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Oilers land Ekholm from Predators for Barrie, Schaefer, 1st-round pick

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The Nashville Predators traded defenseman Mattias Ekholm and a 2024 sixth-round pick to the Edmonton Oilers for blue-liner Tyson Barrie, forward prospect Reid Schaefer, a 2023 first-round pick, and a 2024 fourth-round pick, the teams announced.

The 6-foot-4 Ekholm recorded 18 points in 57 games this season for the Predators, where he's spent his entire 12-year career. He's posted excellent underlying defensive numbers.


Ekholm, 32, is signed through 2025-26 with a $6.25-million cap hit. The Predators are retaining 4% of Ekholm's contract, per TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

Barrie, an offensive defenseman, registered 43 points in 61 games with the Oilers this season while posting superb underlying offensive numbers. He's also done an excellent job quarterbacking Edmonton's first-ranked power play.


The 31-year-old is signed through 2023-24 with a $4.5-million cap hit, but his inclusion was necessary to make the deal work from a salary cap perspective.

Edmonton is the top offensive team in the league but middle-of-the-pack defensively, so this deal makes them more balanced. Darnell Nurse and Evan Bouchard are the most likely candidates to replace Barrie on the top power play.

Of the Oilers' top six defensemen, four are left-handed shots. So barring further moves, one may need to play on their off side. Here are some possible pairings:

Darnell Nurse Cody Ceci
Mattias Ekholm Brett Kulak (L)
Philip Broberg Evan Bouchard

Schaefer, meanwhile, is a 6-foot-3 winger who was selected 32nd overall by the Oilers in 2022. He's tallied 47 points in 44 games with the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds this season and was a member of Canada's gold-medal-winning world junior team.

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