The excitement of the draft lottery has passed, and now we can discuss the offseason with all of the pieces in place. The drop (by two spots) will have a major impact on Peter Chiarelli’s discussions, because the draft pick has less value.
- Peter Chiarelli: “What’s exciting with the second tier is that there’s a lot of defencemen and there’s a lot of good-sized forwards. Those are two needs we’re looking at so we’re going to look a little more closely. If we keep the pick or we move it and get another pick, there’s still a lot of those good players that are big or are defenders.” Source
We know the list of forwards and defense well—F’s Dubois, Tkachuk, possibly Logan Brown—and D’s Olli Juolevi, Mikhail Sergachev and Jakob Chychrun. I think the Oilers would lean toward Dubois and Juolevi from each list, but that is just a guess. I would also guess that if Edmonton does in fact stay at No. 4, they will take a forward. Trading back? Probably a defender.
As the sun rises on another beautiful day in the capital, some verbal has the pick in play.
- Peter Chiarelli: “As a manager, you have to be available to anything that comes forward with regard to improving your team. You could take a position not to move a pick and just call it a day, but I want to improve this team and we’ve drafted a lot of players in our group right now and I think it’s an opportunity to look at a lot of different options with players that are already NHL players. I’ll certainly look at those options.” Source
Toronto, Wpg, CBJ very unlikely to consider trading their top 3 draft picks. Edmonton's pick, 4th overall is definitely in play.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 1, 2016
Let’s have a team-by-team look at trading down and some of the names that could be in play (including selected playoff teams):
— Kyle Balzer (@KyleBalzer) May 1, 2016
- No. 5 Vancouver Canucks: RD Chris Tanev is a very good blue, but the difference in one spot is not enough to make this work—and the Canucks can’t afford to be dealing their top D.
- No. 6 Calgary Flames: RD Dougie Hamilton is no doubt a target, but the Flames can probably grab Logan Brown or Matt Tkachuk—or possibly Pierre-Luc Dubois—at No. 6. Plus, and this is going to be a growing trend, there is every chance Clayton Keller slips into the conversation around the time Vancouver and Calgary pick. I don’t see an obvious trade here, either.
- No. 7 Arizona Coyotes: I like Michael Stone, but the Coyotes obvious link to a high pick is now a lock to begin his NHL career in Toronto (it will be tough to keep him there, as the Coyotes will be going hard after him as soon as any OS window opens. I am writing that for two reasons: to show how silly it is, and to point out how silly it was for Leafs Nation to be doing exactly that thing one year ago. Let’s all place nice, shall we?). No fit here.
- No. 8 Buffalo Sabres: I could see Tim Murray and his specs being interested in climbing up to No. 4 overall, but the perfect fit (Rasmus Ristolainen) isn’t going anywhere and Mark Pysyk isn’t enough (imo) to move down. A slight crack for negotiation, but Pysyk isn’t established enough to warrant this kind of investment (trading down for No. 8 and Pysyk, with No. 4 going to Buffalo). The first truly interesting conversation, though.
Extremely confident the Oilers will trade down. Why pick the 4 hole & get a D-their need- when they get the same D at 8-9-10. Habs suitors?
— BrianWilde (@BWildeCTV) May 1, 2016
- No. 9 Montreal Canadiens. Now things get interesting. If the Habs have truly lost their minds, then P.K. Subban could be in play. This is the point where you begin to hate me. Look, I value these young No. 1 overalls a lot and have been especially vocal in my support of RNH over the years. That said, if Subban is in fact available, Nuge, the No. 4 overall, Darnell Nurse and Benoit Pouliot for Subban, No. 9 overall and Lars Eller might make sense. The money is not quite even, Edmonton takes on about $1.5 million. Too rich? Are you sure? Either way, I do not see a trade for Subban that doesn’t involve Taylor Hall, and Habs fans keep chanting Nathan Beaulieu and that isn’t going to get it done.
- No. 10 Colorado Avalanche. Possibly the most attractive team, because the management is certifiably addled based on previous decisions. RD Tyson Barrie might be the prize among all available puck movers, and trading down six spots as part of the price (NO idea what Roy would want, and there is no real sense in identifying the team’s obvious weaknesses. Colorado could trade anything for anything, they are in real danger im0).
- No. 11 New Jersey Devils. Did you see the look on Ray Shero’s face when the Devils didn’t move up? Really, NHL management people, between Brian Burke not understanding that luck is random (good thing they called it luck!) and Shero’s inability to decipher the really obvious, I am beginning to wonder about these people. Some nice things here (Damon Severson, David Schlemko) but not enough to move the needle—and Adam Larsson is staying put I would guess.
- No. 12 Ottawa Senators. If they are willing to deal Erik Karlsson, then the Subban template should be used for dealing with the Sens. I refuse to believe Ottawa (or Montreal) are that crazy.
- No. 13 Carolina Hurricanes. A very nice fit here, as Justin Faulk would be a terrific add for Edmonton—and the gap from 13 to 4 is substantial, so this would be a bigger portion of the deal. Interesting idea, worth further consideration.
- No. 14 Boston Bruins. Hurts me to say it, but the Bruins don’t have a defenseman who is both young enough to be a target and good enough to be considered. That is not good. Boston does have the SJS first-round pick, but I do not see the value in dealing No. 4 for No. 14 and what could be No. 30.
- Anaheim Ducks: I am going to mention a few playoff teams. If the Ducks are looking to deal one of their RFA blur (Lindholm, Vatanen) perhaps trading WAY up in round one has appeal. Lots of Ducks types in that top area.
- New York Islanders: Garth Snow wants value for Travis Hamonic, dealing way up to No. 4 overall might help get this long rumored deal done. NYI have only five picks—with just one in the first three rounds—so a trade involving multiple picks is also possible.
For me, these are the really strong options:
- Colorado Avalanche. Chiarelli has to make a call for sure, and as I said above the ask could be any number of things. Complete wild card.
- Montreal Canadiens. If they are entertaining trading P.K. Subban, Peter Chiarelli has to be in on it. The pick would be part of it, but this would be an earthquake deal.
- Anaheim Ducks. A trade built around Vatanen and Anaheim’s first for No. 4 and something of value has appeal, and would given Anaheim another quality player coming up through the ranks.
- Carolina Hurricanes: Justin Faulk is a fascinating solution. Depends on price of course.
- NY Islanders. Important not to overvalue the pick, but trading up for a Hamonic has to involve Edmonton at least getting the Islanders first-round pick back. Hamonic does not have a high skill set, that is what you are giving up at No. 4 overall.
At 9, could be so many different guys: Jost Keller Brown McLeod. My feeling is blockbuster trade to move up to 4. Stars could be aligned.
— BrianWilde (@BWildeCTV) May 1, 2016
We should not assume anything, Edmonton has to decide on their own list and the player at No. 4 may just be too good to trade away.
- Peter Chiarelli: “We have our meetings starting Monday, our amateur meetings. Then we have our combines at the end of May, beginning of June so those are the next two things. There’s still some viewings left in the chase for the Memorial Cup. There’s still some top players playing.” Source
I published my top 100 yesterday, and my list is based heavily on math. Hajek was No. 100, Sean Day is not on the list, lots of discrepancies in my list if you are comparing it to a more traditional list. If you want to know what the Oilers are thinking, the Craig Button list (final one not out yet) is likely a better plan. As a for instance, here is Edmonton’s final draft board from last season compared to Button’s final list:
- No. 1 Connor McDavid (Button: No. 1)
- No. 117 Caleb Jones (Button: No. 81)
- No. 124 Ethan Bear (Button: No. 77)
- No. 154 John Marino (Button: Not ranked)
- No. 208 Miroslav Svoboda (Button: Not ranked)
- No. 209 Ziyat Paigin (Button: No. 86)
— Skillocity (@Skillocity) May 1, 2016
When Button goes Dubois—Brown—Tkachuk—Juolevi in and around where Edmonton picks, I think we should pay attention to it. At least some of the time, his views align with what Oilers’ brass is thinking. If I had to guess today what Edmonton’s board would look like tomorrow morning, it would be this:
- C Auston Matthews, Zurich Lions (Swiss-A).
- W Patrik Laine, Tappara (Sm-Liiga).
- R Jesse Puljujarvi, Karpat (Sm-Liiga).
- C Pierre-Luc Dubois, Cape Breton (QMJHL).
- LD Olli Juolevi, London Knights (OHL).
- L Matthew Tkachuk, London Knights (OHL).
- C Logan Brown, Windsor Spitfires (OHL).
- LD Mikhail Sergachev, Windsor Spitfires (OHL).
- LD Jacob Chychrun, Sarnia Sting (OHL).
- L Tyson Jost, Penticton Vees (BCJHL).
That is my guess. Edmonton probably likes the top seven players on this list in a big way. I don’t have a fabulous feel for the defense, but unless they like someone like Jake Bean or Dante Fabbro more than the numbers suggest, I am pretty content with this list. I won’t quote the article (Matty deserves the clicks and it is very weird to see his name on an Edmonton Sun article) but Chiarelli talks about Tkachuk and Dubois here, plus a connection between Logan Brown and the Oilers. Edmonton will have plenty of inside information on Brown for the draft. I am pleased to see them looking OHL, that is the play here.
More to come.