The Detroit Red Wings need to target Jamie Oleksiak in free agency.
I’m all about adding towering defenders in their 20s, especially if they seem to be finding their game. 28-year old defenseman Jamie Oleksiak is someone to keep an eye on this summer. The Toronto native is a bit of a late bloomer, but he certainly found his game in 2021.
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Dallas initially drafted the 6-foot-7 defender 14th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Level Draft. After playing sparingly in parts of six seasons with the Stars, the organization flipped him to Pittsburgh 2017-18. Oddly enough, the Penguins sent the defenseman back to Dallas a year later. Bizzare.
In the COVID-19 bubble en route to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance Oleksiak began to find his way. During the regular season, he played as a third-pairing defender averaging just over 15 minutes per night, but he had been relied on more than he had been in the past.
Oleksiak really stood out in the postseason, though, averaging nearly 22-minutes per night and recorded nine points in 27 playoff games in 2019-20.
This past season, Oleksiak continued to impress on the defensive side of things with the scuffling Stars. Perhaps a Stanley Cup hangover occurred in Dallas. The Stars also started the 2021 regular season very late as COVID-19 ran rampant through their locker room. The Stars finished fifth in the Central Division this past season with 60 points.
The 28-year old defender recorded six goals and 14 points this past season with the Stars, along with a reliable CF of 52.6%.
Oleksiak is an imposing figure playing at his size and about 255 pounds. He’s a left-handed shot that fits in nicely as a top-four defender. Just imagine Oleksiak paired with Moritz Seider and the amount of havoc the pair would be able to cause.