Oilers pick up veteran defenceman Kulikov from Devils

The Edmonton Oilers have added depth on the blue-line for the stretch run.

General manager Ken Holland acquired Dmitry Kulikov from New Jersey ahead of Monday’s 3 p.m. ET NHL trade deadline.

In return, the Devils receive a conditional fourth-round pick in this year’s draft that would become a third-rounder should Edmonton win a playoff round.

The 30-year-old native of Lipetsk, Russia collected two assists in 38 games while average 19 minutes 33 seconds of ice time with the Devils this season.

Kulikov, who signed a one-year deal worth $1.15 million US last October, could slide into a top-four position on the left side of Edmonton’s defence alongside Kris Russell and Caleb Jones.

The Oilers are the fifth NHL team for the six-foot-one, 205-pound Kulikov, whom the Florida Panthers drafted 14th overall in 2009.

He has 35 goals and 172 points in 715 NHL regular-season games. He has also appeared in 24 playoff contests, collecting seven points.

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Canucks move Gaudette to Windy City

The Vancouver Canucks struck a deal on a slow deadline day, shipping Adam Gaudette to Chicago for fellow forward Matthew Highmore.

A fifth-round pick by the Canucks in 2015, Gaudette had four goals and seven points in 33 games with Vancouver this season. In 153 NHL appearances, the 24-year-old from Braintree, Mass., has 21 goals and 52 points.

Gaudette tested positive for COVID-19 on March 30 — the first case in an outbreak that would eventually rip through the team. In all, 26 people — 22 players and four members of the coaching staff — have tested positive, with one additional player being deemed a close contact.

Gaudette was the first member of the Canucks removed for the league’s COVID protocol list Sunday, but teammate Jay Beagle was added. Vancouver — which currently sits sixth in the North Division, well back of the fourth and final playoff spot — hasn’t played since the outbreak.

Highmore, 25, had two assists in 24 games with Chicago this season. In 73 NHL outings, the undrafted Halifax product has four goals and 10 points.

Lightning get deeper on defence

The Tampa Bay Lightning have added some more defensive depth as they try to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

Tampa Bay acquired Frederik Claesson from the San Jose Sharks for goaltending prospect Magnus Chrona. Head coach Jon Cooper likes dressing seven defencemen a game, and the Lightning used nine in the 2020 playoffs on their Cup run.

The Lightning made their big splash Saturday when they got top-four, right-shooting defenceman David Savard from Columbus. Savard provides the muscle Zach Bogosian did last year before leaving for Toronto in free agency.

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