BRAVE NEW WORLD
It's easy to draft first overall. That's why Steve Tambellini got to do it three times in a row. Pick the best player. It's not rocket science.
After a triumphant three year run of first overall picks, the Oilers own a (somewhat) more respectable seventh overall in this year's entry draft.
With Edmonton finding themselves in a rather unusual situation of not owning the top pick, it's no surprise that there's talk about moving up in the draft. With Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin projected to go in the top three, it's an appetizing thought. Maybe the Oilers would want to make a phone call to Nashville in an attempt to grab the fourth spot, where 6'2 centre Aleksander Barkov could go. The Oilers could also stand pat at the 7th spot and select one of Sean Monahan, Darnell Nurse or Elias Lindholm.
The Oilers should at least explore the option of trading down in this year's draft.
There are a couple of reasons I'm exploring this idea.
- How much will it cost to get the chance to draft Barkov or Drouin? A lot. How much is a lot? Start with the 7th pick and a solid roster player. Probably a little more. Do I want to send my first round pick, and say, Sam Gagner up to Nashville? Not especially.
- If the Oilers play their cards right, they could get a player and a first round pick in return. There are four teams with multiple first round picks in this year's draft. Buffalo (8th) and Dallas (10th) are the most appetizing because of their close proximity to Edmonton's current position of 7th. Columbus picks their first of three at 14, and Calgary has the 6th, 22nd and 28th picks overall. If the Oilers have their eyes on a specific player in that 7-10 range, a solid move could bring back an NHL player and one of those picks.
How nice would it be for Edmonton to trade from 7th to 8th or 10th, get the player they originally wanted, and get a roster player as well?
This week, I'll take a look at a couple of situations that would see this plan come together.