Should the Flames Pursue Kyle Okposo?

A new name has been added to the rumour mills recently. The New York Islanders RW Kyle Okposo. If true, the Flames should be calling Garth Snow. 

The Islanders have two reasons to shop the 215 pound 27-year-old. First, the club has no picks in the top two rounds of entry draft this year. Secondly, Okposo is entering the final season of his current contract, after which he’ll likely demand a sizeable raise.

This second concern is significant because the Islanders are a budget team and entering a period where they will have to re-ink or replace Frans Nielsen, Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome, Josh Bailey, Anders Lee and Calvin De Haan.

Clearly, there’s a potential fit between the Flames and Islanders here. Okposo fills a desperate need for the Flames – a big, top-6 RWer under the age of 30. The Flames, in contrast, have four top-60 picks (and six top-90 picks) in this year’s draft, as well as a bevy of young prospects to offer the Isles.

Is Okposo Worth it?

There’s some fear that Okposo could be riding John Tavares coattails to above average scoring. Though he’s been in the league since 2009, Okposo only became a 60+ point player the last couple of seasons as a frequent line mate of Tavares’. 

And while Okposo has always been a positive relative possession player, he’s never really shown to be a true play driver. Evidence suggests that he helps on the offensive side of things, but his team tends to give up more shots and goals when he’s on the ice as well:

Okposo

This doesn’t mean he’s bad, just that he needs to be managed a bit more than a skilled two-way player. More o-zone draws and/or more ice time with a capable possession centre. On the plus side, his shot, goal and assist rates are all first liner quality: 

Okposo2

Okposo should certainly be on the Flames radar. He instantly adds depth on a very shallow right wing and is in the sweet spot age wise at 27. There’s danger in him potentially leaving for free agency a year from now, but then the Flames have a whole season to evaluate and re-sign him if desired. Otherwise they have another good trade deadline piece.

If Okposo is available, my guess is discussion begins at the Flames 15th overall pick and go up from there. 

What say you Flames fans? Would you trade for Kyle Okposo? If so, what would you be willing to offer in exchange?

  • everton fc

    Much depends on whether there is someone available at number 15 that we really like. I’d be open to trading our 1st round pick this year if we wait until we are on the clock and decide what is then available is less attractive then Okposo.

  • icedawg_42

    I would LOVE to have a guy like Okposo manning the RW. He checks a lot of the boxes in terms of what I would like the Flames to acquire this offseason. That being said, the fact that he’s got only one year left on a contract is a HUGE red flag for me.

    This is a guy who, with a good year, could be asking for a LOT next summer and I’m not sure the Flames will be able to compete. This isn’t to say that I wouldn’t be willing to pay him but this fact effects how much I’d be willing to offer up in a trade.

    For me this is still a team that really can’t afford to be giving up 1st round assets as I think of last year as a nice surprise and not necessarily the team ’rounding the corner.’ I think this team is a bubble team at best next year and with those kinds of odds I’m not giving up this or next years 1st rounders.

    My offer would be something like Granlund, and two of our 2nd rounders. I don’t know if that would even get it done but that’s the HIGHEST I would go.

  • T&A4Flames

    Acquire Okposo then you can flip Hudler to reacquire the assets. Okposo is younger and bigger. We can then concentrate our focus on resigning a younger player at the end of the season without concerning ourselves with whether there will be a decline to a 30 something winger, as good as Hudler has been.

  • T&A4Flames

    Here is what would try. If NYI are adamant on getting a 1st…trade down and get another asset. I really like Okposo, but the risk of 1year is not worth the #15 pick. ARZ holds #30. Moving up 15 spots could be huge for their rebuild. As for #30, their 2nd rounder (#33 i think) and Gormley or Connor Murphy. Then offer NY #30, #53 and a player like Jooris or maybe Granlund. If we resign Okposo, we can add a 3rd rnd in 2016/17.

  • Trevy

    Sorry, way too risky to gamble your 15th pick! The only reason I would part with that pick would be to move up, otherwise stay the course. If you want to try and pry a young potential forward/dman, I would use one or two second round picks and package that with a prospect or two you can live without. Just me playing armchair gm.

  • TheoForever

    I’m with the group that believes acceleration of the rebuild is a mistake at this point. Perhaps, because of all the regression nonsense, a lot of people would like to make sure we don’t take a step back. Also, having playoff games is nice. 🙂

    I believe, we shouldn’t add any forwards, especially when it comes to 3rd and 4th lines. We may need one top 6 player but this is not the time. We have some good prospects like Poirier that can eventually become top 6 as well.

    We should add to our blue line if the price is right.

    Also, I got no idea why Flames are looking for a goalie.

  • I don’t think he is worth a mid first in a deep draft. I think Chris Stewart is a good parallel. It is not like he is signed cheap for years.

    A couple 2nds and a decent prospect may get it done. Is that worth it on a rebuilding team? Not sure.

    Let someone else overpay. The Pens maybe a good fit.

  • Scary Gary

    I think some people are vastly underestimating Okposos value, look at what Glencross as a rental got us (second and a third).

    The Islanders should be looking at Hiller to work in tandem with Halak, that’s their need. I wouldn’t be giving up pick 15 though.

  • RKD

    A 27 year old RW with size and hands would definitely help the Flames out more than a guy like David Jones who is three years older and his best offensive days are probably behind him. Plus he missed 15 games last season with an injury. I would still take Okposo over guys like Mike Richards, Chris Stewart, Phil Kessel or Dion Phaneuf. If the Flames could part with someone who they don’t view as an everyday NHLer and add a 2nd round pick then it would be a good deal.

  • McMoneyhands

    No use chances are he doesn’t resign and if he does eats up a decent space on are cap right when we need it for are youngsters. I think he’d be a good pick up by all means but I don’t think it’s worth it as we are still rebuilding and won’t be cup contenders for the guaranteed year we have him. And I especially don’t like it if we’re giving up are first round pick that seems pointless to me