The Edmonton Oilers acquired winger Andreas Athanasiou and minor-leaguer Ryan Kuffner from the Detroit Red Wings for centre Sam Gagner and two second-round draft picks ahead of Monday’s NHL trade deadline.
The 25-year-old Athanasiou has 10 goals and 24 points in 46 games to go along with a league-worst minus-45 rating this season.
The move reunites Athanasiou with Oilers general manager Ken Holland, who drafted the Woodbridge, Ont., native 110th overall in 2012 when he was GM in Detroit.
Edmonton, which also acquired defenceman Mike Green from the Red Wings earlier Monday, then shipped a fifth-round pick in 2021 to the Ottawa Senators for winger Tyler Ennis. Later, the Oilers sent defenceman Joel Persson to Anaheim for goaltender Angus Redmond and a conditional 2022 seventh-round pick.
Set to become a restricted free agent July 1, Athanasiou has 83 goals and 154 points in 294 career NHL games.
The speedster added one goal in five playoff contests, and could find himself parachuted onto a line with Oilers captain Connor McDavid in Edmonton.
“He’s got great speed, he’s got high-end skill,” Holland said of Athanasiou when speaking with reporters in Anaheim, Calif. “He’s a talented player ... we’re hoping that his best years are ahead of him.”
The picks heading to Detroit in that deal are for the 2020 and 2021 drafts.
The Oilers will retain 10 per cent of Gagner’s US$3.15-million salary. The 30-year-old can become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Ennis, who’s also set to become a UFA on July 1, had 14 goals and 33 points in 61 games with Ottawa this season. The 30-year-old from Edmonton has registered 131 goals and 309 points in 604 career NHL games. The 26th overall pick by the Buffalo Sabres in 2008 also has three goals and 10 points in 19 playoff games.
The trade between Edmonton and Detroit for Athanasiou was the second between the clubs in less than 12 hours ahead of Monday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline after the Oilers acquired the 34-year-old Green for forward Kyle Brodziak a conditional fourth-round pick in 2020.
Edmonton (33-22-7) currently sits second in the Pacific Division with 73 points, three back of the Vegas Golden Knights for first, but also just three points up on the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Detroit (15-45-4), which is in full rebuild mode, became the first team to be eliminated from playoff contention before the trade deadline since the 2003-04 Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.
Gagner had five goals and 12 points in 36 games with the Oilers this season.
Kuffner, 23, has zero points in 10 career NHL appearances.
Persson had two assists 13 games for the Oilers this season and three goals and 13 assists in 26 games for Bakersfield of the American Hockey League.
Redmond had a 13-0-0 record in 15 appearances with the ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers.