TRADE DEADLINE 2018 (A somewhat early look)

If you and I are sitting in a coffee bar discussing the Oilers and trades come up, the first player mentioned will be Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Sure as hell. RNH isn’t going to be a trade deadline deal, unless Edmonton endures a tragic season. So, what will Peter Chiarelli have to trade at the deadline? Let’s have a look.

  • The 2018 draft picks. NHL teams don’t like trading picks for 11.5 months a year, and then spend them like drunken sailors at the deadline. Edmonton’s 2018 draft picks are No. 22, No. 53, No. 84, No. 115, No. 146, No. 177, No. 208. The number will change, important to note Edmonton currently holds all seven of their own selections. I think each is in play.

  • LHD prospects. The Oilers are well covered at the NHL level at LHD, with Oscar Klefbom, Andrej Sekera and Darnell Nurse firmly entrenched at this time. I don’t think we’ll see any movement at this position until 2019 summer, when Sekera’s NMC begins to give way. So, the Oilers may have enough depth to deal from strength to address weakness. I’ll list Caleb Jones and Ziyat Paigin as possibles. I also wonder what happens re: Yohann Auvitu. If the man from France has a strong season, could you see the Oilers move Andrej Sekera next summer in an effort to keep Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? I believe it’s worth keeping in mind.

  • Young wingers who don’t succeed in a big way. I’ll tell you, these kids are going to separate quickly. That’s how I see it, anyway. Jesse Puljujarvi stands at the top of prospect mountain at this time, but another season of struggle may change the organization’s view about him. I’m serious. Kailer Yamamoto shouldn’t be in the picture for NHL activity until fall 2018, but the slight teenager from Spokane might end up eating Puljujarvi’s lunch. Skill, baby. Edmonton needs it on the wings. Anton Slepyshev is in a good spot but I’m not sure he’s going to be first man to home plate to take his hacks. If he can find a spot on Leon Draisaitl’s line (with Milan Lucic), we may see a 20-goal scorer. If the Oilers given Drake Caggiula a feature role, we may see Slepyshev dealt at the deadline (my guess is the Russian has more value than Caggiula among NHL teams who are interested in Edmonton’s winger collection). Jujhar Khaira is also in this category, on a lower level.

Photo by Rob Ferguson

  • Bogdan Yakimov is whatever comes after a distant bell, but Peter Chiarelli retained his rights this summer. Was there a reason? My theories include pissing off the player and agent, along with playing a hunch on interest from another team. He could be a deadline piece ala Teemu Hartikainen in 2014. I would still like to see him return, guys who can play center and are 6.05, 232 always get a third chance.

Photo by Mark Williams

  • AHL Odds and Sods. Deadlines are weird, players who don’t necessarily have massive value can be used to close minor deals. Also, failed first-round picks (Jani Rita for Dick Tarnstrom) have extra value. Among Condors who might have some deadline use, Joey Laleggia (in photo) and Dillon Simpson as players who might fit the bill.

San Antonio vs. OKC Barons, Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK. 11-30-13. Photo by Rob Ferguson.

  • Laurent Brossoit. We’ll know more at the deadline and Brossoit may grab the backup job and run with it, but it’s possible Peter Chiarelli upgrades the position at the deadline.

THE BALANCE PHOTO (IN PROGRESS)

This roster has far greater balance than it did on the day Peter Chiarelli got the keys to his rental car. It is not yet balanced, and the organization is planning on using the available at-bats (2R, 3R, 4L, extra forwards) on names like Jesse Puljujarvi, Anton Slepyshev, Drake Caggiula, Jujhar Khaira and Ty Rattie.

I’m hopeful that Jesse Puljujarvi and Anton Slepyshev can find their way as NHL regulars, less convinced both men will have enough offense to play feature roles. Drake Caggiula is in the same range and I think we can agree Jujhar Khaira is shy of the others offensively (but still has a role open to him).

I return again to Yamamoto. For me, there is clearer evidence of his offensive ability and there’s a real chance the latest first-round selection makes this team. I am stone alone here, but the offense Peter Chiarelli badly needs on RW may not live in the bats of the men projected to make the team in feature roles. The trade deadline may be the most active we’ve seen since 2006.

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35 Responses to "TRADE DEADLINE 2018 (A somewhat early look)"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    How do we reconcile:

    1) Being year after year contenders and, presumably, buyers at the deadline (picks/prospects out for soon to be UFA rentals)

    with

    2) The absolute need to have a steady stream of prospects to replace the secondary/tertiary players as they reach their mid-late 20s and price themselves out of our cap structure?

  2. Ben says:

    Balance ends > balance means

  3. Pink Socks says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    How do we reconcile:

    1) Being year after year contenders and, presumably, buyers at the deadline (picks/prospects out for soon to be UFA rentals)

    with

    2) The absolute need to have a steady stream of prospects to replace the secondary/tertiary players as they reach their mid-late 20s and price themselves out of our cap structure?

    1) Make damn sure the early picks connect every now and then (Guenztel), and continue to always be active in college procurement (Sheary). Pitt has connected on a few mid round home runs over the past few years, and looks like they may have done it again if Sprong comes along well.

    2) College free agents is a definite strength of PC

  4. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    How do we reconcile:

    1) Being year after year contenders and, presumably, buyers at the deadline (picks/prospects out for soon to be UFA rentals)

    with

    2) The absolute need to have a steady stream of prospects to replace the secondary/tertiary players as they reach their mid-late 20s and price themselves out of our cap structure?

    Sign college free agents, draft better after round one, pursue GOOD Euro free agents.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    So we trade our 1st rounder, year after year, and are hopeful we can replenish with NHL ready college free agents? I know we’ve done well with Drake, Ellis and, in particular, Benning (and even Joe G.) but I worry about trading our top picks year after year (I know it won’t be our first rounder every year but still).

    I guess it is what it is.

  6. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    So we trade our 1st rounder, year after year, and are hopeful we can replenish with NHL ready college free agents? I know we’ve done well with Drake, Ellis and, in particular, Benning (and even Joe G.) but I worry about trading our top picks year after year (I know it won’t be our first rounder every year but still).

    I guess it is what it is.

    Oilers don’t hve to trade all of their first round picks, but a No. 25 isn’t a lot different than a No. 45.

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: Oilers don’t hve to trade all of their first round picks, but a No. 25 isn’t a lot different than a No. 45.

    Absolutely, and I get that but the 1st rounder is the best bet to become an NHL player and provide the value contract we will need as incumbants price themselves out of the cap structure.

    We have Yamamoto and Benson as fairly good bets but then the Safin, Rasanen, Maksimov cluster are really all magic beans.

    I’m loathe to trade our 1st round pick at the 18 draft (no matter where it is) knowing our cap structure going forward.

  8. TO10801 says:

    Lowetide: Oilers don’t hve to trade all of their first round picks, but a No. 25 isn’t a lot different than a No. 45.

    Especially if you turn No. 25 into No. 31!

  9. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide,

    It sucks because 2018 looks like a draft where you really want to keep your first, and this will probably be the first year Edmonton sends a first round pick somewhere instead of using it since 2007 isn’t?

    Edit: oh yeah the reinhart trade oops.

  10. TheFinn60 says:

    I think Puljujarvi will have to fight like a crazy to keep a spot on the roster. The guy has talent but if he can’t adjust to a life on this side of the “pond” he will not succeed as you need to be “at a good place” in order to succeed.

    It’s one thing to have talent another to turn it into success. If he pick up the language and get a social life that works he will also find balance in his “hockey life”. I do not know the guy personally but I am a Fin and I know how hard it is for some of us to adjust and to me he comes across as a guy that isn’t shy so I hope it works out.

    Think Pulju is part of the reason to why Jokinen ended up in Edmonton, a part from he is a good player he will be “moral and social support” to the young Mr. P.

  11. Centre of attention says:

    Pretty much if they are going to be trading first and second round picks they need to get someone better than Griffin Reinhart.

    Calgary trades first and second round picks and gets players like Hamonic. Why can’t we have nice players like that? Another Patrick Maroon would be awesome.

    Who are the pending 2018 UFA’s? Can we start making lists or is it too soon?

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    The pending UFAs is actually quite the list

    https://www.capfriendly.com/browse/free-agents/2019/caphit/all/all/ufa

    Some of the highlights from teams that may be missing the playoffs:

    Sedin
    Sedin
    Mike Green
    Enstrom
    Kane (Evander)
    Neal
    Filpula
    Chara
    Backlund
    Gudbranson

  13. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    The pending UFAs is actually quite the list

    https://www.capfriendly.com/browse/free-agents/2019/caphit/all/all/ufa

    Some of the highlights from teams that may be missing the playoffs:

    Sedin
    Sedin
    Mike Green
    Enstrom
    Kane (Evander)
    Neal
    Filpula
    Chara
    Backlund
    Gudbranson

    I would trade fayne for green right now.

  14. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Honestly I wonder what it would take to get the sedins? I know they wouldn’t let a trade to the oilers happen, unless they knew they were going to resign in Vancouver in the offseason, but still.

  15. Lowetide says:

    stush18:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Honestly I wonder what it would take to get the sedins? I know they wouldn’t let a trade to the oilers happen, unless they knew they were going to resign in Vancouver in the offseason, but still.

    I love love LOVE the Sedins!

  16. DBO says:

    If the youth flounders on RW, I expect to see them deal a first or prospect like Jones plus a mid Rd pick to Vegas for James Neal.
    And if Sekera struggles in his return, or Benning slumps I expect them to deal for Mike Green.

    Those two added I think would result in the balance photo LT has teased for a decade. And really, that’s reason enough to make those trades.

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    From accounts, this would be a tough draft to have traded away our top picks – it might be what it might be – there is never a perfect transaction, is there?

  18. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Great Question. That is the very real challenge for most GM’s. Riddle me this: When has a team traded their 1st rounder at the Deadline for help AND it has helped them secure a trip to the finals? I do not thiink the stats back up trading a 1st at the deadline. Probably has worked at some point but more often than not, it doesnt seem to.

  19. jtblack says:

    IMO while McD cluster is young you keep drafting and procuring. Fast Forward when they are older and it is more “Win Right Now”; then you move out the picks cuase you dont have 2 -4 years to wait for them to develope into impact players.

  20. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Lowetide: Oilers don’t hve to trade all of their first round picks, but a No. 25 isn’t a lot different than a No. 45.

    Sure it is.

    Has a lot more cache.

  21. Richard S.S. says:

    1) I’m pretty sure Puljujarvi makes the Opening Day Roster for Game One. Otherwise why sign Jokinen? There were other options.
    2) Going forward, this is an “earn your way team”. If you can’t play the way they need you, you can’t stay as much as you think you should.
    3) Anyone going out brings back picks. Anyone tradable isn’t worth enough of a Cap hit to bring back something useful, that’s not on an expiring contract.
    4) Nuge can be traded anytime. The Oilers need to play two more season before Sekera and Russell are a wee bit tradable. You have to add another season before Lucic joins the group.

  22. VOR says:

    Lets try it this way. If you were trading 25 OV for 45 OV what would the other team have to give you to make that a fair deal, 45 OV and what?

    The answer by the way, is a lot less than you would think. True fair value in a mathematical sense would be pick 25 for pick 45 and pick 153.

    The difference is very slight indeed. It is mainly as Woodguy V 2.0 says the cache of being a first rounder.

  23. Pescador says:

    Lowetide: Sign college free agents, draft better after round one, pursue GOOD Euro free agents.

    To Add:
    Important to correctly identify AHL talent that is ready to make the NHL jump in other organizations.
    Especially when trading away important players that are no longer affordable.
    Borrowing from you Lowetide

  24. Pescador says:

    Centre of attention:
    Lowetide,

    It sucks because 2018 looks like a draft where you really want to keep your first, and this will probably be the first year Edmonton sends a first round pick somewhere instead of using it since 2007 isn’t?

    Edit: oh yeah the reinhart trade oops.

    I thought the trade deadline market has been veering more towards second round picks as the price for rentals?
    If the Oilers are in a position to add, the roster needs say veteran depth to me.
    That & pray for good health

  25. Richard S.S. says:

    Nuge will be traded after this season, of that I am very sure. A 2018 1st is coming back amongst other goodies or no deal, so I’m not worried if Peter Chiarelli trades a first to acquire want he needs.

  26. GBandQ says:

    Lowetide: If you and I are sitting in a coffee bar discussing the Oilers and…

    Uh, are you asking me out?

  27. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    How do we reconcile:

    1) Being year after year contenders and, presumably, buyers at the deadline (picks/prospects out for soon to be UFA rentals)

    with

    2) The absolute need to have a steady stream of prospects to replace the secondary/tertiary players as they reach their mid-late 20s and price themselves out of our cap structure?

    IMO this is the million dollar question, and I think the only reasonable answer is luck. Some extremely lucky drafting with our later picks.

    Sure, better scouting and player development can improve the chances of being lucky, but that’s what it’ll boil down to. We need to find a Zetterberg, a Datsyuk, or more realistically a Guentzel. Ie, players outside of the 2nd round who can be impact players down the road.

    The one thing I can’t fault Chiarelli on is his college signings. Since the odds of all 7 draft picks per year making the NHL are slim, those are also very important in keeping the revolving door spinning.

  28. Ice Sage says:

    Lowetide: I love love LOVE the Sedins!

    Can oil cut piss?

  29. Lowetide says:

    Ice Sage: Can oil cut piss?

    No but it can do a lot of damage!

  30. Lowetide says:

    GBandQ: Uh, are you asking me out?

    Well, it’s a little late. 🙂

  31. Lloyd B. says:

    Lowetide: I love love LOVE the Sedins!

    Tried this earlier so hopefully it is not a double post.

    I don’t usually play the what if game but WHAT IF??

    The Oilers acquire the Sedins and Tanev for RNH and the Oilers first in 2018 at the trade deadline. May need a sweetener from the Oilers but one of the guys on your list should suffice.

    Only caveat is that the Oilers get to talk to the Sedins about a contract extension. Say two years at Jokinen money.

    The Sedins have made their money and now they could cement their legacy with a cup or two.

    That would be a unicorn with rainbow farts !!

    And perhaps Sugar tits?

  32. kgo says:

    The Sedins are the polar opposite of chiarelli players….there’s no chance they end up here.

  33. Lloyd B. says:

    kgo:
    The Sedins are the polar opposite of chiarelli players….there’s no chance they end up here.

    For 2/3 of a third line on a value deal. We may have to agree to disagree.

  34. oscarmike says:

    Next season Oilers will have $60million in cap space, if the salary cap remains the same and minus BP buy-out Oilers will have $13.7 million available. This is where player management plays a big part. Since Leon is already making the big bucks he will remain on McDavids line. Nuge will remain 2nd C with Lucic and Sleppy as wingers. Strome will play 3rd C with Drake and JP. With Jussi and Kass on the 4th line with Letestu. Benning and Nurse will play as the 3rd pair. Oilers can bridge Nurse and Benning to 3 year contracts giving them both $2mil raises, which will align with Sekeras and Russels contracts expiring. At that time players like Bear and Jones will still be on their ELC. That will give the Oilers $9.5 million to resign Nurse,Benning and Larsson. Larsson takes a $3mil raise with Nurse and Benning taking another $2mill raise. That leaves $2.5million-$1.44millin on Bear and Jones ELC that leaves Oilers with about $1.million. The way Chiarelli modified the defence is absolute genius.
    Now for the forwards. Out of the $13.7 million Oilers are left with $9.7mil because $2 million went to Nurse and Benning each. Since Strome and Drake are playing on the 3rd line I predict they get between 30-40 points. Chiarelli can give these players a 3year contracts with $2 million raises. That leaves the Oilers with $4.7million with $1million going to a back up goalie. Obviously Oilers can’t resign Maroon who is actually a $2mil/year(ANA retain 500k), Letestu being 33 could possibly take a 1 year contract equal to or less than what he is making now with Jussi and Iiro contracts expiring. Since Juhjar is already signed he plays 4th C/LW, Drake moves up to 1st LW, JP moves up to 2nd line RW. Oilers have roughly $2 million left to bring up 2 prospects if JP hits his ELC bonuses. The year after that gets trickery because now Oilers still have to sign a starter and back up goalie as well as JP. Talbot will be 33, Talbot is a very late bloomer he will be to old for a big dollar big term contract. By then the salary cap is predicted to go up $6-7 million+Talbots and JP+ELCbonus contracts expiring give the Oilers $14 million to sign JP, a starter and backup goalie, and room for a few cheap UFA or prospects. If they’re up against the Cap in instead of trading Nuge they can either trade Kris Russell who will have a modified NTC, or buyout Sekera.
    Or something like that.

  35. Professor Q says:

    stush18:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Honestly I wonder what it would take to get the sedins? I know they wouldn’t let a trade to the oilers happen, unless they knew they were going to resign in Vancouver in the offseason, but still.

    This is a very interesting proposal. I like it.

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