TRADING THE PICK (JACKETS EDITION)

Lowetide
May 01 2012 07:04AM

In a perfect world, picking number one overall would come with some kind of guarantee. Something like "by winning this selection and taking X player, we guarantee said player will have a statue outside your building 25 years from today." Sadly, there are no draft guarantees and close only counts in horseshoes. What value DOES the first overall pick give a franchise?

There are no Bobby Orr's in this year's draft, no Sid the Kid and no Golden Jet or Brett. However, there are some talented young men ready to take their place in the world's best hockey league.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are the modern day Oakland Seals. Put on the planet so others would know what bad luck really looks like, the Jackets were robbed of the opportunity to at least draft first overall by the hockey Gods. Many expected major changes in the management in Columbus but that hasn't happened yet. IF Scott Howson is still the GM, one imagines he'll be typing many pages in preparation for this year's draft.

Having the first overall pick does have some value. A team like Columbus could promote the pick  as their new cornerstone and perhaps  negate some of the negativity surrounding the inevitable Rick Nash trade. Some, not all. If getting the #1 overall comes as part of the Nash package, even better.

THE PLAN

For Scott Howson, it's a busy summer. After going to the crossroads to sell his soul (can you think of any other way to keep the job?) he'll need to find full value for Rick Nash and then build a foundation for the future via the draft.

Which is where the number one pick might come in. I tend to agree with those who say Howson may be relieved that the Jackets no longer own the #1 overall pick. Russia has had its own version of scorched earth in Ohio for years now and it has been a horrible experience for Columbus. Their former GM is on television now, their old coaches are selling tires in Wawa and their former scouts whittle to pass the time.

However, Columbus is in good position to "broker" a deal, get the guy who is number one on their list and deliver a new face of the franchise to their beleaguered Ohio town.

THIS COULD END BADLY

.

Now hear me out. I think there's a framework of a thee-way deal here, although specifics can be difficult (the devil is in the details). From where I set, these teams have the following assets that may be available:

  • Edmonton assets: 1st overall pick, youth everywhere
  • Columbus assets: 2nd overall pick, Rick Nash, Fedor Tyutin
  • Toronto assets: 5th overall pick, Jake Gardiner, Nikoli Kulemin, others 

MARQUEE MOON

Maybe Edmonton grabs Fedor Tyutin or Jake Gardiner and #2 overall and maybe Columbus gets #1, #5 and Jake Gardiner and maybe Toronto acquires Rick Nash and some other things. I think there's enough ego from Toronto, enough need from Edmonton and enough desperation in Columbus for this scenario to be possible.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

There's no easy way for the Oilers to parlay this #1 overall pick into two assets they can use but the Blue Jackets may hold the key. Edmonton has the hammer, and as we edge closer to draft day and teams decide their direction things will become more certain and Scott Howson may be in a position to satisfy Edmonton, walk off with the #1 overall selection and use it as an opportunity to both start a brand new day and give their fanbase a new franchise player.

That player? Nail Yakupov. Although he is in fact a Russian, Yakupov has played his junior hockey in Canada for the last two seasons and the CBJ draft failures from Russia (Zherdev and Filatov) played their junior hockey in the Motherland.

Furthermore, the entry level deals write themselves under the new CBA and the young man has expressed the desire to stay in North America and make his name in the NHL.

He's also a big personality, more of an Ovechkin type. Here's an example: 

I think Nail Yakupov is capable of convincing Howson to take him despite his birth certificate. If that happens, draft day could see an enormous trade involving your Edmonton Oilers.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#51 Oilcan
May 01 2012, 02:20PM
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Why is everyone so high on Johansen? Yes he looks great on paper as he is a big RH centre but what did he prove this year in the NHL? Nothing. And he played on a powerhouse Portland team where he kind of shot up the rankings (Correct me if I am wrong there I could be mistaking if he was highly ranked to start the year).

I am not a huge Gagner fan but I don't think I would trade Gagner for Johansen this summer. Johansen has done nothing to prove he belongs in the NHL let alone Center the 2nd line, and while Gagner might not fit long term due to his size he is a better option then anything else right now.

If Gagner gets traded it better be for a Bogosion type dman and then sign a stop gap centre for a year or two Stoll maybe?

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#52 nofool6110
May 01 2012, 03:21PM
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Jimmer wrote:

@ Lowetide

If Columbus really wants Yakupov would they consider..

(C) Ryan Johansen + 2nd overall Pick

for

(C) Sam Gagner + 1st overall pick

I really like Johansen because he is a 6'3" right handed centre. With our second overall pick we would probably take Ryan Murray.

Having Nuge and Johansen at centre would be killer and hopefully Murray turns into the stud he is projecting to be.

YIKES.

We trade our proven 2C for a 4C who has thus proven nothing in his career? We're trading from a position of strength. We say 1st overall (better than 2nd overall) and perhaps a mid-tier prospect (Hamilton) for that package. We don't trade into weakness.

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#53 Fatbob24
May 01 2012, 03:28PM
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I had a little bird land on my shoulder yesterday and tell me that the Oilers were not as interested in Nail as we would believe. Serious lower body injury issues and dressing room problems. i suspect we will see a trade, i wish reinhart(?) was a little higher up, watching him play makes me think he'll be a great D-man someday, big and mean!

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#54 Smokey
May 01 2012, 03:44PM
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Jimmer,

Heartbeat. This would be a trade a good organization would make, Getting your potential second line center and a first pairing defencemen is a no brainer move. Columbus would be stupid to do the trade.

I remember Philly doing trades that shocked the ockey world last year, that everyone thought would set them back. Its looking pretty good now.

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#55 Smokey
May 01 2012, 03:56PM
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BLACKJACK

The third scoring line still needs to check, so Omark would not fit the mold of a third scoring/checking winger. Hes more of a second line soft parade guy, and he doesn`t fit into the Oilers plans anyways.

Look at Philly`s third line with guys like SC, Simmonds, Voracek, Schenn, etc. That line when up against Malkin, and did respectively well. Could you imagine Omark in that role, hed get eaten alive.

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#56 DieHard
May 01 2012, 03:57PM
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gcw_rocks wrote:

@ Infinibuild:

Schultz becomes a free agent June 1. He can agree to a deal in principle prior to the draft, he just can't sign it until July 1. Or at least that's how it appeared to go down with Blake Wheeler and Boston.

This is my impression as well. Anaheim loses his rights on June 1st. This should make him a free agent and cannot sign with anyone until July 1st like all the other free agents. All other free agents are under contact until July 1st and cannot negotiate except their own team or to a team that trades for his rights. It seems Schultz should be able to negotiate with all teams during the month of June. Go Oilers.

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#57 Quicksilver ballet
May 01 2012, 04:03PM
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There's alot to be learned from all the pre draft meetings that'll take place in the next few weeks. If management has one inkling that Yakupov isn't 100% commited to being an Oiler then it would be in their best interests to move down/trade the pick.

I trust Kevin Lowe will be able to see through the kids body language when he's here for a visit or two. If the kid is going to demand respect rather than earn it, he may be better off going somewhere else.

Will he be the next Pavel Bure, or the next Sergei Samsonov, big difference.

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#58 FastOil
May 01 2012, 04:04PM
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I think the discussion with CBJ should be about swapping firsts this year and next. CBJ need a scoring RW badly with Nash out soon. Yak is a perfect fit for them more than the Oilers. There is some risk that CBJ doesn't implode next year, but with all of the turnover coming I'd take that chance.

If the Oil move down I think drafting one of the centres is really the thing to do. The system is full of decent D prospects which is what is available this draft. No studs at D this year. There is as good chance in the second round as first for D. The team is very thin at centre still with Gagner still having yet to establish himself.

A talented centre with some size is really more important with smaller wingers than another half decent D prospect.

RNH-(Grigorenko/Galchenyuk)-Gagner-Lander down the middle I think is better than RNH-Gagner-Lander-? with Murray as a second pairing D.

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#59 Walter Sobchak
May 01 2012, 05:16PM
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Just a couple of outside the box things when talking about the 1st overall pick.

The Oilers are going to need a RW player soon, Hemsky is signed for two years at 5.5 million, which really means only a season and a half left before trade deadline with nobody in the system with like production.

Yakupov would be on a ELC for 3 years and could be argued like type production as the 3 kids, therefore Yakupov is an imidiate upgrade just in salary and term alone beside's the production.

Therefore Hemsky could be used for acquiring a defensmen or big body player not the 1st overall pick making less money with upside.

If that can't get you a defensmen then there is UFA, there are quality players available at no risk to the Oilers including moving a potential franchise type player in Yakupov.

Remember that Whitney or Smid comes off the books after next season so carrying another high end contract is not an issue going forward. The likelyhood of keeping Whitney pass this deadline is remote at best.

Then there is Gagner, why on earth do people think Gagner for Johansen is an even trade?? I say Gagner and maybe another player for CBJ's pick and that might be too much!

Yakupov and then there's the rest. Also Yakupov and his agent want him to be an Oiler! There re many, many ways to get a defensmen without trading a potential franchise player.

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#60 Tron
May 01 2012, 05:53PM
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I guess it really comes down to what the Oilers feel Johansen's upside is. I believe Stu MacGregor was very high on him so that says alot.

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#61 digs83
May 01 2012, 07:51PM
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I mentioned this three way trade scenario, in the comment section for the trading the pick Montreal edition. I guess Lowetide liked that aswell. I think it really could work for everyone in the deal.

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#62 oilers2k11
May 01 2012, 08:03PM
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Lowetide, I usually love reading your blogs but were you high when you wrote this garbage? All this trade talk is crazy, you make it seem like the only way for edmonton to get better Defence is by trading the pick.. Seguin is what edmonton needed, a top line center..we picked Hall, anybody looking back now? Oilers needed size on the wings and better defence..they drafted the barely teen aged body in RNH..how does it look a year later?

This year Yakupov is oilers prize..why exchange it? theres other assets that could be moved, free agents that can be signed..why risk loosing out on a 30 plus goal a year player?

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#63 6 ring circus
May 01 2012, 09:20PM
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Tambellini will step up the the podium on June 22 and announce that the Edmonton Oilers select Rem Murray,Katz and his son will stand there with big sh*t eating grins on there faces, while K lowe slaps Tambellini in the back of the head and tells him, I told you Ryan Murray not Rem Murray.The magnificant bastard just looks on, shaking his head asking himself why do I continue to work for these clowns!!!

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#64 TwoSkidoos
May 01 2012, 09:41PM
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@oilers2k11

He's only throwing out scenarios, he's not saying these are going to happen.

It's always fun to be an armchair GM!

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#65 Reg Dunlop
May 01 2012, 10:57PM
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@ oilers2k11

Questioning Hall and RNH? Hall was a 2-time Mem cup MVP, he had to go 1st in the draft(by the way how did Seguin fare this postseason?). RNH already is the best player from his draft year,should win the Calder, and hasn't grown up yet. How are things looking? Not bad!

As far as trading #1, you have to give up something juicey to get what we need most. If you weren't tweaking you would realize that.

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#66 Jimmer
May 01 2012, 11:00PM
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nofool6110 wrote:

YIKES.

We trade our proven 2C for a 4C who has thus proven nothing in his career? We're trading from a position of strength. We say 1st overall (better than 2nd overall) and perhaps a mid-tier prospect (Hamilton) for that package. We don't trade into weakness.

Of course he has proven nothing....he's 19.

Also, I think you would be hard pressed to find someone that thinks Ryan Johansen (drafted 4th overall in 2010) will not be a better player than Sam Gagner in a few years.

Fine...add a 2nd round pick from Columbus. Yakupov is not Ovechkin or Crosby...he might be no better than Radulov.

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#67 Rondo
May 02 2012, 08:14AM
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I laugh at these posters on your blog. They base their opinion on how

well a article is written. Most people have never seen any of these players

play hockey , so they form an opinion based on ZERO facts and this

becomes their premise. Anything that adds to the premise strengthens

their opinion.

I know it is fun to play GM I do it myself but come on some people really

think they have the answers. ie. Yakupov is this or he is that.

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#68 Jaime
May 02 2012, 08:56PM
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Love the fact that you put Television in this blog post. They were a very underrated band and their music deserves more attention.

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