Veteran defenseman and long-time member of the Chicago Blackhawks, Duncan Keith, has been dealt to the Edmonton Oilers, per Elliotte Friedman. Defenseman Caleb Jones and a third-round selection will be heading back to Chicago in return.

At 37-years of age, Keith has two years remaining on his 13-year contract, carrying a cap hit of $5.5 million per season. Edmonton will add the two-time Norris Trophy winner to a blue line that has Darnell Nurse, Ethan Bear, Evan Bouchard, and Kris Russell under contract next season.

Tyson Barrie, who led all defensemen in the NHL in points last season, is a UFA awaiting a new contract. With the addition of Keith, the Oilers are now slated to have $11.5 million in cap space to re-sign Barrie along with numerous depth forwards. Despite underperforming in each of the last two seasons, Keith is still a great leader who understands what it takes to win in the postseason, something Edmonton desperately needs.

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Keith’s impact

The Oilers finished 12th in the NHL in goals allowed per game last season with 2.75, hoping that a fresh start for Keith can help boost this group into the top-10. Edmonton was swept out of the first round this past postseason by Winnipeg, getting outscored 14-8. Keith, who has slowed down significantly as his age rises, could thrive in a role that sees the 23:15 TOI he averaged last season with Chicago reduced.

With more of a mentorship role in Edmonton, players like a Barrie and Nurse could take another step towards being top NHL defensemen. At the same time, youngsters Bear and Bouchard certainly can benefit from his tutelage as well. Duncan Keith comes with his fair share of risks for Edmonton. But for a team that needs to learn how to win come playoff time, adding the veteran defenseman is a wise move.

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Featured Image via Kamil Krzaczynski/AP