Trading draft picks started BEFORE the beginning of the universal draft  in 1969. It was, for the most part, a failed experiment.

This is Sam Pollock. He rarely lost a trade, owing to access and attention to detail. One of the very few deals he "lost" came about because of waiver worries. The winner of the trade explains:

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  • Bill Torrey: "My organization-building philosophy is to build from within. The only draft choice I gave away (with NYI) was to Sam Pollock, when I took a little goalie from Muskegon (in the old IHL)–number four on his depth chart–Chico Resch for a draft pick. It was the only draft pick I gave up early on in the history of the Islanders. Fortunately, he was a good one."

Early in the expansion era–this would be 1967 through about 1975–the new teams had very little in terms of assets. The established clubs would take their first and second round picks in exchange for older veterans who were close to being a spent force. Terrible deals, but what are you going to do when the owner wants a winner in Oakland and you need a scoring left winger?

It was awful, made the NHL a two tiered league and took forever to level the playing field. Nowadays, the draft picks–especially the first rounders–are held tightly and rarely sent away without a similar draft pick (and something extra) coming back in return.

IF the Oilers decided to deal their pick, where would it go?


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If we’re discussing the possibility of another General Manager having a big enough ego and enough creativity to make something happen, we should begin with Brian Burke. The man with elan has engineered some incredible draft moments, the biggest being the Sedin draft of 1999 in which Burke acted like an orchestra conductor in convincing the other men at the top of the draft to give him the two best players available.

Burke does have some nice things to pass along to Edmonton:

  1. 5th overall pick
  2. NHL defensemen in a variety of price ranges, from a lovely Urban satchel courtesy Louie Vuitton (Phaneuf) to a fetching gold faux leather item from a Music City shopping spree (Cody Franson) and everything in between.
  3. Expensive but perhaps undervalued wingers who could fill important roles on the team (Nikolai Kulemin).

Now, before we go any deeper into this, a couple of things. I am in no way suggesting EDM trades the number one overall pick or suggesting they do business with Toronto. This is more of a blue sky, "what if" discussion. Second, I’m not saying the deal would be 1st overall for #5, Phaneuf and Kulemin.

We’re just talking over a Glenfiddich. A little early in the day but we’re sophisticated enough to pull it off.


I don’t for a minute  believe that the Edmonton Oilers will deal for Dion Phaneuf, but Carl Gunnarson might be a player of interest and I strongly suspect the organization believes they could make things simpler for Luke Schenn and allow him to establish himself as a quality NHL: defender.

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The big question I have is "how much do the Oilers value Ryan Murray?" and then a followup being "is Griffin Reinhart close enough to Murray for the Oilers to risk moving to #5?"

Should the Oilers believe Reinhart can provide the kind of blue they’d like to see rolling out over the next decade or more, then this deal (whatever it might look like) probably has some chance of happening.

If we estimate the top 5 with Edmonton at 5th and TOR at #1, it might go like this:


How much would Toronto have to give up to make the difference in draft pick attractive to Edmonton? Schenn & Kulemin? Gunnarson and ????


My guess is that the Oilers want to walk out of this draft with an impact player, either Yakupov or Murray. Could they move down from one, draft Murray and add a legit top 4D?  My guess: that is something close to the ideal scenario for Edmonton. I don’t think Toronto lines up well with the Oilers, unless Burke can move up from 5 to given Edmonton a sure fire way to "get their guy."

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Up next: the Habs.

  • db7db7db7

    I would draft yakupov and place him on lw with ebs and nuge to slaughter the easy comp. hall and hemsky can flank gagner to provide offense while playing tougher competition. Smyth and horcoff will ankor a 3rd line to play the toughs while providing minimal offense. The fourth line will be better pffensively due to the trickle down effect, as lander/belanger plus jones and prv/hartikainen.

    Yakupov rnh eberle
    Hall gagner hemsky
    Mps/hartikainen horcoff smyth
    Mps/hartikainen lander/belanger jones

    I think its time for young players to start making their mark on the bottom six, and to eliminate the true enforcer position in exchange for more of an agitator. I think belanger will rebound next season but i would like lander to get a full season.

  • yawto

    Trade the pick to LA for Brown and Voynov. Supply top 6 truculence and establishing d-man the team needs and give LA the scoring they are looking for. Win/Win.

  • DSF

    I dont think the pick gets move unless we get a crazy over payment. If Tambi screws this up his career is over as a GM, he’ll do the smart safe thing and draft yakapov. Honestly what would you do ? Take BPA or risk ruining your career ? Would you risk that even if it was a 50/50 chance ? I wouldn’t

  • DSF

    The Oilers should not trade the 1st overall pick. It’s way too big of a gamble. Take the projected franchise player (Yakupov).

    I would liken the Oilers dealing the 1st overall pick to a greedy gambler, someone who’s won the jackpot who’s just not satisfied with settling on their new fortune. A greedy gambler would take their fortune and wager it, trying to double their profits, and then would lose their entire fortune because they just couldn’t leave well enough alone.

    Seriously, draft Yakupov. Have Hall, Eberle, RNH, and Yakupov in our top-6. Hold on to Sam Gagner. He showed this past season that he’s growing as a player, and as he’s still very young, the potential to continue to get better exists. Sign Schultz if possible, and then attempt to sign free agents and/or trade spare parts to shore up our defense.

    On defense, I’d make sure to hold on to Smid & Petry. Add Schultz, hopefully he’s as good as everyone is saying. And then use our other assets (PRV, 2013 1st rounder, etc) to fill out our defense. Also, the Oil need to let Dubnyk play his heart out next season. Now’s the time to see what we’ve got with him. As Khabby’s contract will be running out, we need to know if we need to start looking else where for goaltending help.

    Can’t wait for next season to begin. Let the hockey withdrawls begin.

  • DSF

    As you opined, LT, Toronto doesn’t seem to line up well. And while I agree that Wilson did Schenn no favours, I don’t see the player there. He’s serviceable, and after a few years of recovering and ever increasing confidence, he’ll be decent, but 3/4 is the best I can see.

    Draft the Yak!

  • Rocknrolla

    You Gotta Take The Yak! And man, keep your picks!

    These first round picks are like gold when you have Magnificent Stu…And the First Overall? Like Platinum…This will be our last First Overall pick, ever, so lets make it count and get the Franchise BPA.

    Anyone who has been thinking of trading these picks might be interested in this little gem. Was browsing around and thought, what if the oilers never ever traded any of their first or second round picks lately…where would they be at. You cant be 100%, as our scouts might have taken different players, but just for fun, here is what we traded away, or lost out on. Now how would that team look today…

    Oiler draft pick trades and offer sheet:

    2003 1st round pick (17th overall – Zach Parise) for Pouliot and J.F. Jacques

    2006 2nd round pick (50th overall – Milan Lucic) with reasoner,stasny for Samsonov

    Penner sheet

    1st round : Tyler Myers – Buffalo

    2nd round : Justin Schultz – Anaheim

    3rd round : Kirill Petrov – New York Islanders

    PS, arent you glad we didnt get Thomas Vanek? We would have given:

    2008: 12th overall (Tyler Myers)

    2009: 10th overall (Magnus Paajarvi)

    2010: First overall (Taylor Hall)

    2011: First overall (Nugent-Hopkins)

    • BloodyEyes13

      That’s crazy, never thought about it that way. Yeah, definitely, we need to draft Yakupov for sure. Trading draft picks is such a gamble, especially when you have the top pick in the draft & there’s a clear #1 franchise player available.

      • Well it’s not THAT straightforward as would we have finished last place with Vanek?

        But yes, it’s crazy. Last year I wanted to trade our 2012 first rounder (Yakupov) for NJDs #4 (Adam Larsson). Who knows how it would have worked out. Still, keep the pick, draft the BPA for the love of Jeebus.

  • DSF

    Questions for everyone suggesting trades for the #1:

    Knowing what you know now would you trade RNH for the #5 and Gunnarsson?

    RNH for diver Brown and Voynov?

    RNH for Beaulieu and the #3.

    I wouldn’t do it. Who knows, the best player from this draft may be better than Hopkins.

    I would ask Murray what is reasonable for the right to talk to Justin Schultz’ agent for the next couple months.

  • I think Yakupov is going to score 500 goals in this league. I think you part with him as easily as you would with Hall, which is to say, it better blow my socks off. Most of these deals make no sense if you are projecting Yakupov as a star goal scorer.

  • I think Yakupov is going to score 500 goals in this league. I think you part with him as easily as you would with Hall, which is to say, it better blow my socks off. Most of these deals make no sense if you are projecting Yakupov as a star goal scorer.

  • O.C.

    Oilbridge wrote: As per Friedman, Jordan Staal may be available with one year left on his contract. He has stated he wants more responsibilities, aka not wanting to be playing behind Crosby and Malkin. Would you trade the 1st pick straight up for Staal, an extended Staal? Is that enough? A one-two punch of RNH and Staal would be sick. Then you can move Gagner for a dman.

    That deal ain’t happening. A proven strong, multi use, all star’ish centre for a prospect? No.

    But… sweeten with maybe Gagner and next years first round… Pittsburgh will listen… but only make that deal if Staal signs for 4 years at $5M

  • Trading the pick means admitting to failure in previous drafts. Ie the year the Kevin Lowe regime was drafting Plants and Riley Nash ahead of say PK Subban and Max paceoretti. The feeling that maybe one can get that extra top asset. Well maybe the case with some management teams. Not ours! I have very little confidence in our leaders. Luck gave us this pick. Plain and simple take the best player period. Trade other assets to try and acquire a Dman. Management failed to move Hemskey two yeasts ago and then had to cut him $10 million to keep him versus losing him this summer for nothing. Water bug Gagne has value this asset should fill a need somewhere.

  • O.C.

    One of the most well written and best singled malted analogy hockey blog every written. Stay thirsty my friends. Props LT. Props LB. Props Arena. Props sunshine and warm ass weather.

  • JMC88

    The only possible trade scenario that I can envision right now for the #1 overall would involve a team that desperately needs a player like Yakupov. The only team that I see that fits that bill is Montreal.

    If Montreal is willing to over-pay, and I mean overpay, then the Oilers might go for it.

    The Oilers would have to get back the #3 overall, at least one established d-man or forward, and one blue-chip prospect. They might even try and get back the Habs #1 pick in 2013/2014. Depending on what the Habs offer up, the Oilers would have to give up stuff along with the #1 though.

    The Oilers would then be assured to get one of Murray, Reinhart, Rielly, Grigorenko, or Dumba, depending on who they like and subject to CBJ’s pick.

  • JMC88

    By “established d-man or forward”, I’m talking Subban or Pacioretty. At the very least, Lars Eller.

    By “blue-chip prospect”, I’m talking Louie Leblanc or Nathan Beaulieu. At the very least, Jarrod Tinordi and Brendan Gallagher.

  • JMC88

    That said, I think there’s a more likelihood that NYI and/or Tor trade away their picks in order to acquire a bunch of assets than it is for the Oilers to trade the #1 pick away.

    I could also see CBJ and Mon swapping picks if Mon wanted to guarantee themselves a forward rather than a d-man.

  • Time Travelling Sean

    I saw the NFL draft and it said Cleveland traded their 4th pick and 3rd 6th and 7th picks to Minnie for the 3rd and then drafted a RB.

    Doesn’t Minnie have AP?

  • Reg Dunlop

    Just spitballing… how about drafting Yak as a cornerstone player and trading Hall(he of a potentially injury shortened career) for Weber.

    What did I just suggest? It must be the DTs from oiler-withdrawl.

  • The OIlers are filling the cupboards nicely and would love it if they kept the pick.But as Tambo says If someone knocks there socks off with an offer then I would love to see a strong center like Joe Thorton who can feed the puck to Eberle and hall.We just have to get the other teams to get in a track meet so they can out score them

  • O.C.

    I am not giving 1st over all this year for Staal alone, plus you want to add Gagner and next years 1st. That is over payment.

    Yep. And that’s why the Oil won’t land Staal unless they overpay. Pittsburgh ain’t trading Staal for a bag o’ pucks, and maybe not at all.

  • O.C.

    Staal may go into Free Agency and decide to go play with one of his brothers. Wouldn’t he look good on Carolina’s second line? Carolina would fall all over themselves to get him. The Rangers have wade Reddens expiring contract and the cap space to make him and offer he might not refuse. I believe Jordan plays out his contract and waits until Free Agency to make his move. If Pittsburgh were smart they would trade him to Carolina sooner than later and get a boatload of assets in return. It would be a kings ransom surely but Carolina would certainly pay it to get a player of his caliber,

  • O.C.

    Management seems to imply a six year strategy based on developing draft talent . Many deals out there as many have suggested , but Tams unlikely to divert from this plan this early to take a stab at playoffs until after the 5th year . At that time Khabby could be dealt or have his contract expire . Hemsky would have only one year left and Horcoff can be dealt with . Most of defensive prospects will have had an extra year from which to evaluate . Year six they have to go all out , but i don’t believe this is the year to try and do it all out . Had Tams added a few needed pieces this year they might be tempted – but not as it stands at end of season .