Oilers Reportedly Interested in Capitals Forward Nic Dowd

Prior to the deadline, the Edmonton Oilers have not made any transactions; however, they will probably make more in the next week. The Oilers will need to search elsewhere for defenders if they want to strengthen their blue line, as Chris Tanev was just moved to the Dallas Stars and Ilya Lyubushkin to the Toronto Maple Leafs. With a number of elite defenders still available, like as Joel Edmundson, Zach Bogosian, and Noah Hanifin, the Oilers still possess the chance to complete a trade that will improve their defence depth. However, it appears that they have been closer to forwards lately and are looking to bolster their squad with additional scoring in order to make a postseason push.

One player with whom the Oilers have recently been linked is forward Nic Dowd of the Washington Capitals, whose name has surfaced in trade talks multiple times this season. Elliotte Friedman was the first to draw the connection between the two while appearing as a guest on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer. Jeff Marek of Sportsnet was the second person to do so. The Capitals are anticipated to be sellers at the trade deadline and will probably be monitoring the trade market for him this season, even though the asking price is still unknown. Dowd is the ideal addition for the Oilers if they’re trying to acquire a defensive forward to add to the depth in their starting lineup.

Anthony Mantha, another forward for the Capitals, was also linked to the Oilers. However, given the cost of his remaining contract and bringing him in, that acquisition appears to be less likely. With more time left on his deal, Dowd is a less expensive asset that might be a more compelling addition for the Oilers. When they acquired defenseman Mattias Ekholm for a sizable trade package in return last season, they made it apparent that they would be prepared to pay a premium for a guy who wasn’t just a rental. In any case, it appears that the Oilers have been monitoring the Dowd market.

Who Is Nic Dowd?

The Los Angeles Kings selected Huntsville, Alabama native Dowd, a 33-year-old right-shot forward, in the seventh round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Dowd’s success in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) came from his strong play with the Wenatchee Wild, where he finished 43 games with 16 goals and 33 assists for 49 points. The next season, he made the decision to join the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League (USHL), where he played 46 games and totaled 39 points with 16 goals and 23 assists. After that, Dowd transferred to the NCAA and played at St. Cloud State University for four seasons.

During those four seasons, Dowd averaged 0.79 points per game with 52 goals and 69 assists for 121 points through 154 games. At the conclusion of the 2013–14 season, he played seven games with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League (AHL) and recorded three assists to get his first taste of professional hockey. In the 2015–16 NHL season, he participated in five games but failed to record any points. However, he got a full-time position in the NHL the next season, therefore it was his only season in the AHL. Dowd has 23 goals and 69 assists for 92 points during 140 AHL games, or an average of 0.66 points per game.

In his first full campaign in the NHL, which was the 2016-17 season, Dowd scored six goals and added 16 assists for 22 points through 70 games. He quickly proved that while he may not put up insane offensive numbers, he showed he’s a strong defensive forward who could play in any scenario a team needs him to. He was traded to the Vancouver Canucks the following season, then joined the Capitals for the 2018-19 season, where he has been ever since. This season with the Capitals, Dowd has scored eight goals and added eight assists for 16 points through 45 games. Throughout his NHL career, he has played 481 games, scoring 66 goals and adding 77 assists for 143 points, which comes out to a 0.30 points-per-game average.

Dowd has established himself as an elite defensive-minded centreman who would be a welcomed addition to any contending team. The Oilers have struggled in their own end at times this season, so Dowd could help stabilize the defensive side of the game at clutch times and could become a new penalty-kill specialist on the Oilers.

The Oilers are back in action on Saturday (March 2) in a matchup against the Seattle Kraken, where they will be looking to build off their previous game, where they won 3-2 in overtime over the St. Louis Blues. Hopefully, the Oilers can make a move for Dowd before the trade deadline and still have the assets left over to make more moves and have an even stronger team heading into the postseason.

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