Last draft day, Craig MacTavish dealt down in order to pick up extra picks. It made sense based on the quality of the draft (it had sustain through the 90th pick), and it looks like they got good to great value. As an indicator, Red Line Report said in July 2013 “they landed their 5th prospect in our top 76, even though they had only two picks in the top 80.”
How did they do that? Let’s reconstruct the draft trades.
- First trade: Edmonton trades 37th overall (Valentin Zykov) to Los Angeles for 57th overall (William Carrier), 88th overall (Anton Slephyshev) and 96th overall (Kyle Platzer).
- Second trade: Oilers trade 57th overall (William Carrier) to St. Louis for 83rd overall (Bogdan Yakimov), 94th overall (Jackson Houck) and 113th overall (Aidain Muir).
Edmonton had the #7 pick (Darnell Nurse), #56 (Marco Roy—this was payment for Andrew Cogliano), #128 (Evan Campbell), #158 (Ben Betker) and #188 (Greg Chase). They had 7 picks, and ended up with 10. I’d say good arrows (Nurse, Yakimov, Houck, Betker, Chase) after year one can give us the general feeling things are going very well. That Roy selection is a concern because of injury, but the player himself was a house on fire when healthy (before the in-season injury) during the fall.
2014 PICKS (OILERS EDITION)
- #3 overall (first round)
- #91 overall (fourth round, this is the Bryzgalov return)
- #111 overall (fourth round, this is the Mike Brown return)
- #130 overall (fifth round, this is the first pick of the Ales Hemsky return)
- #137 overall (fifth round, this is the Nick Schultz return)
- #153 overall (sixth round)
- #183 overall (seventh round)
The Oilers couldn’t get another pick inside the top 100 during 2008, MacT already managed it with the Bryzgalov deal (and the Wild got their money’s worth for sure). Edmonton has 7 picks, but you’d have to believe the club would like to add a second and a third round selection. The depth in goal and on the wing suggests that one pick inside the top 90 won’t allow Edmonton to keep up with the Jones’s, so it’s probably a good bet they’ll make a deal.
I think it’s going to be Gagner. The contracts Edmonton gets offered will be bloated, and chances are Edmonton can do just as well in free agency with the cash. Oiler fans are down on 89, but he has value—consider Buffalo and their 150 goals, or Florida and whatever the hell they’re doing—and those teams have stockpiled draft picks. Would you be satisfied with Gagner going to the Islanders for 59 and 65?