Earlier on this week, I asked the following question.
If you could acquire help at one position this offseason, which one would it be?— Jeff Chapman (@NewWaveOil) June 10, 2013
An overwhelming majority of the responses were to bulk up the blue. A fair minority of the votes wanted help down the middle, and that's not a bad idea either if Horcoff is on the outs.
What if this team can get one of both at the draft?
"There are six or seven elite prospects available, depending on how you view Sean Monahan."
"The tiers, in terms of where I see a drop off in prospect value, is after the top three of Drouin, MacKinnon, and Jones, and after Nichushkin and Barkov at five—though Nichushkin can arguably be slotted into either of those tiers. Lindholm is also on a tier by himself, tightly grouped between the other two. There is also a dropoff after Zadorov at 16, and after that a steady marginal decline in prospect value begins until the end of the draft rankings."
Although almost nothing is 100% certain, it's more than worth noting what Pronman has to say about this year's draft.
-Six or seven "elite" prospects available, depending on how you view Sean Monahan.
- Drop off after 3
- after 5
- Lindholm is on a tier by himself (at 6).
-Then, there's a drop off after 16.
If the value of prospects is somewhat similar between 7 and 16, I'm interested in dealing down the draft.
What for, you ask?
I think Buffalo is an especially good trade partner right now, due to what I'll call 'roster volatility'. A little over two years ago when new owner Terry Pegula came in and said they were going to win the Stanley Cup, expectations were high. It hasn't quite panned out that way. Fast forward to April of this year. Two years out of the playoffs (and six since they've won a round), a fired Lindy Ruff, a traded captain, now Sabres GM Darcy Regier has told fans that the next turnaround may require some "suffering". The Sabres shipped out team captain Jason Pominville this past trade deadline, and there's reason to believe they'll be actively shopping Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek this offseason.
The Sabres own the eighth and sixteenth picks in the first round of this year's upcoming draft.
I propose the Oilers send the seventh overall pick to the Sabres for the sixteenth pick and defenceman Andrej Sekera. In short, I think the maligned Darcy Regier is willing to do something impulsive, and that's trade for the seventh pick while giving up more than he should. The allure of having the seventh and eighth picks is no doubt, bright.
Simply put, he's a top four guy on this team. He's good at moving the puck out of his own zone, and he regularly plays against the top lines of the opposition well. He'd be a perfect fit, and he'd immediately make the Oiler blue better. At a 2.75M cap hit for the next two years, he's very cap friendly.
Sekera is a guy I've coveted for some time now, as he's something the team needs. I've been kicking and screaming about getting defenders on this team for two or three years now, and this would be a couple of notches above the Corey Potter - Andy Sutton type acquisition.
Do the Oilers give up a bit of quality in trading the seventh pick for the sixteenth? Probably. But, with teams trading for the rights of Sergei Gonchar and Mark Streit, I'm not optimistic about this year's crop of UFA defencemen.
Should the team wish to take a C at 16, they could be in the market for London's Bo Horvat or Djurgardens' Alexander Wennberg,
Or they could not surprise us at all and really reach further than they should for the Oil Kings' Curtis Lazar, who Pronman ranks at 29th overall.