It’s still unbelievable that the Nashville Predators went through with actually trading Mattias Ekholm, but now the focus shifts to the future and the newcomers.
Tyson Barrie is the primary part of the Ekholm trade package that also includes a first round pick in the 2023 draft and a fourth-round pick in 2024. They also added forward prospect Reid Schaefer, taken 32nd overall in 2022 by Edmonton and has spent a bulk of his time in the WHL.
As for Barrie, who is 31-years-old, he is hopefully going to provide a much-needed boost to the Nashville Predators power play that ranks 25th in the NHL. That’s after the previous season surging into the top-10 and having numerous players have career years.
Barrie Should Provide Scoring Pop for Nashville Predators Power Play
“I acknowledge that the Edmonton power play might be the best power play ever in the National Hockey League. I know they have some other names, but he’s a part of that. He’s always been a really good defenseman with a definite accent on being an offensive guy.”-David Poile on Tyson Barrie’s Skillset He Brings to Nashville
Barrie comes from an Edmonton Oilers system that feasts on the power play. He has 24 assists and four goals on the power play this season.
For comparison, the entire Nashville Predators team has just 34 power play goals.
This could end up very well being a trade that works out for both teams. The Oilers, much like the Tampa Bay Lightning trading for Tanner Jeannot, are in win now mode. They can’t waste anymore years of Connor McDavid not winning a Stanley Cup. So they sent a haul to Nashville in this seller’s market.
Barrie has 744 games in his NHL career and has been a consistent point producer as a defenseman, posting 40-plus points in seven of his last nine season and a career high of 59 points in 2018-19 as a member of the Colorado Avalanche.
In 35 career games against Nashville, Barrie has 18 points but also a minus-18 plus/minus and 14 PIM.
Now we’ll have to see where Barrie fits into the Nashville Predators defensive corps, but I would expect him on the second pairing with Alexandre Carrier so that Roman Josi and Ryan McDonagh can get paired back together.
Hard to Say Who Won This Trade, Both Teams Filled Needs
Barrie is absolutely coming in primarily for his offensive abilities that the Predators desperately need, as now former General Manager, but still consulting, David Poile has stated. He made it clear that the need was there for more offensive production outside of Josi from the defensemen.
Edmonton parting ways from Barrie comes off as a pretty big shocker. But in the end it comes down to two teams have very different needs. One needed a top-four defensive-minded defensemen in Ekholm, the other needed to add more picks and prospects while providing an offensive boost to their power play.
Barrie was originally drafted 64th overall in the third round of the 2009 draft, has 478 career NHL points and ranks 11th among active NHL defensemen in career points. Josi sits at No.8 with 596 and Brent Burns leads the way with 821.
The Nashville Predators have loaded up on future assets while also adding Barrie who can help right now. Barrie has one more year left on his current contract so he’s more than just a short-term rental. He’s a year younger than Ekholm and if things blend well, then he could stick around much longer past 2024.
Along with trading Jeannot and Ekholm, the Predators traded Nino Niederreiter to the Winnipeg Jets as well. This has paved the way for a new era of hockey for this organization as Barry Trotz takes over for the franchise’s only GM, David Poile.