Doesn't sound like either Buffalo or Edmonton are interested in moving the 2nd or 3rd pick overall.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 27, 2014
For a couple of years now I've been ron the trade-the-pick-for-some-help-now bandwagon, so seeing the above tweet from Darren Dreger this morning didn't exactly put a smile on my face. It goes without saying that Dreger is a pretty well connected guy so in all likelihood he is speaking the truth, but truth or not I don't think that trading the third overall pick is something that we should give up on just yet.
The reason to trade the pick is simple: What it could bring in via trade is going to be worth more to the Oilers next season, and likely a few after that, than whatever teenager they select tonight. Of course this doesn't mean the pick should be traded for the first warm body that happens to be available, that simply would not make sense. But if the Oilers could swap the pick for a young-ish defenceman who could play on the top pair for the foreseeable future then that would be something worth seriously considering. Would the Oilers first selection be enough to bring back a Victor Hedman, Justin Faulk, or a Roman Josi? Probably not, but it would likely be enough to get the conversation started.
Okay Ryan, as usual you've got a good idea here but it sounds like it isn't going to happen, why should I still hold out hope?
Because none of us know how the first two picks will play out. The Oilers could have had a conversation about trading the pick with every NHL general manager who would answer their phone calls, they might have even have started talking about additional players that could be included, but because of the uncertainty of who will be available when the Oilers pick comes up it would be very difficult to finalize a deal. Trading the first overall pick is something you can do before the draft, third overall is a different story.
If the Oilers think Sam Reinhart and Leo Draisaitl are a step above Aaron Ekblad and Sam Bennett, what happens if Reinhart and Draisaitl go first and second? Suddenly a deal that didn't look great last week might be worthwhile taking a second look at. And it works the other way too; if a team is dying to get Ekblad and he's available then who knows. It's not a move without risk, but for the right player the reward is worth it. And let not forget, drafting isn't a sure thing, there is risk there too.
As you know the plan of Rebuild 2.0 has been draft, draft, draft, and then win; given how that's been working out it though might be time to look at switching up the plan a little. But as much as I'd like it to happen I won't be holding my breath tonight because, like it or not, MacTavish isn't under pressure to right the Oilers' ship this offseason. That's the stated goal but if it doesn't make it happen he won't pay for that failure with his job, not after just two seasons as the man in charge.
But until MacTavish steps onto the stage to select the Oilers' next teenage superstar I won't be giving up hope of a trade. And neither should you.