The Dallas Stars are continuing to be active in the trade market by acquiring defenseman Jamie Oleksiak from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a 4th round draft pick. The trade was announced Monday afternoon.

Last December the Stars had traded Oleksiak to the Penguins in exchange for a conditional 4th round pick. That pick would be the higher of the Penguins and the Wilds 4th round pick.

Oleksiak played 83 games with the Penguins and registered 8 goals and 17 assists. In his 140 games with the Stars prior to the trade, he scored seven goals and 15 assists. After last season the Penguin signed Oleksiak to a three-year extension with a $2.14 million AAV.

Then comes Monday when Stars GM Jim Nill basically hit “ctrl+z” on the whole deal. Trading back the 4th round pick he had acquired for the same player he gave up. But the question I keep asking myself is, “Is Oleksiak the same player he was when he was dealt?”. The simple answer to that question is yes and no.

No, in the sense that he still plays the same style of game, but yes in the sense that his game has slightly improved in his time with the Penguins. The point production increased and he even gained some playoff experience, playing 12 games in the 2018 playoffs.

Making Sense of the Trade

This move was not one that Stars fans were expecting. The Stars are in need of another top-4 defenseman and while Oleksiak is under contract for another two seasons he is still not at that level.  

What I do like about the trade is that he secures another spot for the next two seasons. I am not that much of a fan of the price tag, but he can eat minutes and play on the 3rd pairing. Ideally, next seasons d-pairing could look like this:

Klingberg-Lindell

Heiskanen-Johns

Oleksiak-Polak

That is hoping that Stephen Johns will be back to full health come next season.

Another thing that I like about the trade is that Oleksiak brings back a physical element on the back end of the blueline. He is also familiar with most of the guys in the locker room.

It is too early to tell give this trade a grade. It will also depend on how he plays with the team under a new coach. Oleksiak will play his first game with Dallas this season Wednesday night against Buffalo. I will be keeping a close eye on him to see how he adjusts with Dallas. The Big Rig is back and who know, maybe we will get to see some more of this.


Cover photo credit: blackoutdallas.com
Chris Bugajsky covers the Dallas Stars for Full Press Coverage. Follow Chris on twitter @CBugajsky14.


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