After the GMs meetings yesterday a few stories popped up that Steve Tambellini was open to trading the first overall pick. I don’t see any REALISTIC scenario that would see him moving that pick, but here is what he said yesterday.

"I’ve had a few calls (from) people kicking the tires of how they can help me make the Oilers a better team. For me to move the No. 1 pick it would have to be obviously something exceptional. Because this is a huge building block again for us.

"These couple years here are exactly the time that we have to put pieces in place that are going to be part of the Oilers success for a long time. It would have to be something quite sweet."

By something sweet he means a massive overpayment. In the past month Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has become the consensus first overall pick. He is number one on every mock draft that I’ve seen, (if there is a reputable one that doesn’t have him first please let me know) so I don’t see why Tambellini would trade him.

Since Tambellini’s comments many readers and listeners to my show have sent me questions and/or scenarios that they felt would make sense in dealing the first pick. In almost every case the return was far greater than what I think an opposing GM would offer up, but I respect your positive outlook.

Tambellini can’t move down one or two spots and expect anything significant. The Panthers won’t deal Erik Gudbranson and this year’s 3rd pick for the 1st. It won’t happen folks.

Some wondered if the Oilers should trade with Ottawa and get the 6th and 21st pick, thus ensuring the Oilers three picks in the top 21. I know it is a different regime right now, but having three picks in the top 21 in 2007 hasn’t worked out great for the Oilers.

History shows there is a big difference between the 1st pick and the 6th. Let’s quickly compare the last ten drafts:

YEAR                      1st                            6th
2010                 Taylor Hall                   Brett Connolly
2009                 John Tavares             Oliver Ekman-Larsson
2008                 Steven Stamkos         Nikita Filatov
2007                 Patrick Kane               Sam Gagner
2006                 Erik Johnson              Derick Brassard
2005                 Sidney Crosby            Gilbert Brule
2004                Alex Ovechkin              Al Montoya
2003                Marc-Andre Fleury       Milan Michalek
2002                Rick Nash                    Scottie Upshall
2001                Ilya Kovalchuk              Mikko Koivu

In most cases the difference in skill is drastic. I don’t see why Tambellini would give up the opportunity to draft a potential franchise player with the first pick. I don’t see Colorado giving up a lot to move up one spot, especially considering they are a division rival.

If you look back at teams that traded out of the first slot, I can’t find one that eventually won the deal. The Panthers ended up giving up more draft picks to move down to #3 in 2002, and the Thrashers completely botched it when they took Patrick Stefan in 1999. Based on the cap and the amount of money the first overall pick receives now, I’m not sure it is even fair to compare potential deals to ones that occurred in the 1980s and later.

I understand why Tambellini tells the media is he open to dealing the pick, so every team knows he is contemplating and maybe one of them will come in with an offer too good to pass up; but realistically I don’t see it happening. I also think the optics of moving the first overall pick wouldn’t sit well with Oilersnation right now.

You’ve spent the past five years watching your team miss the playoffs, and in a few cases be out of the race by January, so  moving a likely elite player at this point might not sit well with many of you.

I’m sure Tambellini will listen to all offers, but I fully expect the Oilers to still be picking first in 15 days.

I also expect them to announce a trade on draft day involving the 19th pick; I just don’t know how far they will be able to move up. From where I sit moving the 19th pick is a more realistic option, and it could involve a roster player. The question is which team is willing to move down?

Right now the Calgary Flames are desperate for more picks, and I suspect they might move down a few notches to secure a few more picks, but would the Flames and Oilers make a deal involving multiple picks? Pulling the wool over Darryl Sutter’s eyes to take Steve Staios is one thing, but would the Alberta rivals trade first rounders? I highly doubt it, considering I assume the Flames would want more picks rather than an NHL player, but that would make for some great debate on here and at www.Flamesnation.ca

Based on the conversations I’ve had to date, I’d expect Tambellini to try hard and move up from 19, but I highly doubty he will move the first pick.

If he does, I think he is making a big mistake.


I would like to thank all of you who donated for my MS Bike Tour and got into the draw for the Ultimate Sports Fan Package. We will be doing a reverse draw during the show today, and we will announce the winner at 5:25 p.m. We limited this to 75 entries of $100, and along with the auctions we did on air we have raised almost $11,000.00 to fight MS.

THANK YOU for you support.

Good luck to all who entered.

  • Clyde Frog

    The only reason they would drop down is if they felt equally good about RNH and Huberdeau or Couturier. So if somebody is willing to offer an extra asset, then it would be worth your while. I hope they do not pass up RNH though. Furthermore, I would love to see RNH get his shot at dominating the World Juniors next year. Oiler fans will get a nice close look at him on top of the Oil King games.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    i’m no stats nerd but here is what i cherry picked…


    1st yr junior – 37% goals,
    2nd – 30% goals

    Jumbo joe

    1st yr junior – 34% goals,
    2nd – 39% goals

    Vinny L

    1st yr junior – 41% goals,
    2nd – 38%

    The difference (RNH) between percentage growth is a few more goals ( 2 & 11) per year to get to 40% goals. A stat that i think is overlooked is that RNH was -4 1st yr and +29 second. That dramatic shift is usually linked to point production. Unfortunatley they didn’t track +/- back then for the other 2.

    Vinny and Joe were both under 50% goals in junior and i would take them 1st overall given the chance.

    I also picked these other 2 as comparables because they were centers, as each position has different requirements.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I think the Oil are likely to draft Nuge. However, if they shock anyone and take Couturier or Huberdeau, I won’t be mad because both are centers, and a case could be made for either one over Nuge.
    However, I don’t want to burn up our #1 overall on a defenseman, too many risks with that high a pick.
    Even Hedman at #2 over Duchene looks questionable still, nearly 3 years in. And in this fanbase of impatience, that won’t go over well.
    Note to Stu.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Although in jason gregor land he will be better than crosby on the PP. Cause the scouts say it is so.

    I will note that and get back to you in a couple years.

    • Clyde Frog

      Again you ignore everything else.

      As I said, its a good trend and if a scout wants to look at something similar to help compare and contrast kids thats cool.

      Its a useful look for helping with the predictions.

      But if you aren’t looking at skill, the way they play, ability, the systems they come from, and you are just dividing goals by points…

      Well, enjoy.

      When you treat it as a hard rule, you avoid talking about players that didn’t fit the mold, you avoid talking about the specifics of the situations the kids are in. You avoid pretty much everything but your rule.

      Seriously, its becoming Madjamesque.

      PS even if it were 100% true, there is a big difference between players like Heatly or Kovalchuk and Toews and Datsyuk.

      One set racks up points when they can, the other wins.

  • @Gregor

    Jason there may not be anymore Daigles being drafted but there are Turris’s and Barkers still being drafted high so today’s drafting isn’t full proof. I think anyone thinking RNH is a for sure “Elite” needs to really reconsider their opinion because no where have I seen any reputable scouting report say he’s going to be “Elite” or a Franchise player. I think RNH tops out at a P.Statsny if were lucky. So in saying that I think there is the potential for a deal to be made and for us to win it depending on what player is coming back.