Off-Season Targets: Damon Severson

Off-Season Targets: Damon Severson

Oilers

Off-Season Targets: Damon Severson

Edmonton’s quest for a right-shot defender could once again take them to New Jersey for a trade. The Oilers, under Peter Chiarelli, have traded twice with the Devils, once for right-shot D Adam Larsson (Taylor Hall) and the other shipping Patrick Maroon to the land of Tony Soprano at the deadline.

When the Hall trade went down, I was hoping the Oilers would find a way to finagle Damon Severson out of the Devils. It didn’t happen then, but perhaps it could happen now. Edmonton is in need of a right-shot defender and Severson fills that hole. He’s also signed long-term and young enough to grow with the Connor McDavid cluster.

Why Is He Out There?:

The Devils acquired Sami Vatanen during the season and he took over as the team’s top-pairing option on the right-side. Severson was relegated to the second-pairing, playing with John Moore.

To be honest, there really isn’t a good reason why the Devils would move the 23-year old Severson. That said, New Jersey does need some forward depth and could use a left-shot defender to replace Moore in the top-four. Perhaps a hockey trade could jar Severson loose. Other than that, the Devils likely keep the player.

What Does He Do Well?:

Severson is young enough where he is still growing and developing as a player. That said, Severson has already started to show some offensive chops and possesses a strong shot. He’s a right-shot D who averaged just under 20 minutes a night in 2017-18 (19:41) and sawed off the opposition when it came to possession (49.4% Corsi For).

Severson posted 24 points this past season (9-15-24), which was slightly down from a career year in 2016-17, where he tallied 31 points (3-28-31) in 80 games.

At just 23, Severson has already established himself as a high-end depth defender who appears close to pushing for top-four minutes in the world’s best hockey league.

Here’s a look at Severson’s scouting report via The Hockey News:

Assets: Has NHL size and a booming shot from the point. Displays all-round ability from the back end. Can play a physical game and also be an asset on the power play.

Flaws: Needs to become more consistent in all facets of the game in order to maximize output in the NHL. Must also become better at defending his own zone.

Career Potential: Inconsistent but talented defenseman with some upside.

Where Will He Play/Where Should He Play?:

Severson, on a good team, likely plays on the third-pairing. In Edmonton, Severson is likely a second-pairing defender. Adam Larsson is a better player right now, but I do think Severson is better than Matt Benning at this stage.

I think a second-pairing role is a little high for this player right now, but he should absolutely grow into it as time goes along.

What Will He Cost?:

Severson has five more years left on a contract that counts $4,166,666 against the cap. It’s a pretty hefty contract for a third-pairing defender, but once again the expectation is that Severson will grow into a bigger role as time goes along.

In terms of trade cost, a one-for-one trade involving someone like Jesse Puljujarvi could be in the cards as the Devils look to add a little more firepower up front. I, personally, would not make that deal from Edmonton’s perspective.

Perhaps the tenth overall pick could be in play in a trade for Severson.

Closing Argument:

Damon Severson isn’t the sexy option that many Oiler fans want, and he’s overpaid right now, but he’s still an option that makes sense for the club. Severson is a young and developing offensive defender who should grow into the second-pairing RHD that the club is looking for.

I do think the contract, especially if he’s on the third-pairing, is a little much to handle right now. In terms of trade assets, Severson could also prove to be too expensive for Edmonton’s taste right now.

He’s a good player that could be a nice piece for a longtime, but I’m just not sure there is a match right now between Edmonton and New Jersey for Severson.

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