At the media avail last week, Peter Chiarelli told the gathered throng he was open to trading the first-round pick (unless Edmonton wins a lottery). What’s the value of that pick? Why would Edmonton contemplate such a thing? I believe the answers are “bigly” and “if a potential impact forward isn’t there at No. 9 they’re trading down or out” at this time.
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- New Lowetide: Connor McDavid’s incredible season (will link)
- Lowetide: Rattie signed, more work to do on right-wing.
- Lowetide: Trio of Condors blue have very different rookie experiences.
- Black Dog Pat: Not firing Chiarelli a slap in the face to Oilers fans.
- Lowetide: Trading the first-round pick: Oilers ponder summer
- Lowetide: Oilers summer to-do list short and sweet.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Russia: A draft tragedy.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the Republic of Finland
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Sweden.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the QMJHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers draft history and the OHL
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the NCAA.
The 2018 Draft
The Oilers badly needed Jesse Puljujarvi to turn out immediately and that hasn’t happened. I think the club would be very interested in drafting a top-end forward if available at No. 9, but are likely less enthralled with a defensive option not named Rasmus Dahlin or Quinn Hughes. This is my opinion. Since we have 10 days before the lottery, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss options for the eight teams ahead of Edmonton, and then what might be left at No. 9. I’m going to focus on forwards through the piece and will use the latest ISS April list as my guide.
- Buffalo Sabres: LD Rasmus Dahlin, Frolunda (SHL). Buffalo could use a franchise player at any position, and the depth chart at LHD (based on 5×5 ice time: Marco Scandella, Jake McCabe, Nathan Beaulieu) could use the spark. I’m hoping Arizona wins the lottery but the choice at No. 1 will remain the same. If Buffalo falls out of top spot, look for a scoring winger to be high on the wish list (and there are a few available).
- Ottawa Senators: L Filip Zadina, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). Ottawa is open to make a trade but there’s some exceptional talent at the top of the draft. I believe the club will pass on the Russian (last player from that country chosen in the first round by Ottawa: Anton Volchenkov, 2000) and pick up the Czech. His NHLE is 33.5 and he could be a plug and play.
- Arizona Coyotes: R Andrei Svechnikov, Barrie Colts (OHL). He’s very likely the second best player in the draft and could be No. 1five years from now. Svechnikov is that rare player who has both elite skill and a complete skill set. It’s a rare item, Steve Shutt had it but you can go a long time without seeing it. I’m excited to see him in the NHL.
- Montreal Canadiens: RC Oliver Wahlstrom, U.S. N. D. P. (USHL). Has pretty much everything the Habs will be looking for, including skill and natural goal-scoring ability. The defensemen will be tempting, but if this elite talent solves the center problem in the next couple of years, Montreal will be thrilled with the selection.
- Detroit Red Wings: LD Quinn Hughes, Michigan (NCAA). This is a perfect fit for the Red Wings, who are going to need some astute drafting in the next few years. Fast as lightning, highly skilled and he plays in their back yard.
- Vancouver Canucks: L Brady Tkachuk, Boston University (NCAA). They had a chance at his brother, I don’t think Vancouver will pass on another Tkachuk. He’s a rugged player and may be able to step right into the Canucks rebuild.
- Chicago Blackhawks: RD Evan Bouchard, London Knights (OHL). The Blackhawks could go any number of ways but grabbing a fairly complete defenseman is a grand idea. The team is in a weird spot, this isn’t a rebuild, but the team is in rare air in terms of the draft and this may be their man at this spot.
- New York Rangers: RD Adam Boqvist, Brynas (SuperElite). Another skill pick from the defense, he appears to have his cannons as a prospect pointed toward the offensive end. Because of it, he could fall, but I don’t think he gets to Edmonton.
- Edmonton Oilers: LC Joe Veleno, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL). He’s a highly regarded two-way center and the offense (NHLE: 32.7) spiked in the second half of the year. Edmonton avoids the QMJHL (I wrote about it here) but if names like Quinn Hughes are gone I expect a trade or a forward. Note: I remain convinced Ty Smith will be the best player available at No. 9 overall.
My Top 100 is here and I’ll be talking to Simon Boisvert this morning on the Lowdown about what to do at No. 9 overall. I believe they’ll trade the pick.
WHAT CAN YOU GET FOR NO. 9 OVERALL?
The Oilers were in a conversation with the Vancouver Canucks as the 2013 draft approached. If I recall, the rumored deal was Edmonton’s first-round selection, a second rounder and quality prospect, in exchange for goaltender Cory Schneider. Craig MacTavish balked, and Van sent the goalie to NJD for the selection that turned into Bo Horvat. Here is a brief recent history of picks sent away in this area of the draft.
- Calgary traded their first-round pick in 2018 (now No. 12 overall), the Flames second-round pick in 2018 and a conditional second rounder in 2019 for D Travis Hamonic. This was a very specific trade and few thought the Flames would miss the playoffs. I don’t think we can gain much knowledge from this deal.
- Arizona dealt their first rounder in 2017 (No. 7 overall) and Anthony DeAngelo to NY Rangers for Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta. The Rangers were sending money away too, so there’s added value. Edmonton could possibly look at this deal as a template for immediate help but can’t take on cap so elements of this trade are problematic.
- Los Angeles Kings traded their first-round selection (No. 13) in 2015, plus Martin Jones and Colin Miller to Boston for Milan Lucic. Edmonton doesn’t have a lot in terms of prospects/young players to send away but this kind of package might be possible (and the pick is higher).
- Calgary traded their first-round pick (No. 15) in 2015 and two second round picks (No. 45 and No. 52) to Boston for Dougie Hamilton. I think this might be something Edmonton could work with. They have No. 9, No. 40 and No. 71 this year.
- Edmonton traded their first-round pick (No. 16) and second-round pick (No. 33) to NY Islanders for Griffin Reinhart. This is something Edmonton could do!
WHAT COULD THE OILERS GET FOR NO. 9 AND NO. 40?
The Calgary Flames don’t have their own first-round selection but Dougie Hamilton isn’t coming to Edmonton. The St. Louis Blues are also without their own first rounder, would they ever consider trading Colton Parayko (in a bigger deal)? They traded Bob Hess, so anything is possible. My greatest fear? Oilers trade for Brent Burns.
National Hockey League will release the NHL Central Scouting Bureau’s final rankings for the 2018 NHL Draft on Monday, April 16, at 11 a.m. ET.
— HockeyProspect.com (@ScoutingService) April 13, 2018
Central is a guide, the final ranking doesn’t mean as much as Bob McKenzie’s list. However, the final list will offer us clues about spiking Euros and fading North Americans. Things to look for:
- Joe Veleno moving up from No. 13 North American.
- Ty Dellandrea moving up from No. 76 North American.
- Liam Foudy moving up from No. 91 North American.
- Aidan Dudas moving up from No. 131 North American.
- Dominik Bokk moving up from No. 8 European.
- Samuel Fagemo moving up from No. 40 European.
It sounds like the priorities are a righty blue and a substantial backup goalie. I think they’ll also look to add a winger or two. The Oilers will have $3-5 million in cap room for one major addition, likely a puck mover. The goalie should cost them $1-1.5 million. Wingers? I think that may involve trades. Who is leaving? That is the question.
Ryan Strome is vulnerable, although management may have seen enough to return him. It may come down to the contract. Jonathan Willis has mentioned Zack Kassian a few times, he’s expensive for a fourth-line winger. I believe Jesse Puljujarvi is vulnerable to a trade but my guess is the big man is back here in the fall. We don’t think of him as an expensive cap investment, but the $2.5 million in possible bonuses must be accounted for opening night. It’s also possible one of the men who own an NMC (Lucic, Sekera, Russell, Talbot) waives and is dealt.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning after an incredible sports weekend. It begins at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Pierre Lebrun, TSN and The Athletic. Opening playoff series coming into view, panic in Toronto, worry in Winnipeg and a party in Vegas.
- Simon Boisvert, Prospect Insider. We’re going to discuss what happens at No. 9 overall, the wisdom of trading out or down, and the best player available in that area.
- Jason Gregor, TSN1260. After all the press conferences, it sounds like Edmonton is going to add a puck mover and a goalie. Anything else?
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!