After finding out the Oilers won the lottery last night, most experts suggested their were three reasonable options. Based on what we heard today, the Edmonton Oilers choice for direction in regard to the #1 overall pick is option 3.
I think most of us felt the Oilers would use their #1 overall pick in one of three ways:
- Keep the pick and select Nail Yakupov, generally regarded as the best player available.
- Trade the #1 overall pick for an established defender still in his entry level deal.
- Trade the #1 overall pick for another selection near the top and an NHL defenseman.
Steve Tambellini at the media conference: “People know the position we have and the depth of skill we have in our organizational chart. Managers know that if they present something that helps us in a lot of different ways, we have the ability to make a deal. That may not happen, but we have the ability to do it.”
Parsing Tambellese is never easy, but I think he plans to deal down to the 3-6 range and add an NHL defenseman. That means they’ll get their defender in the draft (Ryan Murray of Griffin Reinhart) and address immediate defensive needs with the other asset coming over.
So, they’re going to get two jacks for a king. My immediate reaction is that a trade with Montreal seems extremely possible, with Edmonton dealing #1 for #3 and an established NHL defender. Failing that, a trade with Toronto is possible–Brian Burke and Steve Tambellini know each other well and I’m sure Burke will be the most aggressive GM during the procuess.
My bet is that the Oilers have Ryan Murray and Luke Schenn on the roster by July 1st. I don’t know what else will be in the deal but based on the verbal we heard today Edmonton is open for business. I’d bet a fair amount of grain (read: beer) Brian Burke makes the first overall pick.