Up And Down At The Draft, Part II

If the Edmonton Oilers opt to move their first overall selection in this year’s draft, either because the player they like most will be attainable later, there isn’t much clearance within the top group, or they simply like an offer, there are a limited number of teams that might be in the conversation. Similarly, if they are going to try and move up to snag a second prospect in the top-10, only a handful of teams can help them out.

After the jump, a look at the other teams with a top-10 pick.

Colorado Avalanche – 2nd overall. Colorado is in an interesting position: with the exception of Gabriel Landeskog and Adam Larsson, most of the uppermost cluster of draft prospects this year are centremen. Colorado is fairly set up the middle, with Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny headlining a young and capable group that also includes last year’s first round pick (Joey Hishon). Of course, they could always move someone to the wing, but the expectation is that they’ll draft Landeskog, and what’s more certain is that they won’t deal the pick. Bottom line: Unlikely partner.

Florida Panthers – 3rd overall. Like Colorado, Florida is believed to have little interest in moving their third overall pick. Dale Tallon has been stockpiling draft selections, and he won’t throw away that strategy now. Unlike Colorado, Florida needs help up the middle, and according to the Sun-Sentinel, the two names highlighted on their list are Nugent-Hopkins and Jonathan Huberdeau. If we can take that story at face value (always a dicey proposition) they probably won’t be interested in moving down (losing Huberdeau is too much of a risk, even at fourth overall) but the prospect of moving up to snag Nugent-Hopkins might entice them. If the Oilers want Adam Larsson, they could make a deal with Florida and be reasonably confident that their man would still be available in the third slot. Bottom line: For trading down, sure, for trading up, not a chance.

New Jersey Devils – 4th overall. Lou Lamoriello is tight-lipped. Well, he’s always tight-lipped, but in this case more than most. They might be willing to move up, and they might be willing to move down. Naturally, they’re also in a bit of a strange spot because they’re a team that’s likely to be in the playoffs next year. Still, Lamoriello did provide us with some insight when he reference the Martin Brodeur selection while talking to Devils’ beat reporter Tom Gulitti. In 1990, the Devils traded down from 11th overall to 20th because they liked Brodeur and felt he would still be available. Bottom line: Lou could deal either way, but it’s fairly likely that whoever swaps with him will be overpaying.

New York Islanders – 5th overall. This selection is, despite what common sense would suggest, available. Chris Botta tells us that the Islanders are determined to make the playoffs next season and that if the right player becomes available, they won’t hesitate to move the pick. Bottom line: The Islanders are one of the Oilers’ best options when it comes to moving up on draft day.

Ottawa Senators – 6th overall. There’s no question about what Ottawa wants to do – move up. Bryan Murray has already talked to a bunch of teams, including New Jersey in the number four spot, and he wants to climb. Would trading for the Oilers first overall selection be an option? From the Sporting News:

Bryan Murray also called Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini about the No. 1 pick, but said he’d probably have to send young D Erik Karlsson, a first-round pick in 2008 and 2011 All-Star, back to Edmonton. "I’m not doing that," Murray said.

Bottom line: No dice, either up or down.

Winnipeg Hockey Club – 7th overall. There’s a ton of hockey news out of Winnipeg, but most of it is about the name of the team, the head coaching search, and the mammoth task of sifting through old Thrashers personnel to decide who is staying and who is going. Personally, I’d be very surprised if Winnipeg’s new team traded down, and I think a drop from first overall to seventh is going to be too steep for the Oilers. Bottom line: Not much concrete, but I doubt a trade happens here.

Columbus Blue Jackets – 8th overall. The most discussed pick around these parts, and one I barely need to write about. The Edmonton connection is there in Columbus general manager Scott Howson, the rumours have been flying for weeks, and there’s no doubt that this selection is available. Bottom line: If the Oilers want to move up, this pick is available.

Boston owns the ninth overall pick, while Minnesota has the last selection in the top 10, but my feeling is that the top tier in this draft only runs eight or nine deep, and so these selections aren’t as interesting for a team like Edmonton. If there’s a trade here, I see one of four things happening:

  • The Oilers trade the first overall pick to Florida for the third overall pick and something else, because they like Adam Larsson better than Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
  • The Oilers make a trade with New Jersey, either to move down or (more likely) to move up,sending something useful away and taking back some salary cap headache in the process.
  • The Oilers make a trade with the New York Islanders for the fifth overall pick, something that would almost certainly require sending away Ales Hemsky and something else.
  • The Oilers make a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the eighth overall pick, something that would almost certainly require sending away at least Ales Hemsky.

Obviously, there are more options than those four. Maybe Dale Tallon is interested in next year’s pick, as Robin Brownlee has suggested. Those four options just strike me as most probable, given the published material available and what we know about the teams involved.

  • I cant help but think that Landeskog will be a major disappointment at #2 with the drop off in offense that he has compared to the other kids. That could make the day of whoever’s picking 3-5 though. I imagine Florida wouldnt also mind a Gudbranson/Larsson led defense either, even though they have Huberdeau targeted.

    That said, it seems like many teams arent prepared for these surprises and they just go after the guy they targeted anyway. I wonder if Larsson doesnt fall out of the top 5 if he isnt picked 2nd just because everyone else has had their eye on the Forwards. Best I can tell that’s what happened to Fowler last year.

  • John Chambers

    There appear to be two paths the Oil can take this draft:

    1) trade away a current asset like Hemsky for a pick inside the top 8, implying that we’ll be a lottery team again next year, but loaded to the teets with young studs

    or …

    2) try and trade away next year’s first overall pick, which would put a lot of pressure to re-sign Hemsky, grab a better goaltender, and bring in other veterans to make the Oil a playoff team right away

    I’m personnally ambivolent between the two, so long as ST commits to one path. As in, if we deal away next year’s #1 but fail to retain Hemsky, that chump has got to go.

  • I only deal Hemsky if he has told Oilers brass he is not resigning. Then moving up at the draft is possible. Although I hate thinking of another lottery year and would prefer to actually improve, instead of finishing last again.

  • John Chambers

    Hemsky is set to become a second line winger on this team. His pp time is going to decrease as RNH,Hall and Eberle move into the number 1 PP team. I just think that at 5 million a year that we are looking at an overpay for a player who is oft injured and has an expiring contract. Would I resign Hemsky if he decided that he wanted to stay? I think I would but the cap hit would have to be in the 3-3.25 million dollar range with alot of bonus incentives workrd into that contact. Games played. Goals. Assists. And so forth. On the other hand picking 5th could see a Landeskog or a Hamilton in the lineup. Landeskog would fit nicely with Omark and MP. Hamilton on the backend wouldn’t look bad either.

  • The other teams are lery of Hemsky and his injury situation the past few years. If anything gets done its with Gagner not Hemsky. If RNH gets picked at 1 doesnt that make Gagner (a similar sized, less talented centre) the one expendable?

  • striker777

    Next season will be only marginally better. Keep acquiring draft picks, if possible by moving existing players, like Cogliano, Chorney, etc., or by taking other team’s bad contract (as long as it’s a short contract). I expect Oil to start competing in 12-13 season and make playoffs in 13-14 season.

  • @hemmertime @D-Men

    A couple articles ago we were commenting on Hemsky and whether or not he’s a 1st line player. I said I think he’s a FANTASTIC second line player. Thats not on the oilers now, thats in the prototypical sense of the position. By that, I mean that they’re not consistent but can win a game on their own and they also arent playing against the #1 shutdown pair/line

    Havlat had his greatest success in OTT and CHI on the 2nd line. Sure Hossa had alot of points on the first line in OTT but dont you remember them getting knocked out by TOR nearly every year? How many times did ATL make the playoffs with him again? Once…..and they got knocked out 4 straight.

    Im not trying to give Hemsky crap, Im not saying he sucks…..far from it. I think that with a championship contending team, he is not on your first line. Plain and simple

      • We all know that run was a fluke. It was awesome, but still a fluke. Edm did it with depth and Roli. Which is the model Boston and Van went for and obviously it works. They just have to consistently find deals on 3/4 guys every year to maintain. Right now, id still rather have CHI’s roster than Vancouvers. You?

        IMO Horton is a “first line” player. Not strictly because of numbers but because of consistent effort. You know what youre getting night in/night out. Lucic isnt a “first line” player but fits well with those two because he more often than not still brings his game every night. He may not score but he brings the physical game, turning pucks over on the forecheck, grinding in the cycle to keep the puck alive. He doesnt have the same finishing ability as Horton to me. This is what Hemsky lacks. He is unbelievably talented with the puck but how often is he turning pucks over on the forecheck or willing the puck out of the corner. Granted he is not scared to go into the corners with the puck and he does come out with it. Im simply talkin about turnovers.

        Like I said previously, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a second line player that can win you a game by himself!

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          Horton had huge question marks about his heart/consistancy in Florida.

          Again, this is essentially a case of unrealistic expectations.

          If Hemsky isn’t a 1st line RW, then their is maybe 6-8 of them league wide.

          • Exactly, im just talking prototypical. For true 1st line C’s there are mayyyyybe 15 and PIT has 2 of em. My comment is more hope than criticism. Would you not rather have your #1 line as Hall/RNH?/Ebs? And im talkin 2 yrs down the road here. I think Ebs brings it more often than Hemsky. Ebs also plays better with other elite players. For some reason it seems Horc is like the only guy on the team that knows how to play with Hemsky

          • Seriously? Hemsky is almost a point per game player. You cant be inconsistent and be producing at that level. I cant imagine what “bringing it” constitutes in your mind if the team’s most consistent point producer isnt doing it.

            At this point in their careers Eberle is nowhere near as effective as Hemsky is. I also cant see how you can complain that Hemsky only plays well with Horcoff and then completely ignore the fact that Eberle played the majority of his season with that very player. I could just as easily say that Horc is the only player that knows how to play with Eberle.

            I like to believe that in the future the likes of Hall, Eberle, MPS, and RNH will all be stars, but thats just a dream. We have no idea. Two years down the road, I’d rather have a healthy Hemsky AND Eberle.

          • First, Im not saying Eberle is a better player than Hemsky right now. I said Hemsky is a FANTASTIC second line player multiple times. In no way am I discreditting his skill. Dont you think if your team is so good that Hemsky is on your second line, that youre a DAMN good team? Thats all im saying. (Samsonov, another classic 2nd liner)

            Second, NO Ales Hemsky DOES NOT produce consistently. He is a PPG player, yes. BUT he goes on runs. 3,4,5 pts and then takes games off. Last year was much better than normal though. If you think that he’s giving it 100% all the time, thats cool. This is my perception from what I watch.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            Ah, ok. I guess it comes down to your deffinition of “1st liner”.

            IMO if someone is top 30 at their position I consider them a first liner, but I guess it’s open to interpretation.

          • 100% agreed. Although I was never sold on him being a #1. I wasnt extremely upset at his deal at first either. Youd have to overpay me a TON to work at the worst business in its field too. Alot is asked of him and he never complains.

            You guys just hear from Gregor, Smytty said he WANTS to come back!!!!!! WOW, PERFECT PICKUP! Pleeeeeeease get him! Cant really give up anything to pick up 6.25 though

    • I think that with a championship contending team, he is not on your first line. Plain and simple

      Top 5 players in the NHL using points per minute at even strength last year. (expressed in terms of points per 60 minutes played)

      Crosby 3.98
      D. Sedin 3.12
      Hemsky 2.88
      R. Nash 2.84
      H. Sedin 2.78

      So Hemsky is 3rd in the entire NHL in even strength points per minute played and he doesn’t play on your first line.

      Good for you.

      • YOU GUYS, I LIKE HEMSKY, I REALLY LIKE HEMSKY. HE CREATES HIS OWN OFFENSE, HES SO GOOD, HE DOESNT NEED TO PLAY WITH OTHER ELITE PLAYERS TO GET POINTS. This is the basis of my argument. If he is on your 2nd line, just like other great players before him with elite puck control and not much defense (Hossa, Havlat, Samsonov, Kovalev), they were most effective to TEAM SUCCESS on the 2nd line. I DONT CARE if someone gets 100 pts on the 25th place team, do you? All those guys excelled when they didnt have the pressure to produce. IN TWO YEARS, if you have Ebs/RNH/Hall as your first line and MPS/Horc/Hemsky are you not ecstatic as a fan? (obviously based on rooks workin out to potential). Also, you have to choose either Omark or Hemsky IMO by next years training camp. Omark isnt a 3rd line player

        • I will be overjoyed if Eberle proves to be a better option on the 1st line than Hemsky. In 2 years if they are both Oilers and Eberle is outclassing Hemsky on offense, I will be as giddy as a school girl.*

          If the choice is between Omark and Hemsky then it’s a pretty simple choice. As great as his 5 goals were, I’d rather have Hemsky over Omark.

          *Or as giddy as Wanye after completing his Eberle hair doll

  • Rogue

    I was reading on another site how it would be a great PR move for the NHL if the Winnipeg Whatevers acquired the 1st overall pick.

    That got me thinking to what would need to happen to make that a reality. Probably a 3 team deal:

    To Edmonton: 3rd or 4th overall plus Bogosian

    To Winnipeg: 1st overall

    To Florida/NJ: 7th overall, Cogliano, and Winnipeg’s 2nd round pick. (Florida takes Strome or NJ takes Hamilton/Zinebajad)

    If you are Edmonton and you have Florida’s pick, you can be pretty comfortable you will walk away with either Larsson or Huberdeau. If its NJ at 4, the risk is both could be gone. I would do the deal with Florida and Winnipeg, but unless I knew for sure Colorado was taking Landeskog, I would be less inclined to do the deal with NJ.

    But walking away with Huberdeau/Larsson plus Bogosian would be a good day for the Oilers before they even got to 19.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I think half of us on this board could have put that puck in the net like Larsson did in that video.

    Grab that 8th for Hemsky, Hemmer and Plante for that 8th, then try to flip it for the 5th or 6th and take Couturier. Nothing wrong with nipping the center ice issues we have in the bud in one year/draft. Address the issue on the blueline through trades/signings and next summers draft, don’t think it’s wise to wait for a train that may never come with Larsson. Seems to be alot of tire pumping going on in Larssons case compared to Couturier.

    • Truth

      Hemsky has to be worth more than 8th overall, does he not? I believe there was a breakdown of 8th overall picks on this site about a week ago, and all are arguably lesser players than Hemsky.

      With all this speculation about the Oilers trading next years first pick (which I would hate to see), why not try to get Columbus’ first round pick next year instead? Howson might bite, apparently his seat is pretty warm.

      Hemsky + 19th overall + ??

      For Columbus’ 8th overall + 2012 first round pick.

      Hope for Columbus to tank a la Toronto.

      Big question would be what else would it take from the Oilers side, if anything?

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        I don’t think Hemsky alone gets 8th Overall, (Injured forward on the last year of his contract) I think it would tough to get a deal done because it would be like the Schenn for Hemsky thing again, LA thinking Schenn is worth more and the Oilers thinking Hemsky is worth more.

        Not a bad offer though (from the Oilers Standpoint) but again the ? would probably be Gilbert or Gagner and then thats 2 of our best players gone for nothing and we suck again next year (we would draft high with our pick and probably the jackets but still thats another year of sucking)

        The Oilers need to stop trading roster players (unless it spare parts like Brule, Cogs, Chorney) unless they are getting a roster player back. They might get away with trading Hemsky at the draft (doubt it happens) but they need actual NHL players, if they keep their picks and keep Hemsky and sign some UFAs I think the Oilers will be looking decent next year.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        With whats happened to Hemsky his last 3 yrs here i’m sure has hurt his value. If there’s someone who may be willing to overpay for a player like Hemsky, it certainly has to be Scott Howson. Would Howson do Hemsky and Plante for for the 8th and Jared Bol? if not, he stays here.

        Hemsky and Gagner may both be in the same position as Nathan Horton was one year ago. Both appear to be having difficulty measuring up to fan and maybe even the teams expectations. Horton went from an underacheiving perennial lottery team to the top line on the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. It has to be because of the the support around him, the players who allow him to be much more successful than he was with the Panthers. In Edmonton, there just isn’t the support around 83 and 89 yet to allow them to be successful. There’s only kids being pressed into action early or just plain AHL’ers in NHL jerseys.

        Maybe there’s another option here. If Columbus feels their lottery days are behind them, send Hemsky to the Jackets for their first selection in 2012. If Hemsky gets hurt, it may end up being a much better pick than first thought….in a much better draft as well.

  • I’m not sure when my opinion switched to what it is today, but I’m at the point where I would rather Edmonton just take RNH at #1, keep #19 and #31, and call it a day. Why do I feel this way? It seems likely that Nugent-Hopkins will either play one more year of junior or be a non-impact NHL player in 2011/2012. This draft pick is not the deciding factor for Edmonton’s lottery aspirations next year.

    To make trading picks (or impact players like Hemsky, whose 1st-line role on the roster is good for the development of Edmonton’s younger players) palatable, you have to believe that Edmonton is ready to add in the free agency market this summer. I’m not saying this is impossible but the club’s track record at this has been so bad for so long that I won’t be holding my breath.

  • John Chambers

    If the Oilers are targeting Larsson (which could be true in light of the Murray quote above) then it would be foolhardy to trade down.

    Colorado needs help at D and G. As much as Landeskog has been played up as their more likely pick, if we leave Larsson on the table at 1, the Avs will likely grab him at 2.

    I’m still convinced that grabbing Larsson at 1 and going after Couturier or Strome at 3, 5, 6 or 8 is a much better idea than drafting RNH first and getting a lesser defenseman at 8 or 16, or trading down.

    At some point our GM needs get aggressive.

  • To Edmonton: 3rd or 4th overall plus Bogosian

    To Winnipeg: 1st overall

    To Florida/NJ: 7th overall, Cogliano, and Winnipeg’s 2nd round pick. (Florida takes Strome or NJ takes Hamilton/Zinebajad)


    Interesting idea, but I don’t think Winnipeg has a 2nd rounder this year. Would have to be another piece.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I wouldn’t call that 2006 cup run a fluke….an isolated incident maybe, definately not a fluke. The Oilers had a couple players that made a world of difference that yr in Pronger and Roloson, the type of players that can make the ones around them better.

    • justDOit

      Not a fluke, but was helped by extenuating circumstances, shall we say. Our first round upset of Detroit was helped by their ‘Olympic laden’ roster, of which something was wrong with Datsyuk – the guy could barely pass the puck, and couldn’t shoot.

      Most Stanley Cups involve some kind of interference. Once in a while, a great team will just run em down, in order of appearance like Chicago did recently, but there are a lot of teams with behind the scene contributors.

      The Bruins 2011 run? Philly’s FIVE impact players requiring surgery.

      The Canadiens ’93 Cup? David Volek’s slapshot from way out the beat Barrasso. No Penguins = Montreal Cup.

      The Canadiens 86 Cup? I think we all know who led to that – and no, it wasn’t Momesso!

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    I know a lot of people want Hemmer traded because he is an injury magnet. I just wonder if you only had him during a playoff run would that be worth having him around as when he is playing he is elite is for sure. He wants to be here so if they do trade him is sure better be a good deal for us. I also see the 2012 trade as basically off limits. It would be just our luck to trade the pick and finish the season 7 from the bottom and win the lottery.

    • Souby

      This is really interesting. I know the hot rumour lately is the Oil picking RNH and then trading up to take Larsson, which would be awesome, but extremely difficult to pull off.

      I would be happy if they could trade back to #3 to grab Larsson and grab #33 as well, provided that they are able to package, say #31 and/or #33 plus a player/other pick to jump back into the top 10 to grab a guy like Couturier!

  • John Chambers

    The Oilers should pick the palyer they want the most….if that player is Larsson, then why not explore the Florida option.

    But why risk it…Draft RNH, and if Colorado passes on Larsson, then make the swap of RNH for the #3 pick and what ever gets added in by Florida….Man o man would I love to see that happen just to hear the collective gasp…in fact, I bet we’d great a vacuum in Calgary just from everyone sucking in their breathe all at the same time!!

    • justDOit

      we should trade hemsky to cbj for 8

      trade 8+19 to nyi for 5+34

      we pick the remainder of huberdeau, couurier, larsson, landeskog

      nyi will get hamilton because ott and wpg need forwards

      • D-Man

        By doing this – you’re guaranteeing that we’re in line for a 30th place finish for a 3rd year in a row… You’re assuming that NYI would be interested in trading down too… Even if you got Couterier or Landeskog at 5 (I think Huberdeau and Larrson will be gone by then) – do you think either player will replace Hemsky’s offensive production?? Even if Hemsky plays only 40 games?? Very doubtful…

        If you deal Hemsky, you need to get an NHL player in return… I’d say something like Hemsky for Columbus 8th pick and Tyutin… There you’d get at least another top 4 defenseman in return.. Unlikely Columbus would move their best d-man; but now you’ve at least dealt with one of the many holes we have in the lineup… Then you could try to talk to NYI.

  • Bucknuck

    I am opposed to any trade that sends away Hemsky and gets us a draft pick in return. If we are going to lose our best forward, we better be getting more than a prospect in return.

    I want a really good NHL player for a first line winger… health problems or not. Any player we get is one injury away from “health problems” anyways (like Horton).

  • I’m not sure I’d discount Florida dropping down (no more than 5 spots)?Tallon likes to stockpile draft picks. If he could pick up a 2nd/3rd/prospect to move down, I think he would.

    Let’s say Hemsky & 19 to C-bus for Tyutin & 8, then 8, 31 & 62 to Florida for 3 & 47.

    Even close? Any interest?

  • No matter how many times I experience it, I can’t help but be a little amazed at the value that gets placed on draft picks. The notion of giving up Hemsky for the 8th pick in what by all accounts is an average draft at best seems…..well….goofy to me. Here are the #8 picks from 04 – 08. There is no point discussing Glennie or Burmistrov because it is too soon to know what kind of players they will be.
    04 – Alex Picard
    05 – Devin Setoguchi
    06 – Peter Meuller
    07 – Zach Hamill
    08 – Micheal Boedker
    Now which of those players would you trade Hemsky and “something else” to get??? The only way a trade involving Hemsky should even be considered is if the Oilers know beyond a doubt they can’t re sign him and it gets them Larrson at 3 or 4.

  • Rogue

    ~Wouldn’t it be exciting if the Draft actually had this much action!~

    Now, back to reality. Defencemen, as we all know, take a long time to develop. Drafting a Dman high is always a gamble and not a gimme of success. Gregor demonstated this a while back. If I was drafting, I would be looking for a big winger, like McNeill, Armia, Puempel, or even Scheifele with the #19 pick. That would be my area of importance with that pick. I would think one of those guys should be around at that point, or they may have to move up 4 or 5 spots, if possible. At number 31, go for D and hope Musil is still around.

    Keep your 2012 pick. And if, and I mean IF you are going to move Hemmer to Columbus, let it be for #8 and Vorachek. You could use him as bait to move up from 19.

    So will this happen? Slim and none and Slim is mounting up to leave town. In MBS, I trust.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Ryan Smyth is just what’s needed here, in that dressing room and for his on ice contributions. Kings could use the cap space in their failed quest for Brad Richards.

    If Taylor Hall can surpass all the left wingers on the depth chart inside of his first 12 months here, we can definately use him.

    • D-Man

      Depends on what we’re dealing for Smyth… Smyth’s cost is too high – even though you’re right, his work ethic would be an awesome addition to our leadership core…

      I would definitely jump at the chance for Smyth should LA be willing to take Souray’s contract… I think someone called in the Gregor’s show suggesting Cogs and Souray for Smyth… Not sure the Kings would bite, but that proposal has alot of merit…

  • D-Man

    This could be the first true piece of evidence that the rebuild is starting to improve the club.

    All it takes to get early draft picks is a lot of loosing. Getting players that want to come back tells me that the teams roster and reputation are improving.

    Smyth probably wont get back to Edmonton, but surly he’s not alone in what he see’s going on with his former team. Everything may not be perfect with management or personnel, but at least this 10-20 year ordeal seems to be progressing.

    Fridays needs to be a great day to keep the momentum going.

  • Little Buttcheeks

    Dare to dream:
    #1: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
    #5 (for Hemsky and 31st): Sean Couturier
    #19: Joseph Morrow

    Will never happen but this is the time for optimism.