Fantasy Take: Ennis moving to Edmonton
Ottawa was on an absolute tear trying to trade everything that wasn't nailed down for the second season in a row. This particular deal saw Tyler Ennis traded to Edmonton for a fifth-round pick next year. Following a few down/injured years in Buffalo, Minnesota, and Toronto, Ennis has rebounded nicely this year in Ottawa with 14 goals and 33 points playing fewer than 15 minutes a night. It's not even with a shooting percentage binge, either, as he's sitting at 10.1 percent, which is exactly his career average.
In Ennis, the Oilers get a winger who possesses a wealth of skill but has had a tough time translating that to consistent top-line minutes. The injuries obviously derailed him, but he showed this year playing down the lineup in Ottawa what he can bring: depth scoring and good PP production. It seems unlikely he gets to the top PP unit in Edmonton when everyone is healthy, but don't preclude it out of hand. It's been a rotating cast of guys like Alex Chiasson, James Neal, and Kailer Yamamoto as the fourth forward (McDavid, Draisaitl, RNH) on the top PP unit. It's not crazy to think somehow sneaks onto that unit at some point, especially given how he's performed on the top PP for Ottawa this year.
In all likelihood, this means Ennis to the third line with secondary minutes. It's possible he's moved to the top line with Connor McDavid but I think that's something that'll happen in spurts, rather than some sort of lasting position. As mentioned earlier, Ennis hasn't really been able to establish himself as capable of handling 18-19 minutes a night, at least not for a few years now. It seems thrusting him in that position night in and night out would be suboptimal.
If Ennis is on the third line and second PP unit for Edmonton, this could be a downgrade for him, fantasy-wise. If Ennis is on the top line and top PP unit, it's a huge boost. My bet is we see far more of the former scenario rather than the latter this season.
We’ve already seen Rudolfs Balcers be called up for Ottawa, and he's a guy who should see minutes in the NHL for the balance of the season, though with the talent that's left, I'm not sure it'll be worth much for fantasy. Jayce Hawryluk could see some more ice time as a result as well. This should lock both Drake Batherson and Anthony Duclair on the first power-play quintet for Ottawa as well.
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