Red Wings Acquire Kailer Yamamoto & Klim Kostin From Oilers

The Hockey Writers

The Detroit Red Wings have added two forwards to their roster, acquiring Kailer Yamamoto and Klim Kostin from the Edmonton Oilers. In exchange, the Oilers are receiving future considerations.

The Oilers had been shopping Yamamato, so seeing him and his $3.1 million cap hit on the move is not too surprising. Kostin being traded, on the other hand, is a bit more of a surprise. Let’s dive into this move now.

Red Wings Improve Forward Depth By Adding Yamamoto & Kostin

When it was announced that the Oilers were shopping Yamamoto, the Red Wings seemed like a possible landing spot. After all, the 2017 first-round pick is still only 24 years old and has shown in the past that he can contribute like a top-six forward. Perhaps this fresh start with the Red Wings could be exactly what he needs to turn things back around next season. In 58 games played with the Oilers in 2022-23, the 5-foot-8 winger put up 10 goals and 25 points. During the postseason, he posted one goal, four points, and a rough minus-7 rating.

Kailer Yamamoto Edmonton Oilers Bench
Kailer Yamamoto of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates scoring a goal with his teammates on the bench in Game 6 of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs (Photo by Nicole Vasquez/NHLI via Getty Images)

Kostin, on the other hand, is another first-round pick and 24-year-old forward from the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. After struggling to cement himself as an everyday player with the St. Louis Blues, Kostin thrived with the Oilers in a bottom-six role. In 57 games played, he had 11 goals, 21 points, 157 hits, and a plus-12 rating. Overall, he displayed that he can provide decent secondary scoring in limited minutes, while also making a notable impact physically.

Yamamoto & Kostin’s Fits With the Red Wings

When observing Detroit’s current lineup, it is fair to assume that Yamamoto will get some reps in their top six. The right wing position is a bit of a wild card for Detroit. Furthermore, Yamamoto should receive plenty of power-play minutes because of his playmaking ability and strong offensive IQ.

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Kostin, on the other hand, should receive time on the club’s third line. He displayed this season that he can produce well in a bottom-six role, and he should be able to handle it with Detroit as well. He could see time on the club’s power play because of his solid net-front presence ability and should also be a candidate for penalty-kill time.

Related: 2023 NHL Offseason: List of Unrestricted Free Agents

Overall, the Red Wings’ middle six should receive a nice jolt by adding these two to it.

Oilers Gain Cap Space

It was a major necessity for the Oilers to move on from Yamamoto’s contract. That was the club’s biggest objective leading up to July 1, and now they have the freedom to make additions elsewhere. Reports have surfaced that they are seeking an affordable top-six forward and top-four defenseman, and trading Yamamoto could be exactly what allows them to add one of them.

As for Kostin, he is a restricted free agent (RFA) and is due for a bit of a raise due to his breakout season. Given the Oilers’ current cap situation, it would have been difficult to give him one. As a result, although losing Kostin certainly may sting, it is also an understandable decision by general manager (GM) Ken Holland.

Nevertheless, this is a move that should help both teams out as they gear up for the 2023-24 campaign. It will be interesting to see how these two perform with the Red Wings from here.

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