Everyone wanted a firing, a trade, anything from the Edmonton Oilers after ANOTHER loss on Wednesday night, this time to the rival Vancouver Canucks by a score of 5-4. The Oilers did do something on Thursday, but it was a nothing move in the eyes of many people.
The Oilers traded AHL forward Will Acton and ECHL forward Mitch Holmberg to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for AHL forward Kellan Lain.
Lain has played in nine NHL games, registering one goal (against the Oilers) and one fight in his NHL career. Lain is 25 years old, and stands in at a hulking 6’6” and 210 pounds. In addition to that, Lain is a natural center who can also play left wing.
Kellan Lain isn’t a sexy name, he’s an AHL forward who at best will be a tweener in his pro career. He brings sizes, and plays a very physical style of hockey, which is a nice get for the Oilers. He doesn’t provide much offense at all, which could be an issue. He didn’t score well at the NCAA level, and hasn’t scored well at the AHL level since turning pro. He has one point in nine NHL games, which isn’t great, but a small sample size.
Lain is a solid defensive forward at the AHL level however, and seems to be another player in the mold of a guy like Boyd Gordon, Matt Hendricks and Jesse Joensuu, all defense and no offense.
From this stand point, he looks like a replacement for Steve Pinizzotto, who might have found himself a home in the NHL after a strong showing late last year, in the pre-season, and last night in his season debut.
As for the players lost, it really isn’t much. Will Acton is basically the same player as Kellan Lain, just older and with a little more offense. Acton was a whipping boy in Edmonton, unfairly, and is getting a needed clean slate. As for Mitch Holmberg, he has really struggled to adjust to the pro game at the ECHL level.
Today, Holmberg is a nothing loss, but down the road we will see. He can score, there is no debating that fact.
Overall, this is nothing more than an AHL depth deal between Edmonton and Vancouver. The Canucks get a low risk AHL contract who could be a scorer in Holmberg, and the sides exchange fringe players with little offense but a knack for defensive hockey.
Lain and Acton will report to the AHL affiliates of the teams, and both will be free agents after the season, with Acton being a UFA and Lain a RFA.