After a long, l-o-n-g wait during an agonizingly slow second and third round, the tumblers began falling in place for the Edmonton Oilers at the 2020 Draft. First the club announced the return of Jesse Puljujarvi to the fold, signing a two-year contract. That had been telegraphed for a while, but the two-year term was a surprise. J.P. brings a tantalizing mix of skill and size in a now 22-year-old package who is poised to help the club in the coming season.
The rest of the Draft was spent with eyes firmly on the more distant future, as the Oilers added forward after forward to a a somewhat-depleted prospect group of attackers. After first drafting three Canadians, the club looked further afield to snag a Russian and two Swedes in the late going. Three of the six draftees are slated to play in NCAA in 2020-21.
The Oilers had previously traded out their second and fourth round picks (#45 and #107) to Detroit Red Wings at the deadline for veterans Andreas Athanasiou and Mike Green, neither of whom clicked in Edmonton. Ken Holland addressed those gaps somewhat with a trade-down of the team’s third-round pick for two later ones, both of which were converted into excellent bets on small, skilled forwards. Either would have fully justified the #76 pick that was initially traded; instead, the Oilers managed to parlay that one pick into two promising youngsters.
NHL postpones Winter Classic, All-Star Weekend for upcoming season – Sportsnet.ca
The NHL has postponed the 2021 NHL Winter Classic and the 2021 NHL All-Star Weekend.
The Winter Classic was set to feature the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues at Minnesota’s Target Field on Jan. 1, 2021, while the Florida Panthers were set to host the 2021 All-Star Weekend at BB&T Center.
The postponements come “due to the ongoing uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus,” the league said via a statement, adding that it intends to return to Minnesota and Florida for these events in the future.
“Fan participation, both in arenas and stadiums as well as in the ancillary venues and events that we stage around the Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend, is integral to the success of our signature events,” NHL senior executive vice president and chief content officer Steve Mayer said via a release.
“Because of the uncertainty as to when we will be able to welcome our fans back to our games, we felt that the prudent decision at this time was to postpone these celebrations until 2022 when our fans should be able to enjoy and celebrate these tentpole events in-person, as they were always intended.
“We are also considering several new and creative events that will allow our fans to engage with our games and teams during this upcoming season.”
The league’s release added that the postponement announcement does not affect the NHL and NHLPA’s previously stated goal of starting the next NHL season on or around Jan. 1, 2021.
Vikings trade Yannick Ngakoue to Ravens for multiple picks
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings traded defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens for draft picks on Thursday, less than two months after acquiring the fifth-year pass rusher in a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Ngakoue is tied for fourth in the NFL with five sacks in six games, including two forced fumbles, but the Vikings entered their bye week with a 1-5 record and thus more incentive to focus on the future than stay competitive in 2020.
“This was an opportunity that I felt would accomplish both the short and long term as we move forward, but these decisions aren’t easy to make,” Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said.
With Everson Griffen gone via free agency and Danielle Hunter injured since the beginning of training camp with a potentially season-ending neck injury, the Vikings on Aug. 31 sent a second-round draft pick in 2021 and a conditional fifth-round selection in 2022 for Ngakoue. He wanted to leave the Jaguars after accumulating 37 1/2 sacks in four years and called his arrival in Minnesota “a breath of fresh air.”
The Vikings have Ifeadi Odenigbo in place at defensive end, and fourth-round draft pick D.J. Wonnum will now be in line to start at the other spot.
“What you envision sometimes unfortunately doesn’t always come true,” Spielman said.
Minutes after Spielman’s previously scheduled video news conference with reporters, NFL Network reported Hunter has decided to have surgery. The Vikings were initially hoping he’d be able to return with rest and rehabilitation, and Spielman said acquiring Ngakoue was not related to Hunter’s injury. Since then, outside linebacker Anthony Barr was also lost for the season with a torn pectoral muscle suffered on Sept. 20.
“You try to readjust with some of the top playmakers you don’t have, especially on the defensive side. That’s what the coaches are doing right now,” Spielman said.
With the trade deadline approaching on Nov. 3, the Vikings could try to trade some other high-priced veterans, with perhaps safety Anthony Harris, left tackle Riley Reiff or tight end Kyle Rudolph enticing another team to part with a draft pick or two. Spielman steadfastly refused to commit to a full-on rebuild.
“Our goal every week is to go out there and win football games. You have to balance out both. I still think we have a very talented team,” Spielman said.
The Vikings didn’t disclose specifics of the acquired draft selections. ESPN reported the Ravens will send a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-round pick.
Both teams are on their bye week.
The Ravens (5-1) could use Ngakoue to enhance a pass rush that has been productive of late but could use the help. Despite getting seven sacks against Cincinnati two weeks ago, five of those came from defensive backs. Defensive end Calais Campbell was acquired via trade, also from Jacksonville, during the last off-season. He had three of Baltimore’s six sacks last week in a 30-28 win at Philadelphia, but Ngakoue ought to minimize the need to send extra rushers and allow the Ravens to generate more pressure from their front four, just as the Vikings were intending.
“A quarterback can’t throw the ball if he’s on his back. So, if you can’t get there with four, you send five. If you can’t get there with five, send six. That’s the way it goes,” pass defenceco-ordinator Chris Hewitt said.
The Ravens are fourth in the league in sacks per pass attempt.
“We are excited to add Yannick Ngakoue to our football team,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said. “Yannick is someone who we are very familiar with going back to the draft process years ago. He is an exciting player and a dangerous pass rusher who makes us better. Yannick grew up here. He’s the type of person we welcome in our building. Finally, we are not finished building this team, as we continue to chase our ultimate goals.”
Source: – Sportsnet.ca
Report: Ravens acquire DE Ngakoue – TSN
Yannick Ngakoue is on the move again.
The Minnesota Vikings have traded the defensive end to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2022.
Vikings and Ravens finalizing a trade to send DE Yannick Ngakoue to Baltimore for a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-round pick, sources tell ESPN.
Vikings initially sent 2021 second-round pick and 2022 conditional fifth-round pick to Jags. Now get most back.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 22, 2020
Through six games this season, Ngakoue has recorded 12 tackles, 5.0 sacks and two forced fumbles.
In his fifth year out of Maryland, Ngakoue was acquired by the Vikings from the Jacksonville Jaguars – with whom he spent the first four seasons of his career – at the end of August.
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