Bear, 24, is coming off his second season as a full-time NHLer with the Oilers, which saw him get top-pair minutes alongside Darnell Nurse. Though the 2020-21 was quiet offensively for the rearguard, Bear posted strong numbers as a rookie -- five goals and 16 assists for 21 points through 71 contests.
Edmonton signed Bear to a two-year bridge deal in December, which carries a cap hit of $2 million. He'll be a restricted free agent following the 2021-22 campaign.
The addition of Foegele fills a big need for Edmonton, which has lacked depth scoring beyond its star-studded top line. In three seasons with the Hurricanes, Foegele has provided exactly that, bringing a strong two-way presence to the lineup while also earning a reputation as a strong killer of penalties. The 25-year-old put up his best numbers in 2019-20: 13 goals, 17 assists, 30 points in 68 games. The RFA is due a new deal, coming off a one-year pact that saw him earn $2.15 million in 2020-21.
The Oilers are undergoing a pretty significant transformation on their blue line, including the addition of veteran Duncan Keith and departure of his would-be second-pairing partner, Adam Larsson's departure to Seattle.
Carolina, too, is seeing some significant changes, predominantly in net and on defence. The departure of all three netminders as well as the increasingly likely outlook of a future without star UFA Dougie Hamilton has the contending club navigating a crucial off-season. The addition of Bear brings in another d-man with the potential to hone his game alongside some strong offensive defencemen in Carolina.
“Ethan is a young, right-shot defenceman with offensive upside,” Hurricanes GM Don Waddell said in the team's press release confirming the transaction. “We’re excited to add him to our team as he continues to grow as an NHL player.”