After another disappointing ending to their season, the Oilers are in motion. It is very clear the defense in Edmonton is an inexperienced group, but there is a lot of talent. Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom are superstars in the making, but the core is missing something. Veteran leadership can go a long way with a young team like the Edmonton Oilers. Someone who has been on their radar all summer is Blackhawks defenseman, Duncan Keith.
Duncan Keith has a very impressive resume for his career so far. He is a three-time Stanley Cup Champion with Chicago. He also has a Conn Smythe trophy to his name as the playoff MVP back in 2015. Keith is a Norris Trophy-winning defenseman as well and has racked up over 1000 games played. His leadership qualities can go a long way for a team like Edmonton. The Oilers have recognized that and have pulled the trigger to acquire the beloved Blackhawks defenseman.
Duncan Keith for Caleb Jones and a 3rd round pick.
— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) July 12, 2021
Why Fans Should Love The Trade
There are always some ups and downs to making a trade at any level in the NHL. Duncan Keith is an amazing shutdown defender, but he isn’t the same player he was when Chicago won three Stanley Cups in six seasons. While his age might be a factor, Keith can still play the game outstandingly.
While Keith may not be the best at putting the puck in the net, he is a master when it comes to dishing out assists. For a defenseman to have over 30 assists in a season should not be taken lightly. Duncan Keith is also pretty stable when it comes to injuries. He only missed two games this season and played in all 82 games in two of his last three seasons. He can provide a lot of knowledge to an inexperienced blueline in Edmonton and certainly provide an edge they have never seen before.
Great Mentor For the Young Forwards
While Duncan Keith will mainly be helping the defense, he is a valuable part of the growth of the whole team. This includes the forwards as well. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are two of the top five players in the league right now. Where they thrive in skills, they still seem to lack leadership when it comes to the playoffs. They have only won one playoff series together and have only made the playoffs three times since 2015.
In hockey, there is constant communication between the forwards and the defense. We have seen Duncan Keith not be afraid to say it as it is. He is not afraid to speak his mind when something goes wrong. That is what it takes to be a real leader in the NHL. Teams need to have that edge player to keep things in perspective. That is what Duncan Keith can bring to a very talented forward group for the Oilers.
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