veteran defenceman. In particular, Leavins points to free agents Slater Koekkoek and Jordie Benn as likely options.

From Leavin's most recent column for The Edmonton Journal:

5. Expect the Oilers will add at least 1 more veteran depth D-man between now and training camp. They're probably looking to spend Trevor van Riemsdyk money ($950k). Two primary names to keep an eye on are Slater Koekkoek and Jordie Benn. We should assume the Oilers and agent Rich Winter have already chatted about returning the 27-year old Koekkoek. He made $850k last year. 34-year old Jordie Benn could also be an option. Might his agent J.P. Barry be interested in doing the Oilers a favor after one of his other clients, Adam Larsson, suddenly departed Edmonton in the off-season? Benn made $2m last year. More on the Defence coming up

Last season, Koekkoek, 27, had one goal and two penalty minutes in 18 games for the Oilers. He also played in all four games of the team's first round playoff series loss to the Winnipeg Jets. With the Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks, and Tampa Bay Lightning, he has struggled to make an NHL impact. With a reasonable contract and limited minutes, he can help any NHL team.

Benn, 34, was acquired by the Jets from the Vancouver Canucks at the trade deadline and played in the same Oilers/Jets series as Koekkoek. Last season, Benn had one goal and ten points in 39 games with the Canucks and Jets. He's a stay-at-home, no-nonsense defenceman. He won't wow you with an end-to-end rush or be the powerplay's point man, but he can clear the front of the net and work well along the boards.
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